INTERFACES WITH LOGISTICS PLATFORM
The project consisted in creating interfaces for transferring orders to the logistics platforms used by GHD (GEFCO and Logistic Networks), on the one hand from GHD’s commercial management application SAGE, and on the other hand from GHD’s online shop based on the osCommerce solution.
Total project duration: 3 months
The total cost of the project was 28 man-days.
Details of the project :
The hairdressing salons’ orders are listed in the SAGE application; and GHD needed simple interfaces to transmit them to their logistics platforms once checked by their sales managers. The “salon” interfaces had to allow the selection of orders to be transmitted from their date and a configuration file had to allow the easy exclusion of certain virtual items (shipping costs, item pack names, etc.).
Orders placed from the online shop should also be able to be automatically transmitted to the logistics platform, which then returns the order status to the online shop. This interface must therefore transcode XML files used by the online shop into text files used by the logistics platform.
Development of a complete system including :
- Interfaces allowing the transfer of orders from SAGE to the corresponding logistics platform (two logistics platforms using different exchange file formats)
- Automated interfaces for transferring orders from the online shop to the Logistic Networks logistics platform, and for updating the status of orders in the online shop (exchanges via XML files).
For the realization of the project, 3 persons have been allocated :
- 1 project manager and functional manager
- 2 development engineers
This contract was executed with Tana Corp resources dedicated to the project and in collaboration with the GHD team responsible for the online store.
Main characteristics of the client
GHD is a company founded in England in 2001 with an international presence.
It specialises in the marketing of top-of-the-range products to hairdressing salons and beauty salons. Its turnover in 2007 was 115 million pounds sterling (approximately 138 million euros).
Conduct of the project
Advice and support role provided throughout the project
- A real force of accompaniment: The organization of the project gives a primordial importance to the quality of the accompaniment, to make the customer benefit from the expertise and the know-how capitalized by Tana Corp on its projects of the same type.
- Consulting strength : Our solid experience on management applications in the field of distribution and fixed-price projects has enabled us to provide the customer with the best market practices in this field. Moreover, Tana Corp is a force of proposal in the highlighting of functional options likely to bring a strong functional added value.
Methodology proposed to validate the stages of the project from a customer’s point of view
Proposed project reporting
A weekly follow-up allowed us to manage this project in close collaboration with the client.
Tools chosen for the project management
Project Management: MS Project
Business processes covered by the solution
- Order transfer to logistics platform
- Traceability of orders sent
What were the most difficult features to implement?
Interfaces with the online shop required integration with osCommerce managed by the GHD England branch via XML files. A close collaboration with GHD was set up in order to optimize this phase and improve the business process used within the online shop.
Technical platform elements
Software package, software or development languages used
After analysis of all the constraints, Tana Corp proposed the realization of a custom application, based entirely on a Microsoft solution:
- Microsoft .Net Compact Framework, C# language
Reasons for the choice
- Microsoft .Net Compact Framework with C#: In order to improve productivity, the interface had to offer improved ergonomics. The choice of this technology, as well as the embedded hardware, was made in close collaboration with the customer.
Share of pre-existing developments used on which the Supplier capitalized to complete the project
The interfaces were developed without any pre-existing technological layer.
- Ergonomics: daily use of the application in a production context,
- Scalability: interface configuration options offering great flexibility in filtering the commands to be transmitted as well as a certain scalability of data exchange formats.
Challenges and key success factors
Robustness: It is important that the application can run every day without human intervention.
Today, the tool has received excellent feedback from users who use the application on a daily basis and who have appreciated the ease of use and ergonomics of the user interfaces.