Allseating prides itself on a high level of customer service and extensive options for chair customization.
Given countless configurations across 50 product lines, a more flexible approach to sales and pricing was required to better serve dealers, reps, customers and Allseating staff.
A million little pieces of information
Allseating has over 50 product lines. That means hundreds of chairs, each with 800 different options for seat fabric and colour, not to mention casters, arms and frame finishes. Manually updating prices for millions of chair configurations is simply not possible.
Therefore developed an algorithm so that Allseating can generate dynamic pricing for any chair based on the square footage of seat material required for a given model (along with other relevant variables). A price update for their entire product line now takes one hour, instead of two weeks of dedicated work.
A faster, smarter interface
We designed the product configuration tool to be simple and intuitive. For example, the app displays recommended fabrics instead of showing all 800 options. The tool also uses the most popular fabric as the default for a given product, saving time for customers and sales reps alike.
A centralized approach to content management
Keep it simple
Since sales reps and dealers didn’t want a new process, we built a content management interface and designed workflows that reflected Allseating’s current business approach. After immersing ourselves in their day-to-day operations, we decided to develop a product quotation system that integrated into their existing infrastructure.
Making sure all machines speak nicely together
While a cutting edge content management system powered by Drupal is used as the central repository for Allseating product information, it still requires content feeds from various other systems to augment its data set. Integrations with Allseating’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system have played a vital role in keeping everything synchronized.
Ergonomic content strategy
Allseating is focused on one thing: building great chairs. So when it came time to structure content within the CMS, we knew that every piece of content needed to link back to seating in some way. Modelling content relations around chairs allowed us to surface contextually appropriate information for different types of site visitors.
Goodbye paper, hello mobile sales app
While on sales calls, the Allseating team requires up-to-date product materials and real-time pricing. So they replaced over a dozen existing print brochures and catalogs with our new app for iPad and Android tablets. We built an engaging Allseating product showcase application to best complement the switch from paper to digital and provide the level of service that dealers and customers expect
A digital picture book for storytelling
Interactive product brochures allow sales reps to tell an entertaining story about product design and chair features. And product pricing is always up to date, since it’s retrieved directly from Allseating.com.
Always be closing, even when offline
Even if a sales rep is without internet access, the app still works. While real-time pricing is not available offline, it’s an easy process to send pricing via email once the tablet reconnects to Wi-Fi.
Reflections and Outlook
Keeping the administration and data structures as simple as possible for chair products and all of their options and pricing was key to being able to manage the 1000's of product configurations on the site.
However, simplifying this was not trivial. The take away is that there are no short cuts to simplify a complex structure. Only by having a deep understanding of the business structures and processes behind how chairs are configured and priced, can things be simplified.
We discovered that there was an underline pattern to both the configuration and pricing across the product lines. We extracted these patterns into an excel format, and matched the CMS data structure to the excel format. Now, updating 1000's products is as simple as uploading a new excel file. Smiles for everyone.