Order management system – Web applications
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T. L. Killi’s Quality Cleaning Machines & Supplies, one of United Kingdom’s leading, independent suppliers of cleaning equipment and supplies.
Main branches of Killi Cleaning are situated at Sheffield and Chesterfield while workshops are located throughout Yorkshire and Derbyshire in UK. Specialized equipment is imported from different parts of the world such as America, Germany, Italy and Switzerland and distributed in the entire United Kingdom and Ireland in thousands of hotels, schools, hospitals and restaurants. Their staff consists of highly trained technicians that engage to assist in any type of cleaning needs and offer professional advice for various cleaning solutions.
Killi Order Management System (KOMS)
KOMS was aimed at designing an Order Processing system for Killi Cleaning that would provide its users with a simple yet effective interface for managing customer orders and maintaining order related data for customers and products.
A web-based, multi-user system was developed using C# and ASP.NET with back-end in Microsoft SQL Server. SQL Server Reporting Services (SSRS), a server-based reporting platform was utilized to create, manage and deliver reports with extensive customization.
Being an organization that managed and operated across different parts of the continent, the order process within Killi Cleaning involved handling nationwide customer data and cataloguing constantly evolving cleaning equipment. This process had become time consuming and cumbersome due to generation of tons of paper and involving error prone processes which required lengthy, manual approval cycles.
The requirement was to automate the entire order management process and streamline it for all Killi branches. The main objective was to reduce the overall time to execute orders and eliminate errors. Highly secure online access was required for all Killi users in order to create and process orders directly from their branches with minimum training needed to learn the system.
A web-based application was designed to create a centralized order handling system which supported the complete customer-order-payment workflow. The system was divided into various sections to enable easy and quick access to all kinds of data.
- User Management section handled different levels of user registrations and permissions.
- Customer section was used to store and retrieve customer details along with recording criteria such as discounts and credit limits.
- Once an order arrived over the phone or counter, a staff member would be able to enter the details in the Order Management section and keep it further updated with status related to processing, checks, payment and delivery.
- Based on the order and delivery related data, invoices would be handled and generated in the Invoice section.
- Additional segments included a Product Management section to upload and update all data related to cleaning equipment and supplies.
- And a Reporting System for generating collated data including customers, orders, invoices, deliveries across different branches and covering specified time periods.
As a result of the easy interface and lack of training required for the system, all users fully mastered the application front-end and new requirements along with usability suggestions were quickly reflected in Phase Two and the final version of the system. The go-live was achieved in the last week of the project in spite of key changes in the initial requirements which forced the development team to make major architecture and design changes to KOMS.
Some useful characteristics provided with the system:
- Accessible anywhere using only a web browser and internet connection (no installations/migrations are necessary)
- Independent of hardware, platforms or environmental settings
- Seamless updates and support for customizable process workflows
- Enables central administration for application and database
- Internal and external security checks based on IP addresses and control on several levels
A few screenshots of the system are shown below:
All of Killi’s customer and order information that was originally scattered is now centralized, up-to-date and instantly accessible at any of its branches.
KOMS was developed in two phases where Phase One covered the entire system designed according to original specifications. After which the system was extensively tested and explored by select Killi staff. Based on the user feedback, Phase Two involved addition of extra modules and minor customizations. The whole delivery was accomplished within a time frame of 200 days.
By using a custom-built system, Killi Cleaning was able to include several levels of order processing specific to their business operations. A few notable features were:
- Monitoring user permissions
- Supervising different branches
- Updating VAT and Delivery Charges as per specific customer groups and delivery areas
- Generating invoices and credit notes
- Centralized tracking of equipment maintenance activities
- Shared document management area
Thus, with the help of custom-built KOMS, Killi Cleaning was able to possess a product which was flexible, under their control, delivered precise results and long-term benefits to their organization. With the help of strategic planning, programming and thorough quality checks, the result was a powerful business tool adapted around their unique business goals.