First Line Software is a premier provider of software engineering, software enablement, and digital transformation services. Headquartered in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the global staff of 400 technical experts serve clients across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Since 1991, our client has become a global leader in providing marketing services by developing innovative solutions to reduce the cost of marketing procurement and customer development, while improving the quality and speed companies can get to market. They employ over 4,000 people in the United States, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, and Pacific Asia. For over 30 years, various companies have used their services to provide personalized marketing materials to major chain restaurants and stores meeting regional sales and messaging needs.
Our client’s business is helping its customers successfully manage the entire lifecycle of their marketing materials. Global companies utilize our client’s services to source and produce a comprehensive range of printed materials and promotional branded items with the highest quality and efficiency.
The client wanted to leverage cutting edge e-commerce technology to further accelerate and streamline its marketing execution services. For that purpose, the client envisioned an end-to-end online marketing supply chain portal that would enable their clients’ global marketing teams to seamlessly manage the sourcing and production of the entire range of available marketing materials.
This vision required an extensively customized e-commerce solution tailored to the unique demands of the marketing supply chain management and its execution.
During the course of the project, an additional company was acquired by the client that had similar software capabilities, thus expanding the challenge by focusing on the superior software solution between the two, adding features to the selected platform and migrating the entire organization to it.
Optimizely (Episerver), now Optimizely- was chosen as the e-commerce platform for the primary task, due to its powerful functionality and ease of customization. Optimizely is built on the Microsoft .NET technology stack. First Line Software’s e-commerce team, working closely with the customer’s in-house experts and its strategic partner, designed and implemented a complex, unique B2B e-commerce portal product specifically designed to serve a large, globally distributed marketing procurement organization. After analyzing the customer’s requirements, First Line Software’s engineers implemented many powerful custom features not supported by Optimizely out of the box, including:
- Complex order approval workflows
- Spend limits by user (monthly, quarterly, or yearly) with manual override by administrator
- Bulk user upload with simultaneous user creation in Optimizely and Active Directory
- Multiple shipping addresses per order
- Centralized billing to the company account
- Custom interface enabling access to Optimizely Commerce Manager for a select group of users (with limited permissions compared to standard access)
The joint effort produced a powerful full service B2B marketing e-commerce portal that the client can now offer to its largest global customers. It is a unique one-stop shop solution, enabling global corporate marketing teams to seamlessly manage the sourcing, production and execution of all of their marketing materials through a convenient, intuitive multi-language, multi-currency portal.
After the merger of the client’s companies, choosing from the available platforms with similar functionality, the client settled on the solution developed by First Line Software after evaluating the convenience and efficiency of the product. As a result, the FLS team of engineers involved in the project grew by 20% and continued to supplement the product with the functionality of the existing systems for the transition of all users to one platform, and also to work on new solutions.
The second product was a similar B2B portal, but with slightly modified functionality, focusing on the customer’s store profiles. Just as on the previously described platform, orders are generated by assignment, but are for customer store profiles that are created in the system on this new version of the product.
A Web-based platform was concurrently developed that provided procurement control managers of different customer departments to control how employees fill out order forms in a table with distribution by multiple addresses, quantities, product names and other parameters.
These new platforms are already receiving extremely positive feedback from the clients’ customers, and will undoubtedly solidify the client’s leadership in the brand delivery services market.
Team size: 64
The Technological Stack