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Gulf Oil Marine

Order Management System for a Big Marine Lubricant Supplier

The Client

The client is a young but rapidly growing China supplier of marine lubricant products and services. Started as a small start-up, in 2-year period the company aggressively grown its network and today operates worldwide serving major ocean fleet forwarders.

"We see their programming team is quite skilled. We really appreciate the web development services that we have with Azoft. We really have many projects together, because we see their programming team is reliable, so the programmers are basically keen at providing on-time service and also understanding the business." — JC Lambert, Gulf Oil Marine Ltd.

The challenge

While the client was expanding its global presence and operations, communication within the team continued to be carried out via email. Email correspondence was used to process all customer orders, track deliveries, follow relationship with logistics agents and shipping partners, deals with oil & lubricant product suppliers, etc. Very soon with growth of network and customer base, such method of communication and order processing became very inefficient and time-consuming.

The scope

To improve situation client decided to deploy an internal order management system that would provide a reliable tool and easy-to-use instrument for supporting its operations. After analysis solutions offered by the market client decided to develop its own custom system.

The solution

Client had an idea of system it wanted, but there was a gap in technical documentation for the project. We recommended translating business requirements into technical cases, which resulted in a well-specified documentation that then followed to the implementation team.

After analysis of possible implementation tools, we recommended to build system on Drupal.

The deciding factors were:

  • Drupal is a powerful open-source CMS framework with a large number of add-ons and extensions that are easy to integrate while do not make the final system complex
  • Clients's next goals was to integrate the new Order Management System with ERP and add to it CRM functionality for planning and carrying out customer care activities. So, system should have provided a flexible architecture to allow that integration.
  • By using Drupal framework project timeline reduced by 2 months which helped save client's budget for this project and enabled to implement additional functionality

The client has a very interesting model of supplying its services to customers and partners. This model comprises several delivering schemes and includes several levels of internal order processing by client's staff. Moreover, client splits its operations in geographical zones when each zone can include up to several countries, has its own business specifics, delivery partners, billing rules, etc.

All this logic should have been reflected in Order Management System while the system had to be very easy to use for daily work by client's staff. Customer officers should have been able to easily create and fill in new orders, as well as see orders they need to process, orders that require their intervention, approval, update, delivery, invoicing, etc. Management board needed an instrument that would give clear reporting on order processing statistics: orders that were canceled at the stage of negotiating the price, orders rejected by the customer after delivery was done, etc. This statistics holds vital information for the client to improve its business and quality of customer service.

One of the important aspects was security. System contained information about customers, partners, financials, and later was planned to integrate with client's ERP. Therefore, security aspect was considered very seriously and special tools were implemented to provide external and internal security checks and control on several levels.

Besides order management, the system include several minor modules for storing and maintaining client's product catalog information and technical documentation about customer's vessels.

The Outcome

The client successfully deployed the new Order Management System and improved its operational efficiency. Effective reporting tool helps client's management to set new business goals and think about strategies for their implementation. As the next step client plans to integrate the system with currently used ERP and incorporate CRM functionality to make its customer care service even better.

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