Bell’s Bike Shop wanted to integrate their supplier inventory data so they could include current quantity and cost for each item with their own warehouse data. Their goal was to consolidate their data along with each of their suppliers, and upload it direct to ChannelAdvisor. In turn those consolidated quantities would be sent to various channels and markets they were selling their products.
The solution we recommended for them was to create a utility which would automate access to supplier data by checking each site regularly. Supplier data would be downloaded and consolidated into a local database. Periodically the consolidated supplier data would be sent to ChannelAdvisor for distribution their sales channels.
In order to accomplish their objectives, we implemented a variety of technologies for this project to comply with the various web service specifications for each vendor. The protocols used include HTTPS, XML-RPC, REST, FTP & FTPS, and ODBC.
Separate modules were created for each supplier isolating each process and implementing the necessary protocols and methods to accomplish the task. Each process runs separately based on user selectable intervals. All processes are synchronized to avoid interfering with each other.
Back ground processing with a low priority was implemented with one supplier to comply with their load balancing and volume processing issues. It improved overall application performance and responsiveness with their integration.
We created the Vendor Synch Utility which operates automatically 24/7/365 without any need for human intervention. Manual overrides are included for each process, in the event it becomes necessary to execute the process before the next scheduled interval occurs.
The Vendor Synch Utility can do more for them in an hour than they could do manually in an entire day. Many of the benefits they experience with this utility are only possible due to the sophisticated programming and automation employed for this project.
A Default supplier module was added to help with purchasing and processing of orders. Having the latest cost for each item helps determine which supplier to place the orders for the lowest cost possible.
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