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Instant Brands Designer Collaboration

GDC Develops a Solution to Broker Communications Between Shopify and Instant Brands ERP

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Industry: Manufacturing
Client/Market Size: 3,000 employees
Location: Downers Grove, IL

Owned by Cornell Capital LLC and headquartered in Downers Grove, Illinois, Instant Brands and its affiliates design, manufacture and market iconic small kitchen appliances and houseware products worldwide. Its well-recognized and respected brands, including Pyrex®, Corelle®, Instant Pot®, CorningWare®, Snapware®, Chicago Cutlery®, and Visions®, have been creating connections and memories in the homes of families across the world for over 100 years.

Business Need

Instant Brands was engaged in a brand collaboration with Rhude, founded by designer Rhuigi Villaseñor, that would create a limited edition series of products extending across multiple brands. The logistical challenge was to have orders organically placed through their partner’s well-known Shopify storefront. On the back end, Instant Brands would need to act as the fulfillment intermediary to ship the limited edition items from their warehouse to ensure a seamless customer experience.

To create the seamless experience would require communicating order flow, in real time, securely to the Instant Brands ERP for processing and notifying customers of shipment and tracking information through the originating Shopify store. With decades of system and EDI integration experience, GDC began analysis to develop a middleware solution that would broker communication between the two systems.

The Solution

In collaboration with Instant Brands subject matter experts, GDC developed a RESTful .NET API, that would be configured for communication from WebHooks in the Shopify storefront when an order is processed. Application Services worked with Instant Brand network engineers to define the overall solution architecture to ensure information flow was secure both in transit and at rest. This middleware would take the Shopify JSON order structure, translate it to a readable EDI format, and relay it to the back end for processing.

On the fulfillment side, customers needed to be informed when their orders were leaving the warehouse and the requisite tracking information. This was further complicated with order configurations having shipments being spread across multiple tracking numbers and line items due to overall order size. A .NET service was developed to parse EDI data coming from the Instant Brands ERP, translate the information back into the JSON order structure, specifically around fulfillment, and submit updates back into the Shopify storefront API to initiate the required customer notifications and automatically close the order out. There was strength in the simplicity of the design in that the solution organically plugged into the Shopify order event lifecycle. Due to this proficiency with the Shopify API, Application Services was able to leverage the robust capabilities to create a seamless user experience for both customers and the store administrators.

 

The Process Flow

Process Flowchart Between Shopify and Instant Brands  ERP

The Results

Rhude and Instant Brands ran a successful week long collaboration campaign that resulted in volume spikes and sell outs of many products across the limited edition line. The frictionless bidirectional flow of information across both systems allowed for complete automation of the process that enabled both parties of the collaboration to concentrate on managing customer order fulfillment and not the technology integrating it all together. This was essential for a production window that was only going to be seven days long and needed to serve high customer demand.

GDC developed a creative middleware solution that provided real time order fulfillment capabilities between two heterogeneous systems and a seamless customer ordering experience.

Scott Keister

Director Infrastructure & Operations

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