An EdgeLink Database Case Study

Increasing Efficiency, Innovation, and Customer Service Through A Database Overhaul

 

database overhaul

The Client

A leading manufacturer and distributor of doors and windows with over 21,000 employees across 24 countries.

 

The Challenge

Our end client had previously attempted and failed to develop a product information management system (PIM) that could act as an all-encompassing catalog for their customer base of architects, builders, designers, and large retail home improvement stores. With over 100,000 records associated with their products, there were millions of different combinations of every size, shape, color, and style of door and window. A massive dataset, the previous system failed by its inability to provide accurate information for customers and also was ineffective in giving management insights into their current products.

A new system needed to be developed that could give customers access to the right product information in an easy, efficient, and quick manner. To achieve a smooth customer experience, the PIM would also have to be tailored to multiple countries with different languages. If accomplished, this task would serve to curb the competition that was exploiting gaps in our client’s system and provide leadership with clearer product innovation opportunities.

 

The Solution

The EdgeLink team of experts determined that a multi-pronged approach was necessary to best achieve the goals determined by the client, and took action immediately. An SQL to NoSQL database transformation was conducted to set the foundation for the process. Then, the information contained inside that database was converted into multiple languages. From here, a new API was created from scratch, designed to sit between the applications and database. Finally, our team reverse-engineered inherited code to decipher what business requirements existed but were never previously documented.

In addition to the above tasks, our consultants also took on a variety of ongoing responsibilities essential to the overall project. This included helping with DevOps in automating development processes, assisting with the building of servers, and securing the website by mitigating hacks and cyberattacks. Equally important, our consultants placed test, development, and production environments in sync to ensure technical consistency across the board.

 

The Result

All database overhaul goals were successfully met and within nine months a modern, easy-to-use PIM was implemented for the client. The new system now allows for more effective communication with the customer base while simultaneously adding additional opportunities for innovation. For example, if a major retail home improvement store wants to order a batch of our client’s products, a spreadsheet can simply be exported from the PIM and imported into that store’s website. Previously, a Developer was needed to laboriously pull the information out of the database.

Along with a large increase in efficiency, the new PIM has been subsequently used to develop a user-friendly kiosk system. The improved database also feeds our client’s R&D division with the information necessary to create new products while also maintaining an absolutely accurate public-facing website. Bolstered by this valuable asset, our client has realized the growth and success that was desired from the project’s beginning.