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Greenbox

A cloud based ERP system built for Tricord Ltd to help transform their fulfilment business

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Cloud Based

This project sits nicely in the cloud

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Database Syncronisation

Automated syncing between databases

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E-Commerce

Selling goods and services online

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PHP

The web's favourite programming language

Tricord Ltd. run a mailing and client warehousing and fulfilment business in Lisburn. Frustrated by the compromises forced on them by big off-the-shelf ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) systems in 2009 they approached us to see if we could build something better. Together over the following six years we built ‘Greenbox’, a browser based replacement for their existing desktop software.

Tackling the problem

Tricord were keenly aware of the pain points in their business caused by the weakness of their incumbent software and as such were instrumental in the planning and design of the software. Our approach began with a series of planning workshops where we sketched workflows, process diagrams and wireframes to quickly iterate over a number of solutions for the system. We approached the development in a collaborative manner, with face-to-face meetings and conference calls essential to really understand the evolving problems the software was trying to solve.

With such a large project a trial based development approach was commissioned. We knew the importance of getting working software into the hands of the users early so we began development with an agile approach of quick releases and constant feedback. Often entire screens or features had to be rethought but this happened early in the development process and before a huge amount of investment.

The software is still being actively developed with features added on a daily basis.

Challenges

Back in 2009 all existing ERP proposals Tricord had considered used traditional client-server windows software. We were the first to prove that an ERP system could be built to run within a web browser without sacrificing the integrations or speed expected of such systems. On the contrary we showed how browser based software brings many of the features of web browsing to enterprise software, such as…

  • Print anything
  • Open in a new tab
  • Share any screen by copying and pasting the link to colleagues
  • Fast and “set up free” remote working

A key client for Tricord is the Royal Lifesaving Society for whom they run the www.lifesaversdirect.co.uk mail ordering and e-commerce business. Integrating with a website was not something which in their experience other ERP systems did well. It was a key goal for the new system that the content could be managed on the e-commerce website with speed and flexibility.

Our approach was to completely rebuild the website on our platform and use bi-directional database replication to allow a webserver to stay in real-time sync with the back end office server. Everything on both systems is up-to-date within seconds of changes being made in the other system. This allows for accurate stock levels, instant order retrieval, real-time status updates and an overall simpler process to updating the website.

Greenbox has transformed the way Tricord manage their business. Pain points in the business are reduced, everything is tailored around their staff and the workflows that work best for them. This has allowed Tricord to improve their bottom line by making better stock purchasing decisions and increasing overall efficiency. The solidity of the platform has built trust and respect from the Royal Lifesaving Society who now entrust other data processing aspects of their organisation to Greenbox and the Tricord team.