DirectBuy came to us needing to manage 1.2 million SKUs with updates from hundreds of vendors being delivered daily. Couple this with legacy technology that could not adequately support growing business needs and 150 showroom franchisees with varying needs; the challenge was truly monumental.
The legacy system lacked the capability to store product data in a multi-faceted manner for a diverse set of consumer products ranging from lawn equipment to televisions. Multi-faceted product information was viewed as key to achieving the vision of the “next generation” web site that included drastically improved search so customers could find exactly what they needed. The vision included world-class standards for product display and modern search with attribute-based browsing.
DirectBuy’s 45-person client catalog management team had an excellent understanding of the challenge of delivering search and product attribute information to customers. Due to legacy limitations, they were using procedural workarounds to supplement the shortcomings of an aged legacy application. The experience of the client team in working to overcome these challenges, despite legacy limitations, positioned them to contribute to the design of the new solution.
Legacy application with poor data management.
Magenic’s first step was to understand design goals for the new web site, particularly regarding search, faceting, and product representation. These needs would drive the design for the new product master interface. We worked closely with the data entry and client management teams to further refine the vision, ensuring that feedback on usability and workflow were closely integrated to the product master.
We proposed a rich-client solution based on Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), providing a more robust interface than the outdated web-based solution, while deploying improved usability features and a totally revamped product master. Additionally, Magenic delivered integration with DirectBuy’s ERP system and a strategy for a seamless cut-over to the new web site. The key wins of the project were delivery of a completely re-envisioned product master, an effective migration strategy, business continuity through change, and lowered costs for in-house staffing.
Innovative ecommerce & refined search solution.
Magenic created an ecommerce web site that utilized an innovative approach to catalog and product master management. This ecommerce solution delivered a front-end that included a powerful faceted search and search refinement capability underpinned by complex but manageable taxonomy and metadata structures. The solution simplified the task of managing a diverse array of SKUs while the new search functionality yielded extremely positive feedback from their user base.
Easy-to-maintain SKUs, refined search capability.