If you’ve ever ordered electronics online from Amazon.com, Buy.com, TigerDirect.com, or other major online retailers then there’s a very good chance that Archbrook Laguna was the company responsible for fulfilling your order. However, there would be nothing about the ordering process, packaging, or post- delivery customer services that would indicate Archbrook Laguna’s presence because they execute the process conforming to very specific vendor specifications – and it all appears just as it would if it was coming from the company you ordered the product from.
While invisible to the consumer, Archbrook Laguna does an enormous amount of work behind the scenes to process each order and to deliver each product. They rely on multiple information systems that collect, track, and communicate business data so that products are received from manufacturers and entered into inventory; orders are received from their retail customers; orders are picked, packaged, labeled and shipped; and all post-delivery customer service and returns are managed effectively.
Archbrook Laguna’s staff used to have to log into multiple disparate systems (starting with EDI, then order management, then inventory and warehouse management systems) to get information to answer common customer questions regarding order status, inventory availability, and shipments.
It was the responsibility of Bill Carson, IT Director at Archbrook Laguna, to find a way to connect these disparate systems into a cohesive business application. To make matters worse, their existing Enterprise Resources Planning (ERP),
Warehouse Management Systems (WMS), and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) systems were developed by different publishers and were written in very different technologies. Connecting these systems was a colossal endeavor.
As invisible as Archbrook Laguna is to consumers receiving products from their warehouse is the mission-critical middleware that e2b enterprise developed to connect Archbrook Laguna’s separate systems. Dubbed internally as the “Crossroads Interface,” the custom e2b enterprise middleware is the hub of Archbrook Laguna’s business management application connecting consumer orders placed with their retail customers to their own internal inventory and warehouse management system and downstream to manufacturing suppliers with backoffice accounting integration in their ERP system.
The e2b difference
Carson was referred to e2b enterprise several years ago after their previous partner failed to implement their ERP system. Carson was impressed with e2b’s understanding of each system and how to design and build the Crossroads Interface to connect each system despite different underlying technologies.
He was also very appreciative of e2b enterprise’s professionalism and demeanor. “When you are in the midst of these monster projects you are living with a lot of stress and pressure as well as dealing with a multitude of problems,” explains Carson. “The e2b team was very easy to work with, always had a positive attitude, and brought honesty and integrity to every challenge we faced.”
Working against a very aggressive timeline, e2b had to redesign and redevelop non-functioning customizations made to their internal ERP system by their former development partner while designing and developing new integrations to their operational systems which included EDI for electronic transactions with customers and suppliers as well as an extensive interface for their massive Manhattan Associates inventory and warehouse management system which was paramount to their business. This integration enabled information to pass from one system to another and provided streamlined access to information across each application.
In addition to designing and developing the Crossroads Interface, e2b enterprise provided impressive performance gains for Archbrook Laguna in terms of processing larger transaction volumes in a fraction of the time. As it was configured, the ERP system and Manhattan Associates WMS system could only process 1,500 shipments per hour compared to 50,000 shipments per hour after the e2b enterprise modifications were deployed.
Crossroads Version 2.0
In 2010, Archbrook Laguna decided to replace their ERP system with Oracle eBusiness Suite. Faced with another aggressive implementation timeline, Carson again turned to e2b enterprise.
“The Crossroads Interface e2b enterprise developed for us was the missing piece in our operational environment,” explains Carson. “It serves as a traffic cop for the exchange between the various systems and we needed the same integration in place when we brought in the new Oracle ERP system. We knew we needed to have e2b involved in the Oracle project because they absolutely nailed the first implementation, understood the background for the project, and had the skills and resources required to design and test the new integration.”
e2b once again went to work for Archbrook Laguna working in tandem with the internal team led by Carson as well as Oracle and other system consultants and SQL DBA specialists to ensure that everything connected and communicated with the revised Crossroads Interface.
In addition, a custom cash receipts processing application was developed by e2b enterprise allowing Archbrook Laguna to automate the payment of tens of thousands of invoices with a single check. This saved an enormous amount of time and streamlined the payment tracking process.
Once again e2b enterprise rose to the challenge in the face of a complicated system configuration and tight deadlines providing Archbrook Laguna with the ability to get the most out of their systems ensuring that they were up and running well before their busy season.
“The Crossroads Interface and customizations e2b enterprise developed provide us with greatly enhanced performance, much-needed flexibility, and helps us effectively and easily manage our enterprise business systems,” said Carson. “We couldn’t be happier with the results and we will continue to leverage e2b enterprise as our business needs change. They simply excel at custom software development – especially when faced with complex integrations and tight deadlines where there’s absolutely no room for error.”
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