Adding Process Automation to Promotional Supply Chain
Netrix rewrote a marketing agency and specialty company’s order fulfillment system to allow clients to order promotional products online. The solution created a flexible application with a self-service capability and transitioned the supplier from an expensive custom ordering platform to eliminate a $250,000 annual license fee.
Tangerine is a full-service advertising promotional products and marketing agency specializing in creating a brand impact that strategically helps clients connect with their target markets. With more than twenty years of industry experience, Tangerine is a premier provider of branded merchandise. If it can be imprinted, Tangerine can turn it into an effective promotional vehicle, strategically designed for their clients. Tangerine’s team enables marketing campaigns from conception to completion.
With business growing, Tangerine had technology challenges on the fulfillment side of the business. They were relying on taxing manual data management processes and an expensive, outdated out-of-box software solution to manage their supply chain from the online orders to shipping and it needed to be optimized to help the business grow.
Tangerine’s fulfillment application was outdated and did not offer the flexibility the company needed to serve its customers. They had a process-heavy in administrative work, which required manually exchanging data between spreadsheets and update of the system. Along with consuming hours of administrative tasks, the system was costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in licensing and maintenance.
Tangerine sought Netrix because they were looking for a company that brought a track record of successfully designing and implementing solutions customized to specific business needs. They needed to be sure that their investment in technology would create operational efficiencies that were specific to their needs while saving the company time and money in the long run.
“They spent less time talking, and more time listening during our initial meetings. The Netrix team invested the time to understand our business and the design and functionality we required from the system,” said Adam Rosenbaum, Chief Operating Officer. “Netrix was fantastic to work with during the development and implementation process. Netrix took the time to understand our business and our client’s needs, and was very responsive from start to finish.”
Netrix sat down with Tangerine’s team to determine the requirements for a solution. Since the marketing firm had never participated in a software development project, the discovery process was modified to uncover its team’s specific needs.
Netrix utilized agile development methodologies to phase into building the solution. “We have a lot of experience with clients that have never had these kinds of discussions before,” said Norm Murrin, the Netrix Project Manager. “They know what they need, but not how to translate it into technology terms – and that’s okay. We talked through different features and provided hypothetical and real-life use cases to communicate what each part of the application does and to get them to tell us how they wanted to work.”
“Netrix’s agile development process was instrumental in the success of our implementation. Our team worked very closely with Netrix’s consultants every step of the way, and through Netrix’s process, we were involved in approving individual stories before they were finalized and integrated with other pieces of the application.”
The entire process was client-driven and leveraged the strengths of both teams, Tangerine’s knowledge of its business and Netrix’s expertise in creating excellent technical solutions for clients.
Over 14 weeks, Netrix built a custom application for Tangerine that addressed their process automation challenges and rebuilt their back-end fulfillment and order management system. Netrix leveraged the Django framework to build Tangerine’s application so that Tangerine could make their changes to the system without compromising data integrity or damaging the application.
Along with creating the functionality they needed and adding new administrative efficiencies, Netrix was also able to keep the user interface looking and acting the way it did before the update, alleviating a steep learning curve and time-consuming and costly training expense.
“The solution Netrix developed with us dramatically increased the efficiency of our client’s ordering process and allowed them to access information and reporting much easier than previous systems they had used,” said Rosenbaum.
Netrix built a customized order management portal for Tangerine’s clients’ field reps to utilize when ordering their sales materials and promotional items for distribution to hundreds of field locations. In step with the desired functionality of the new system, Tangerine owned the new software eliminating the need for annual licensing of $250,000 each year.
- The legacy fulfillment system needed an update.
- Various administrative processes required manual data exchange between spreadsheets and the system.
- Application license and maintenance was costing the client hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
- Agile development methodologies drove complex business focused technical requirements.
- Process automation, back-end fulfillment and order management systems were successfully streamlined.
- Legacy user-interface was maintained alleviating costly training expense and positively supporting adoption.
- The client owned the platform, enabling self-maintenance strategy and eliminating a $250K annual licensing cost.
Netrix incorporates agile development best practices into our application development operations and prioritizes the evolution of your development teams by introducing market-leading best practices. Whether modernizing the applications you have in place today or developing new custom solutions for your unique business challenges, our team provides the experience and resources necessary to gain new functionality and efficiencies.
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