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Case Study: Apex Industrial Automation's Custom Platform for B2B/B2C Integration

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Case Study: Apex Industrial Automation's Custom Platform for B2B/B2C Integration

Overview

Apex Industrial Automation, a leading distributor in the industrial automation sector, faced a significant challenge: creating a robust, integrated platform capable of serving both B2B and B2C markets. The platform needed to integrate seamlessly with several systems and provide real-time data to enhance operational efficiency and customer satisfaction. This case study explores how the custom platform developed by our team addressed these requirements.

Challenges

Complex Integration Requirements:

  • Integration with the Prophet 21 ERP system for real-time inventory, pricing, and order processing.
  • Live inventory updates from multiple manufacturers such as Dodge, Baldor, Martin Sprocket, B&B Manufacturing, Browning, and Leeson.
  • Integration with AD eContent Services for product taxonomy and attributes.

Multi-Functional Platform Needs:

  • An e-commerce website for B2C customers.
  • A B2B portal for existing clients, providing customer-specific pricing and order management.
  • An asset management application for client inventory management, including real-time tracking by department.

Comprehensive Content Management:

  • A full-featured CMS to manage website content, including pages, videos, news, photo galleries, and products.
  • Automation of background tasks using Hangfire.

Shipping and Logistics Integration:

  • Real-time integration with UPS for freight and regular shipments.

Client Website Creation:

  • Enabling Apex's clients to create their own B2B and B2C websites utilizing a global parts catalog with comprehensive taxonomy information.

Extensive Product Catalog:

  • Managing a catalog of over 3 million parts, ensuring accurate and up-to-date product information.

Solution

Our development team created a custom platform that seamlessly integrates all required functionalities, ensuring a unified and efficient user experience.

Prophet 21 Integration

Inventory Management:

  • Real-time synchronization with the Prophet 21 system to display accurate inventory levels across all sales channels.

Customer-Level Pricing:

  • Integration to provide real-time, customer-specific pricing, enhancing the B2B customer experience.

Order Processing:

  • Orders placed through the platform are instantly sent to the Prophet 21 system, streamlining order fulfillment and reducing processing time.

Invoice and Order Tracking:

  • Real-time updates on invoices and order statuses directly from Prophet 21, ensuring customers and internal teams are always informed.

Manufacturer Inventory Integration

Live Inventory Feeds:

  • Direct integration with manufacturers such as Dodge, Baldor, Martin Sprocket, B&B Manufacturing, Browning, and Leeson, allowing the platform to reflect current stock levels and availability.

AD eContent Services Integration

Product Data Management:

  • Leveraging AD eContent Services to automatically update product taxonomy and attributes, ensuring the product catalog is always up-to-date and accurate.

E-Commerce and B2B Portals

E-Commerce Website:

  • A user-friendly interface for B2C customers to browse products, check inventory, and make purchases with ease.

B2B Portal:

  • A dedicated portal for existing clients providing tailored pricing, order history, and inventory management tools.

Asset Management Application

Inventory Management for Clients:

  • An integrated app allowing clients to manage their assets and inventory efficiently, directly linked to their account on the platform. This includes real-time asset management tracking by department, providing detailed insights into departmental usage and stock levels.

Content Management System (CMS)

Full-Featured CMS:

  • An intuitive CMS allowing Apex Industrial Automation to manage website content effortlessly. This includes pages, videos, news articles, photo galleries, and product listings.

Automation with Hangfire:

  • Utilization of Hangfire for automating daily background tasks such as data synchronization and report generation.

Shipping and Logistics

UPS Integration:

  • Real-time integration with UPS for calculating shipping costs, tracking shipments, and managing freight logistics.

Client Website Creation

Custom Website Functionality:

  • The platform empowers Apex’s clients to create their own B2B and B2C websites, utilizing a global parts catalog that includes comprehensive taxonomy information. This feature enhances the value proposition for Apex's clients by providing them with a powerful tool to reach their customers directly.

Extensive Product Catalog

Over 3 Million Parts:

  • The platform supports a comprehensive product catalog with over 3 million parts, ensuring customers have access to a wide range of products with accurate and detailed information.

Results

Enhanced Efficiency:

  • The platform significantly reduced manual processes, allowing for quicker order processing and inventory management.

Improved Customer Experience:

  • Real-time data integration and personalized pricing improved the customer experience, particularly for B2B clients.

Scalability:

  • The modular design of the platform allows for easy scalability and integration of additional features or partners in the future.

Operational Transparency:

  • Real-time updates and comprehensive management tools provided better transparency for both internal teams and customers.

Client Empowerment:

  • By enabling clients to create their own B2B and B2C websites, Apex enhanced its service offering, providing clients with tools to expand their digital presence and improve their own customer interactions.

Comprehensive Asset Tracking:

  • Clients benefited from real-time asset management tracking by department, enabling detailed monitoring and optimization of asset usage.

Conclusion

The custom platform developed for Apex Industrial Automation successfully integrated multiple complex systems into a cohesive and efficient solution. This not only enhanced the operational capabilities of Apex Industrial Automation but also significantly improved the customer experience for both B2B and B2C markets.

Additionally, the ability for clients to create their own websites using the global parts catalog further empowered them and added substantial value to Apex's service offerings. The project stands as a testament to the power of tailored technological solutions in addressing specific business needs and driving growth.



REAL TIME PRICING AND INVENTORY
Prophet21 Real Time Pricing
Pull real-time pricing from Prophet21 for your B2C and B2B customers all in one website. The system provides a Business to Consumer e-commerce store, along side a Business To Business customer specific pricing portal. When you change a price in your ERP system, the website will display the new price in real-time.

The website will display your real-time inventory that is stored in Prophet21. As an add-on, we offer integration to Manufacturers for real time inventory such as Toshiba, Dodge, Baldor, Weg and many more.
PRODUCT ATTRIBUTE FILTERING
Prophet21 Attribute Filtering
Provide powerful attribute filtering for your parts listed on the website. Consumers can filter through millions of parts with a few clicks, and keeps your customers engaged.

We also offer integration into Ad E-content for auto population of product attributes.
DETAILED ATTRIBUTE DATA
Prophet21 Detailed Attribute Data
Our platform allows you to create attributes, specifications, documents, and multiple images for all your parts. We also offer integration to Ad E-Content which will populate these automatically for you.

The assets are stored directly on your website, so this enhances search engine optimization for your website.
MANAGE YOUR ENTIRE WEBSITE
Prophet21 CMS System
Our powerful platform allows you to manage your entire websites including content management, blogs, news, events, videos, documents, customers, customer locations, companies, design, products, orders, and much more.

Assign parts to your customers or use our powerful import tool. Our system includes a powerful background task manager using Hangfire, so your task manager runs in the background.

Share data with our API that connects your website data into any APP.
CUSTOMER LEVEL DEPARTMENTS
Prophet21 CMS System
Our system allows you to manage departments that appear on your website. This can be done at the customer level. So when a customer logs into your portal, only their departments will be shown.

Assign parts to any department, and they will show up on your website in real-time.

Add as many departments, sub-departments as you wish. The system handles unlimited amount of departments. Add pictures for your departments right from your desktop. Our CMS system can be accessed on any browser in the world.
ATTRIBUTE FILTERING
Prophet21 CMS System
Our platform allows you to add attributes for your products. This allows customers to filter and find products quickly.

You can integrate your website to get attribute data, taxonomy, images, and documents automatically. Those assets with be stored on your website which will help with search engine optimization.



"From a Google search to a successful partnership, Visualwebsite.com has made our new website capabilities an outstanding experience. Their custom website designs and easily maintainable capabilities allow companies such as ourselves to create, maintain and enhance our website as we grow - both physically and more importantly with new ideas to better serve our customers with B2B sites. Visualwebsite.com is available 24/7 to assist and answer any questions we might have. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them and we look forward to a long lasting working relationship as we continue to grow. I would highly recommend any small or large company to seek out their services."


Ryan Watts
Apex Industrial Automation LLC


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