Stoves needed to sell their spare parts and accessories directly to their customers, and they determined that the web provided the best means of doing this, given the ability to interactively and efficiently search a product catalogue and order the part with a click instead of a phone call.
There was also an opportunity to sell off surplus or obsolete stock with the same online store template, and thus, the two Stoves e-commerce websites were born. We at XMLi5 were commissioned to build and host a web application modelling an online store that would provide both the spare parts and the outlet storefronts, while also integrating with the IBM i-based back-office systems used by Stoves and its siblings in the Glen Dimplex Group.
We were selected for this work due to our in-depth knowledge of the IBM iSeries (formerly IBM AS-400) and our ability to effectively integrate with the GEAC System/21 software used by Stoves.
Product information, prices, stock levels and complex model/part associations are taken from System/21 and interfaced to the online store application. Customer orders are then returned to the back-office for delivery and invoicing. Customer-specific pricing rules and estimated delivery costs are also supported, among many other features.
In the pipeline for Stoves (and its siblings) is a responsive, mobile-first front-end user interface which will go hand-in-hand with a restructuring of the online stores into unified, branded storefronts for flagship products in addition to accessories and surplus.