Packaging Environmental came to Absolute with a specific requirement - a custom Adobe Commerce Cloud site tailored to their needs. While their original platform, VisualSoft, had served them well for some time, like many legacy systems, it began to show its age and was now hindering their business growth.
They had clear objectives for the migration. Firstly, they aimed to port all functionality and data from their existing platform without compromising on the integrity of their data. This was crucial to ensure continuity for their customers.
Secondly, they sought to introduce a bespoke frontend that would mirror the look and feel of their existing website, thereby preserving the brand's identity while benefiting from the advanced features of Commerce Cloud.
Finally, there was the need to integrate the website with their on-premise Sage50 ERP system. This presented a significant challenge due to the lack of API integration capabilities. However, the ERP system is pivotal to their operations, handling crucial tasks such as listing new products, managing prices & stock, storing customer records, and powering their order fulfilment process.
ERP Integration: One of the primary challenges faced during this build was the inherent nature of Sage50 being an on-premise solution. Unlike cloud-based ERPs that often come equipped with ready-to-use APIs for easy integrations, Sage50, in its traditional setup, lacked this capability. To establish a seamless flow of data between the two systems – be it product listings, stock levels, or customer records – a custom solution was required. Although there are a few businesses that provide solutions to integrate Sage50 with other online systems, most use their own data centres and servers to transmit data. Given Packaging Environmental's stringent GDPR obligations to safeguard user data, they were uneasy about solutions that stored duplicate data on third-party servers.
Working closely with Hyperext, we installed software on their on-premise server that doesn’t require any external data centre or server to transmit the data in and out of Sage50.
We then implanted a bespoke module to integrate with Sage50 using the Hyperext REST API. Whether it's listing new products, adjusting prices, or managing stock, the newly implemented solution ensures both platforms remained synchronised, enhancing efficiency and accuracy in all business operations.
Website Frontend: For Packaging Environmental, the redesign wasn't just about aesthetics or functionality, it was about preserving the essence of their brand. The challenge lay in revamping the website while ensuring that familiar elements remained intact.
Adobe Commerce and VisualSoft have distinct architectures and functionalities meaning certain features on VisualSoft might not have direct counterparts on Commerce Cloud, and vice versa. This often meant finding innovative solutions to recreate specific functionalities or to improve the user experience.
For instance, the inclusion of a 'Compatible Products' feature and the capability to add varied quantities of a product directly from the product category page, unlike the predecessor site, which permitted adding only a single unit from the product category page.
The new design also introduced icons on product pages. These icons enable users to quickly identify a product’s eco-credentials, educating the customer about the products they’re buying from a sustainability perspective.
The end result was a website that was both familiar and refreshing, and introduced new features that not only enhanced the user experience but also aligned with the brand's sustainable ethos.
The highly detailed specifications and advanced capabilities of the Sage50/Hyperext API will enable automated system optimisation. This will allow the Customer Service team to divert their attention to other vital tasks, such as customer retention initiatives. The application will streamline the process by automating the influx of website orders into Sage50's 'Sales Order List', including:
Client Success Metrics:
Through meticulous planning and rigorous testing, we were able to help Packaging Environmental deliver an enriched user experience while improving their business processes.
The transition to Adobe Commerce Cloud, coupled with the bespoke integration with Sage50, has not only modernised the digital presence of Packaging Environmental but has also fortified its position in the market, ready to face future challenges head-on.