Online Order Management System for Creation
Creation, a graphic design and brand engagement agency based in Bristol, needed a business software solution for its well-known multi-national corporate client in the food and beverage industry.
They were looking for a production management and administration system capable of storing and selecting graphics from a pre-determined floor plan to then order a complete exhibition stand based on the available graphics supplied by Creation.
Creation was aware that some web developers/programmers promise the earth and then when it comes to the launch, the code doesn't work. Knowing that this project was complicated due to the nature of the product they were dealing with and having worked successfully with Evergreen on previous database projects, Creation's Director Nick Wood knew who to call.
Clear Benefits and Integrated Workflow
- Stock control – avoiding duplications and costly mistakes.
- Ordering system for customisable products – product can be tailored by the customer for their needs.
- Intuitive, easy-to-use ordering process.
- Ability to organise different brands within a corporate organisation
- Secure log-in with access control – permissions for users to access different areas of the system.
- Auto-save and multi-cart function.
Confidence from the start to deliver on promises.
From past experience with Evergreen, Nick Wood knew that Evergreen's professional, methodical and well thought through approach combined with their programming expertise would deliver success for this project. Says Nick, 'Evergreen said it was possible where others shook their heads. We had confidence from the start that they knew what they were talking about and would deliver on their promises.''
The driving force behind the project was that Creation held a lot of graphics in stock for their corporate client and there was no clear way of letting their client's vast organisation organise its trade stands. The process had become confusing as to what was feasible in the space available at the various venues. There was also the risk that graphics that were withdrawn or out of stock could be selected in error.
The online database administration system built by Evergreen had to accommodate different brands within the corporate client organisation, with each brand having many different graphics assigned to it and multiple users needing access. Users needed to be able to select a pre-determined floor-plan or panels of a plan and select graphics to fit this, creating a visual image of the final stand as well at the same time completing an ordering process for the required graphics.
The online system that Evergreen has created is able to manage orders, including contact, billing and venue/event information. The 'floor plan picker' feature allows users to view a thumbnail and preview only select floor plans that are smaller or equal in size to the available floor space. Based on the size and brands selected for the order, the 'graphic picker' feature allows a graphic to be selected to fit a relevant panel. An additional 'accessory picker' feature shows accessories already included in the floor plan and allows quantities to be increased/decreased as needed.
Progression and completion through the ordering process is indicated using icons in the "progress" bar, which double up as a navigation bar between the open points preventing the user from editing graphics before brands and a floor plan have been selected. All users of a brand are able to edit all "orders" involving that brand. The orders remain editable until 4 weeks prior to event but higher authority 'super users' can edit all 'orders' involving that brand and override submission date deadlines if required.
A system that saves not just hours but days of administration time.
So how have things changed since the launch of the new online database administration system? Nick Wood confirms that it has really helped to streamline the ordering process and stock control as the system stores all the graphics and Creation's client can now only order what is in stock and what fits the stand. Users can now see how much space they have available from the pre-design exhibition layout and the system eliminates the need to reprint graphics or select in error graphics that have been withdrawn. The system will not allow two graphics of the same kind to be selected so it also doubles up as a stock control function and avoids costly mistakes.'We used to spend days sending emails back and forth to our client with regards to identifying the graphics we had in stock. The new system created by Evergreen has saved not just hours but days of time spent on administration.'
Whilst Creation is delighted with the time saved on administrative tasks, the feedback received from their corporate client is equally positive as they have found the system easy and straightforward to use and have enjoyed the freedom of being able to start the ordering process immediately after receiving information about the venue. They confirm that the system is very intuitive and secure as it updates everything as it goes along. It shapes things automatically from a pre-determined plan and users can dip in and out and makes changes at any stage.
Asked what feature of the system was now indispensable, Nick Wood replies that the system is so flexible and robust that they cannot imagine relinquishing any feature. 'The whole way the graphics work in marrying available graphics with the chosen stand configuration means that the client can visually see what they are ordering which is most important. For us it means we have the right layout for the space ordered. For our client it is the immediate availability of products and graphics to start the order process.''
Evergreen shares values and ethos concerning excellent customer service.
Projects of this nature can often incur teething problems when launched but Nick is quick to point out that the web application administration system created by Evergreen has worked well from the outset. He attributes the strength of the project to the fact that everyone took time to sit down together from the very beginning to carefully work out the requirements needed for the ordering process and that Evergreen played a key role in this.
As an experienced graphic designer, Nick Wood has had the opportunity to compare the working relationship he has had with Evergreen to other companies within the web development industry. He admits that designers often get frustrated that the finesse of a design doesn't come through with the build and that it is always a compromise with what a designer wants and what is possible to code and build.
This frustration is not something that he has experienced with Evergreen. 'Any tweaks that we wanted to make were always accommodated. Change by just a few pixels can make a huge difference and Evergreen always understood this and always fulfilled our need.'
Nick Wood praises the ongoing support from Evergreen, 'you can't fault it. Not only are they professional and approachable but they are very responsive, addressing any issue immediately.' He goes on to say that he has already recommended web application specialists Evergreen to other companies and would continue to do so.
In conclusion Nick Wood cites that Creation is passionate about providing excellent customer service and they only look to work with like-minded companies. Says Nick, 'Our relationship with our clients is key and it is important for us to have an external supplier that shares our values and ethos regarding excellent customer service. Evergreen share our values and are a supplier we can trust to deliver on its promises.'