We are no longer a Monday to Friday operation, our customers can go online, twenty-four-seven through their computer, mobile device anywhere in the world check stock, see live pricing information and place their order. With an inventory of over 40,000 line items, it was always going to be a large project to implement an ecommerce solution, we wanted to find one that fully integrated with Sage 200, so that we didn’t have to learn any new processes. It was in 2007, after we had done quite a lot of integration working for Sage, we realised that we had potential of a great product, and that’s when we started Shopfront, which is an ecommerce system integrated into the Sage accountancy systems. And we realised that people who are doing ecommerce are often running their business separately, from their main system where they’re holding their pricing and their stock. So by tightly integrating the two we
allow the ecommerce system to show real-time stock, we allow the orders to flow straight into order processing, and have the stock allocated. And particularly business to business systems where many of the customers will have negotiated different
prices, we can allow those prices to be instantly available on the ecommerce site from the accountancy system, and so from the customer side the experience is seamless, they’re seeing their prices, real-time stock, they’re placing their orders and
then they can use the site to track and trace what’s happening with the orders. The major benefit of our system is that it
improves our clients customer satisfaction, at the same time as reducing labour within the business in re-keying an inbound call volume. We install an integration piece of software at the company, which binds tightly into the accountancy system to read out the information, and then we provide a fully-featured ecommerce website which we host and support, and a content management system which allows you to take the raw information from your accounting system, which often isn’t in a very marketing format and then fill up the site with your product with images and all of the other marketing features you want. Without having to have specialist skills in the business, so they can adjust their products, change their offering, and make it more compelling to their customers. The benefits of Shopfront for our customers can be as simple as stock availability 24 hours a day, they basically can place an order and seamlessly it’s delivered to their address the next day. Sage produce a range of accounting systems, suited to different sizes of business, we integrate to Sage 50, which is for the smaller business, Sage 200 for sort of medium sized businesses and finally Sage 1000 which is essentially a enterprise product. The ecommerce solution has changed the way we do business, we’ve been able to free up valuable resource which is enabled us to invest more time in developing new customers, new markets, and new product lines.