Frazier’s Wine Merchants is a Solihull-based wine merchant with an e-commerce business. The company had previously built its operations using several disconnected IT platforms, which meant staff had to manually re-enter data between them to process orders.
Frazier’s realised that if it could automate these manual processes, it would free up time for its employees. Additionally, if it could sync the data with third-party wine listing sites, it could sell to more customers – a priority during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
Assure Cloud Consulting designed a custom serverless architecture to unite the systems, reducing the company’s order processing time by 90%.
Although a relatively small business, Frazier’s has a great reputation amongst wine lovers. The company stocks one of the UK’s largest selections of Bordeaux wines and prides itself on excellent customer service.
In 2020, the company was seeking ways to streamline its processes, as it was relying upon multiple disconnected systems for keeping track of orders and products. As a result, staff had to manually re-enter data into different systems for every order that came in.
Furthermore, Frazier’s had no way to connect its inventory and pricing data with third party websites that sell their wine. As a result, its listings on other sites were often incomplete or out of date.
Frazier’s asked Assure Cloud Consulting to design a solution that would unite the company’s on-premise Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system with its BigCommerce e-commerce site and Wine-Searcher.com, a third-party listing site.
The company were already using other Microsoft products such as Azure and Power BI and wanted to build a solution on top of their existing Azure estate.
Assure Cloud Consulting designed a low-cost serverless architecture that would automatically sync price and inventory data between the systems. Scheduled Azure Functions pull data from the on-premise ERP and push it into the cloud in Azure Table Storage. Other Functions sync this data with BigCommerce and Wine-Searcher.com through their APIs.
To sync order data, an Azure Function listens to a BigCommerce webhook. Whenever a customer places an order on the website the Function gets called which in turn adds the web order to a queue. Another Function retrieves orders from the queue and updates the on-premise ERP system.
Any change made in the ERP system would be automatically synced with BigCommerce, and vice versa. The solution can handle huge order volumes, and if a problem occurs in Frazier’s IT infrastructure, no orders are lost. What’s more, because Assure Cloud Consulting designed the system using a pay-as-you-go serverless architecture, the solution costs pennies to run and host.
Now when Frazier’s change pricing information in its ERP, the site listings are automatically updated too. It also syncs inventory levels, so customers only see products if stock is available.
By automating vital data entry processes, Frazier’s has streamlined its e-commerce processes. This improvement came during a precarious time for the business during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic.
“With pubs and restaurants being closed, we lost a lot of our B2B sales” William Frazier explains. “Fortunately, we were able to adapt by improving our visibility online. The B2C side of our business has quickly grown, which means more individual orders. Thankfully, with help from Assure Cloud Consulting, we could handle all the new orders without taking on extra staff.”
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