What was the scope of their involvement?
It was a significant project, including not only the software side of things but also creating all product content like descriptions and photos for 30,000 items. Once we decided on the Magento platform, Rave Infosys' team basically provided all of our client customizations. In addition to design and development, Rave Infosys came to the table with suggestions on what we needed to change.
We worked with one project manager from Rave Infosys, and their owner was also involved. I don't know how many programmers were assigned to the job, and I'm glad that I was shielded from that since I only cared about the work getting done. Rave Infosys also provides ongoing support.
They created integration between our backend database and the Magento system. As a B2B company, each one of our customers can have a different pricing tier for every different product. There is a lot of integration in order for them to have live information about our different inventories across multiple warehouses. This is accomplished through live calls to our backend, which are fed to the Magento platform.
We have 15 warehouse locations, and we don't stock all our products in each one. Because of this, there is an additional layer between the shopping cart and the actual checkout, which we call the "decision page". It's the place in which we determine the best way for shipping to a customer who is expecting the delivery during the next day, based on product availability and customer location. We go through a number of gyrations, telling customers which items will come from the primary location and which ones will ship from the next closest one. The client then has the option of placing items in the back order until they can get them from the primary warehouse. There is a lot of logic behind determining what a customer should get and when, as well as what they'll have to pay for.
How did you come to work with Rave Infosys?
We started with the typical RFP [request for proposal] and spoke to around 11 companies. Rave Infosys was the best fit and also located in our general neighborhood. We liked their services, understanding, and willingness to provide Agile development. We didn't wait to create a document, but instead had immediate conversations with Rave Infosys' team. Our RFP gave us a 10,000-foot view of what we were trying to accomplish. The old site was at least functional, giving us something to look at.
I liked the culture and methodology used by Rave Infosys' team. Many other companies we consulted wanted to have a six-week study and draw the whole thing up. They wanted to employ change management and charge us every time we wanted to move a field from the left to the right. I didn't want to get bogged down into that level of change management. Rave Infosys allowed us to define the 10,000-foot level, create some basic wireframes and logic, and talk until we'd evolved the platform to where it needed to be.
How much have you invested with Rave Infosys?
The cost of Rave Infosys' work has been between $50,000 and $200,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Rave Infosys in January 2015. We continue to roll out quarterly updates on the site's functionalities.