Posted on : 11-10-2010 | By : mark | In : eCommerce
Tags: ecommerce, fiscal adapter, stock adapter
I recently had a breakthrough whilst developing a Fiscal Adapter for a client, it was such that I felt quite proud of the accomplishment and wanted to shout about it. I was met with a round of blank stares and “well done but I have no idea what you’re talking about”, hence this article.
First of all a bit about IT in general. Information Technology which includes all things computers and software, is generally (at least in a business sense) all about resource multiplication (ie. getting more out of the staff that you employ), it allows people to get more done (at least it should). When your IT starts actually reducing the work that your employees get done, its time to start looking at giving it a bit of an overhaul.
Now on to the purpose of this article, but first a bit of an example.
You start your shop selling a few widgets, you do well so you set up an ecommerce store and do even better so you expand and you find that someone else is selling do-hickies, in fact these do-hickies are a really good accompanying product to your widgets, so you wander off and speak to the manufacturer and arrange to sell the do-hickies in your store and on your ecommerce site. Things start to take off you have large numbers of widgets and do-hickies being sold at this point you add several more product ranges to your store and ecommerce site and you realise that things are getting a bit complicated, especially the integration of your ecommerce site as you end up having to add new products into the ecommerce shop and maintain a lot of stock levels manually not to mention having to re-enter all of your sales invoices into your finance package, so your accountant can tell you how much you are making.
So the full definition of Adapter:
1. a person or thing that adapts.
2. a connector for joining parts or devices having different sizes, designs, etc., enabling them to be fitted or to work together.
3. an accessory to convert a machine, tool, or part to a new or modified use.
In our case stock and fiscal adapters are used with our eCommerce product to connect disparate systems together. This allows much reduced human interaction with the ecommerce system and thus reduces overhead and save time and money in operation.
The stock adapters basically take lists of stock items and import them into the ecommerce system and if they exist already update them (including removing them and updating stock levels so you can’t sell things you don’t have). These stock adapters can pull lists of products, their stock levels and many other items of information either from your internal systems, or via a direct feed from a supplier.
The fiscal adapters do the reverse, they send orders through to your Finance and/or CRM package removing the need for double entry. They can even be made to post directly to a supplier so that an order is raised with all the necessary details allowing for direct delivery of just in time delivery to your location.
Obviously in a lot of cases you would be using multiple stock adapters and quite possiby multiple fiscal adapters.
So do you need stock or fiscal adapters? Well if you are experiencing a lot of double entry or spend a lot of time updating stock levels (twice) or have to keep paper/email copies of sales invoices to re-enter into your finance package; or if you are having trouble keeping on-top of actually selling your product AND carrying out all of these administrative tasks (or even think you will in the near future) then the answer is probably yes.