How often do you wish your software solution did more? Software packages for your business usually cater for the needs of your industry not the needs of your company. What do I mean by that? Let’s take an extreme situation we recently worked on. A client had a software solution that handled their customer data for the orders placed. This had the item, quantity, payment information, and customer reference code. The other system took the customer reference code to connect the order to the customer information for contact details. This left the staff to connect these pieces of information manually. Ideally these two systems would have worked together to make the order fulfilment seamless.
So, what was the solution?
There was another software package that had all this information combined and would have removed the need for manual data matching completely. This system was, however, expensive to get up and running and had ongoing fees that were a stretch to meet. The client was only missing, roughly, 10% of the functionality this new system provided.
We suggested building an adapter that connected these two systems together. This provided reports for the staff to use, automation of order and customer matching and a full customer overview. The software solutions was also able to connect to their delivery driver’s logbook system to track delivery times and fulfilment.
How we did it.
We did this by working with the data the systems were able to output. Then we built the adapter to cater to those formats. The order system was able to export a CSV (Comma Separated Values) document, these look like this:
|OrderNumber, ProductCode, QuantityOrdered, QuantityAvailable, etc., etc.|
|00001, 15B4H74, 3, 7, xxx, xxx|
In this example the OrderNumber is 00001, the ProductCode is 15B4H74 and so on for the other values.
This is a great format to work with as you know what to expect the values will be and where they will be in the document. Each new line would be another order to read from and add to the report the new software was to generate.
The Customer system was built with an API (Application Programming Interface) this, in simple terms, is a power point expecting a certain shape to plug in and provides 240v output. How that works for coding a system means if we agree to the format the API expects us to ask for it can provide it. As long as our “appliance” has the correct plug, or security permissions. This meant we were able to request the data directly from the Customer software from its database and didn’t need to worry about document exporting to access it.
What did this accomplish?
We were able to increase the efficiency of the client’s staff which increased order fulfilment times and increased the clients’ profits.
Are you getting the most out of your software or is it missing a link to bring your business increased efficiency and profitability? Without the cost of buying a whole new software package to handle your missing 10%. Get in touch with LocalTeam Australia if you need a custom software solution.