Buy versus build is a discussion that comes up a lot in the IT and management field, especially if you are a consulting firm like Allegro. The problem with "buy" is that it is never that easy. The question should really be "integrate versus invent" as no matter how cookie cutter your new IT application, it will have to be connected with the rest of your IT infrastructure to truly be of any value to your business.
This article from InformationWeek looks at the hidden impact in losing technical expertise for companies that too blindly pursue an "always buy" mentality. While you do not want to painfully build everything yourself, you will need that expertise to skillfully integrate any bought IT system with the rest of your business infrastructure and then extend it to reflect and enhance the unique benefits that your company offers over your competitors.
This is why we at Allegro have turned to open source applications such as the world leading Magento eCommerce platform. Your "buy" choice can start with a baseline Magento installation that has all the core eCommerce functionality necessary. Supplement that with the "build" addition of targeted modules and custom enhancements and integration, whether from your internal staff or quality consulting firms such as Allegro. This type of strong integration and customization is where companies really stand out.
Allegro celebrated 20 years of business in June of 2013. It has been a long journey with many changes along the way. One of the latest changes is turning our attention to our own "house" and building a new website, complete with blogs such as this.
Allegro has been a partner with SugarCRM almost since their first released version. As we have grown together, we have gained great expertise in helping our clients succeed with this world-class customer relations management solution.
I hope you read along as we share thoughts, best practices, tips and tricks we have learned over the years.
To learn more about the OneSource ERP extensions available, select them below.
Advanced Search +
Increase Magento’s normal search capabilities by providing advanced search. Customers will be able to easily and quickly search based on category, product attributes, terms in the product descriptions, and more.
Amazon Integration +
This extension integrates your e-commerce information with the leading Amazon storefront and allows for simple management of product listings with automated synchronization of stock levels, pricing, and item details.
OneSource supports the normal ERP pricing functionality that gives you the ability to provide quantity-based price breaks. The assortments extension expands upon this by allowing you to define groups in your ERP where the combined quantity of all items in any assortment group is used to provide quantity price breaks for all the items in that group.
Complicated Shipping, Splits, Extra Warehouses +
The complex shipping customization adds shipping rules to support multiple warehouses and charge delivery rates from each warehouse origin. Break customer orders down by product group. The extension supports scenarios such as placing an order that has products shipping separately or from different locations. This type of order can become two separate orders in the ERP yet allow the customer to pay for them together.
Configurable Products +
If you sell multiple products that only differ in size, color or some other characteristic, you need the Configurable Products extension. This module will allow you to display a single product to the customer and then let them select the particular attributes that differentiate between variations to get exactly what they need.
Set up coupons to support promotions, encourage new customers, reward repeat customers, and more. This module allows the setup of a variety of coupons and discounts for your customers.
Data Feed to POS System +
The POS data feed extension allows for order entry outside of your e-commerce website. For OneSource clients that have brick and mortar stores, you can have your catalog and inventory information available in your POS system and upload orders back to your ERP through your e-commerce storefront.
Featured Products +
The Featured Products extension allows you to highlight items on your homepage and grab the attention of your customers. Whether you choose best sellers or clearance items, help move more product by placing them front and center of your website.
Google Analytics Tuning +
Google Analytics is a powerful tool for managing your web presence. This service can help you keep your site tuned for optimal reporting. A few of the features we will optimize are eCommerce tracking, ghost spam filters, and custom views.
Password Writeback +
Normally, the OneSource end user either manages their password completely on their own or it is managed for them through the ERP. With this customization, gain the best of both worlds. Update your ERP each time a user changes their login password.
Purchase History with Reorder +
Go beyond the ability to review past orders and invoices with Purchase History. This customization provides your customers with the ability to see all items purchased in the past month, year, or more; along with details. The customer can then easily add desired items to their current shopping cart.
Quick Order +
For B2B customers or those that know your part numbers, Quick Order provides an easy method to rapidly enter a new order. Customers can easily enter part numbers with a helpful auto-fill capability to ensure accuracy, review the price, and indicated the desired quantity. Taking new orders in seconds will help turn good customers into great customers.
Salesman/Manager Module (Basic and Advanced) +
This extension allows salesmen or managers to log in and place orders as any given customer. Whether needed for regional managers to watch over their sales teams or for sales people to assist clients in their territory, this customization will give managers oversite into the orders of those under their responsibility. The advanced version offers even more oversight features such as the ability for reports across customers.
Store Locator +
The Store Locator extension allows customers to easily find the nearest retail location or dealer right from your website. Whether they are your own brick-and-mortar stores or the locations of retailers that carry your products, help your customers find you quickly and easily.
Ultimate Marketing Page Sliders +
This extension takes your e-commerce marketing beyond the typical slider. Have even more impact with multiple sliders and sidebars with promotional images. Using spreadsheets, you can manage your own product lists to include in specific promotions.
Up Sell, Cross Sell, Related Products +
Items in the ERP can be associated with each other as either “Related” or “Similar”. This information can then be used to drive the upsell, cross sell, or related items features of your e-commerce site.