Challenge:

Our client, Santa Clara Systems, wanted to migrate from a custom built Visual Fox Pro 6 inventory management system to a more scalable and reliable application. They did not like the off-the-shelf technology they reviewed and understood the VFP application was slowing down their business process and causing double entry of sales and quoting information.

The client had four primary Business Goals:

  1. Upgrade their existing system to accommodate multiple users real-time
  2. Automatically publish portions of their selected inventory to an external customer portal and public website
  3. Automate redundant and cumbersome data export/import tasks to free manpower for more important roles
  4. Integrate their inventory and QuickBooks sales history to reduce time needed to perform customer quotes

Solution:

Finale Business Solutions worked closely with the client to document their business process and identify gaps in their existing application that could be automated. We also worked to document the data structure in the legacy Visual Fox Pro application to better understand future requirements.

Because of tight budget constraints, it was very important that the client had flexibility in the schedule and planning of resource usage. Thus, much of the team saw the project through its entire life cycle while others were provided for short-term assignments when subject matter experts were needed.

The final solution was a migration off the Fox Pro application to a multi-user Java desktop client and the use of XML Documents and a QuickBooks integration tool to link inventory items in the database to a real-time sales history, item pricing and quoting tool. This, along with the Integration to an SQL backend, allowed for scheduled tasks and deeper integration into other 3rd party applications.

Outcome:

The final solution was in place and operational in 3 months. Their website and online portal were updated automatically everyday and new parts and pricing published every night. Since the new systems went online they have increased their sales by 5 times and been able to keep down their manpower requirements by automating key tasks.

Technical Environment:


Microsoft Windows 2000/2003 Server
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft Visual Fox Pro 6
QuickBooks Professional
QuickBooks SDK

Inventory Management

Inventory Management integration with external website

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Custom application development modeled after detailed workflow process and DEA regulatory procedures

Electronics

Custom shopping cart prototype and demo application for electronic wallet proof of concept

Entertainment

Drivers to a prototype USB device and website for a large entertainment company

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