We can’t screenshot it, and due to the business-process nature of the project for our client, we can’t really give many technical details, but we want you to know about our latest project.
The project isn’t a website launch or a custom web application, it’s a systems integration that helps a national manufacturing company leverage their existing internal sales and logistics systems in a whole new way.
If you are reading this and don’t know what “systems integration” actually might mean, here’s the short version. Most (all?) mid-to-large manufacturers use an ERP (enterprise resource planning) system to manage the logistics of their sales, manufacturing, and distribution. Most (all?) also use a CRM (customer relationship management) system to manage sales leads, customer accounts, and quotes. This company uses Microsoft Dynamics AX as their ERP, and Saleforce.com as their CRM. They hired us to make those two systems talk to each other, in real-time, in order to build themselves a more customized system and improve efficiency company-wide.
And, stepping into that place where traditional IT analysts and web developers both usually fear to tread, we did it.
We’re pretty proud of it. The client’s sales team can now use Salesforce to access real-time product information and build accurate and meaningful quotes. Once the quotes are sold, the workflow moves seamlessly over into AX and the order begins to be filled. Now, if your company sells, makes, and then ships products, can you think about how useful something like this could be? An ERP system can be a poor match for the needs of sales… side note: one of our team experienced using SAP as a sales rep once, and it was scary … and a CRM usually has nothing to do with the real logistics of manufacturing and delivery. But, different systems tooled to different needs, talking to each other in a harmony – that’s business magic.
On another note, the Reno team enjoyed having Patrick here in the office this past week. We think he appreciated an escape from the snow in Anchorage. We took the opportunity to do a little planning, a mission refresh, some navigation as we round the first turn of 2012. Here’s our shiny new mission statement – nothing considerable has changed, core values still stand and always will, except we think we know ourselves a bit better than we did back in 2007: