For most of us, actions speak louder than words. So, case studies that outline what has been achieved by others represent actions that are relevant to ClearPath solution environments. There are quite a few that can be studied, but one that is useful to consider is V F Grace, a wholesale organization in Alaska. Why? Because others face the same types of issues that drove V F Grace to implement a new method of communicating with their retail customers. They did so to ensure they are competitive and increase customer satisfaction. The end result was even better than originally expected.
In an effort to enable web services for their retail customers, they used the ClearPath ePortal specialty engine. They found it to be a proven product that easily integrated with their ClearPath system and established web services support for their customers without changing their application. Once complete, their customers could assess their catalog easily, without the phone calls required in the past. They then took the next step and enabled the same capabilities for sales executives using an iPhoneTM. This improved productivity and elevated a sales person’s capabilities in the eyes of their customers. The V F Grace process is discussed in a case study titled, Wholesaler Streamlines Sales Process this case study.
So, why is this relevant to you? Perhaps you have had requests from different departments in your organization requesting support for smart phones or tablets. You may feel they are just a fad, but these devices are increasingly being used as business tools. V F Grace is one of many organizations that have found this to be true. Today, tablets carry a lower price than laptops and can be tailored for specific business applications; they are far more mobile and provide a more contemporary profile for your organization. This last fact is important because it helps to attract more innovative employees and positions an organization as more advanced than competitors. Incorporation of mobile devices into a current solution breathes new life into it, significantly increasing its value.
Importantly, the enhancements that V.F. Grace made do not take an army of programmers or a radical new investment. In V F Grace’s case, training took one week and the full web services implementation was up and running in less than two months (with one person doing all of the work). Three more days and the iPhone was activated. This was achieved because the ClearPath ePortal environment is designed to enable this kind of solution without altering the current ClearPath application.
So, this sounds like the standard sales pitch that promises the world but hides the fine print. It is not. The achievements are documented in the case study. And, there are other case studies showing the same kinds of results. The actions taken by V F Grace changed their image to their customers and improved their economics. Organizations spend a lot of time trying to identify and deliver on these kinds of objectives. It is always great to see them achieved.