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Reducing business complexity with a custom, automated quote system

As their business grew, 2-90 Signs knew that their current order and quote system was slowing them down and creating unnecessary complexities. Read the case study below to learn how a scalable, custom, automated system reduced complexities and increased efficiencies.

2-90 Signs are the pioneers in the wayfinding industry, with an extensive line of long-lasting, modular products that are designed and manufactured in the United States to the highest quality. We offer turnkey, regulation compliant wayfinding solutions from concept and design to installation, maintenance and repair.

The Value

The new system has been an enormous success in driving costs down and increasing sales by simplifying and automating the ordering process.  With the implementation of this project, 2-90 Signs has a reliable and accurate quote and order entry system. The team is able to turn quotes around faster, while also reducing the number of invalid orders due to the lack of guidelines and rules in the previous system. By eliminating the ambiguity present in their old system, quote specialists clearly understand capabilities and the new system creates a checks and balance system for that process as well. The infrastructure also allows for orders to be easily found and repeated for reoccurring orders. Since the orders are now in a consistent template, communication and customer support has improved dramatically.

The Challenge

For 2-90 signs, success relied upon the ability to create custom pricing for each order they received. As their business has grown, their pricing engine, which lived in Excel, needed to grow with them. Their current program did not allow for every custom situation, and left quite a bit of ambiguity for pricing specialists to make decisions on their own. The system also didn’t have guidelines or restrictions, so quote specialists approved designs that were not ideal projects for the company.  2-90 signs came to OST looking for an updated custom pricing system in a modern system that could evolve over the coming years as their business grows. The project had to involve new internal workflows, a system that could support a custom pricing formula, validation rules, and role-based capabilities. The project also needed to consolidate 2-90 Signs customer management system with the order quoting system, while making it simple for IT to support. Overall, they were looking to speed up the custom quote process, while also adding in guidelines and reliability for internal processes to reduce costly mistakes.

The Solution

The OST application development teams took the desktop-based, excel system and created a web-based system hosted on Azure PAAS contents, which allows them to reduce infrastructure management, cost, and offers simple scaling as they continue to grow. The new order entry system is built with flexible, hierarchical quoting in a template order ticket. This allows for consistent communication and pricing throughout the process all the way to the factory floor. The new web-based system can also support rules and guidelines, which restricts projects that can’t be supported, but still allows for flexibility and customization which is an important part of their business model. Automated reports are also created for visibility into order statuses.

To help take the load off of 2-90 Signs IT, the OST application development support team manages the system for 2-90 signs. The team updates the system bi-weekly, and offers proactive issue and performance tracking to ensure the system rules smoothly and consistently.

Solutions

Tech Specs

AngularJS / ES6

HTML5

Bootstrap / SASS

ASP .NET WebAPI (C#)

Roslyn C# compiler-as-a-service

SQL Server

Azure Web Sites

Azure Storage

Azure SQL Database

Azure VM (report processing)

Application Insights (issue and performance tracking)