Efficiency Gains For The Oxford Wine Company
A complete rebuild of an existing management system controlling this large wine supplier's products, customers, producers and orders resulted in large efficiency gains.
- Customers: Simple and effective customer management.
- Integration: Connecting with Sage accounts and live till stock levels
- User Focussed: System redesigned from scratch to suit each user's needs
- Control: Granular control of each user's access rights and permission levels
- Live Reporting: Up to the minute sales analysis and stock reporting.
Save time with Sage Accounts
Integration with the popular Sage accounting package ensures data integrity whilst speeding up the supply chain.
Live Shop Stock Levels
Receiving live stock level updates from shop tills means that everyone knows exactly how much stock is held and where it is located.
Bespoke management reports analyse profitability and customer behaviour on live data in real time.
Automatic generation of a variety of delivery notes in PDF format ready for emailing to customers as soon as the order is placed.
A flexible user administration suite with granular control over user types and individual user access.
Import and Export
Importing and exporting of a range of data ensures that the OWC can synchronise and interrogate data better than ever before
Analysing the problems
An existing system, such as that employed by the Oxford Wine Company, provides an ideal basis for redevelopment. By analysing the existing system - where it works well, where it works badly - and talking to users it is often straightforward to see where a system needs to be extended or overhauled.
By becoming familiar with their existing system and discussing the limits of its functionality with users, it was easy to identify the main requirements for the new management tool.
Making the most of our framework
Having identified the requirements for the new tool we were able to rapidly build functionality using our existing application framework. Our experience working on hundreds of online applications for our clients means that we have developed our underlying system to cater for a range of standard user and data management functions.
By leveraging our standard code we were able to focus on the important and unique aspects of the OWC tool. At the same time, the OWC benefited from the security precautions and refined user interface included by default.
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Having worked with clients in high risk areas such as banking and insurance, we've developed all our code to meet stringent security standards. Our security mechanisms are built into every site we do, so OWC could be confident that their essential data was protected.
Also, with OWC using our preferred hosting partner their site benefits from connection resilience and data backup facilities. Finally, we installed an SSL security certificate to encrypt the transmission of their data from wherever they access the site to the server itself.
Part of the crucial work we do behind the scenes is to establish a fundamentally sound method for storing your data. Our years of experience allow us to quickly understand how your information needs to be structured to facilitate easy and quick access.
From the start of the project OWC made it clear that the ability to produce timely reports analysing their most important data was critical. We were able to construct the database and build the application to allow them to run reports whenever they wanted and instantly analyse their data.
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Third Party Integration
It was also crucial for our management solution to fit in with the existing infrastructure used by OWC. In their case, this meant integrating with stock level reporting from their shops, Sage accounts and their existing website (which we had also built!).
Working closely with OWC we established a method whereby their till software could email live stock updates to the management tool which would then update its data instantly.
Integrating with Sage was a little more tricky, but we investigated and found an ideal solution using a 3rd party tool called Zynk. The management tool outputs the details or orders, customers and purchase orders into XML files which can be picked up by Zynk and passed directly into their Sage system.
Testing, Implementation and beyond
Before we release any project, we test the system against the initial requirements determined at its inception. Only once we are happy that we have covered everything discussed do we then pass it on for clients to use. After all, they are best placed to see if the application works for them in the real world.
OWC were no different. We have continued to fix any remaining bugs (for free) and extend the system for them as they have found minor issues or decided to increase the flexibility of the application.
The system has been in place for approximately a year now and is being used every hour of every working day.
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