We just got finished upgrading our Website and some older servers. Now we are working on upgrading our Customer Records Management system. The technology we use has become as important as a new hire, or new production equipment. We absolutely rely on our online e-commerce system, as do our customers. We often look at presentations for e-commerce packages, to keep up with what is happening in the marketplace and to evaluate new features. Often times the vendors are trying to sell a “one-size-fits-all” solution that ends up not fitting anyone very well.
We have opted for more of a mash-up. Some customers only need simple online catalogs, while others need online templates with proofing and commenting. Our system can handle the customization because of the modular nature of our software. The simple solution requires the e-commerce module, while marketing collateral is handled in a more robust page-layout engine that fits in our frame. To the end-user the different catalogs appear as tabs based on the different functions needed. You simply choose the tab you require and assign them to users based on their needs. This allows us to mash together the very simple with the very complex, while maintaining a single log-in per user.
Then we combine the financial details for all the transactions into easily read reports. This way we can be the single point of control for quality, branding, budgeting, reporting and analysis. When a new technical feature appears in the marketplace we have been able to include the best innovations, without having to reinvent the entire system. The key here has been to keep the system simple. A particular module can be very sophisticated in its capabilities, but mashed together in our system, that powerful technology is kept in check. Simplicity is what makes our online ordering system better, and in these days of ever growing complexity, making a task simpler is the best way to innovate. That is why we swear by LEAN Supply Chain Management and the idea of working smarter, not harder. Is your procurement process more complicated than it needs to be?