Ecommerce platform delivers connection and collaboration for Brother and their trading partners
Brother Industries is a Japanese company producing a diverse range of products including label, multi-function printers, typewriters, tools, sewing machines, and many other computer-related electronics. In the world of printers the Brother printer company is known for its quality and reliability.
Brother International New Zealand has had a web presence for many years and in 2002 integrated that presence with its internal ERP systems to provide transactional capabilities with its business partners. Although that happened some time ago, that collaborative capability has only recently entered the mainstream of commercial service offerings as service oriented architectures (SOA) mature.
When it came time to take the website to the next level, the senior management of Brother had a simple vision – they wanted to be techno-savvy! In fact one of the values identified in the original RFT when Olympic took this project on board was that we would build the transactional capability for our client – so that Brother would be known as a techno-savvy company. And, for the past decade we had helped our client move towards this ambition, however it became time to elevate the game to a new level. Techno-savvy implies leadership and leadership offers a path to even greater market differentiation.
With Brother’s goals in mind, the ecommerce platform that Olympic had designed and supported for more than a decade, Trader, (which enabled a rich intranet/extranet capability) needed to evolve to include even more functionality.
One of the key goals of the new platform was to allow consumers and trading partners to connect and gain access to the services and information they needed such as invoices or stock levels. Partners could be given access to the system and the Brother web team would be able to control login and access rights of these users.
One of the main challenges that the design team faced was that there were major technological differences in the two different systems used for the front-end public site and the partner-portal. These two systems needed to merge so that trading and portal functionality could be managed within the one framework.
The Brother website was revamped so there was one technological framework that was consistently used across all aspects of the website. It was also customised to meet their needs so that existing functions were carried forward in the new framework as well as any additional functionality included.
The new website, with its flexible and rich content management system, also meant that it was easy for Brother to manage their web design ensuring it adhered to international guidelines.
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