local shipping company asked me to design a website, but they operate on an internal distribution software called Step1

This company has no online identity and finds most of its success through local calls with big customers.

They use an internal software called Step1 “A Windows-based (Microsoft SQL) Distribution software for Jan/San, Industrial Paper, Packaging Supply, and Safety Supply industries.”

This has an online system that can be added on but it looks like shit and I think they have to pay $300/mo for it.
I’m coming in thinking I can hook them up with an enterprise-grade WordPress site with woo commerce to keep their operation costs low while having a clean modern site, but since they use this software, I’m afraid that their only option would be to turn on the addon feature.

Has anyone had to make a website with a company that ran off internal software? If you know anything about step1, do you think a business could operate with a separate online website if inventory was manually re-created into a woocommerce store?
Thanks for the help!

Hi masterolive

‘OMG’ a toughie but how about something like this - surely the system (they use) can produce either and XML feed and or JSON objects? then create a few suitable functions (OK admit could be more than a few but …) just tie from those into ‘your’ package whether WP or WOO or whatever?

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Are you sure that this system is not used for a reason? I’m not familiar with it but it looks like it is meant to mange products, orders and other backend stuff.

It doesn’t strike me that an organisation using something like this are the type of company who would use WordPress.

Even with some of the XML ideas etc. Mentioned above, integrating WordPress or generic commerce with this seems like it would be a very complicated job.

I would start by understanding if it is a necessity for them to continue using that platform

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Well, currently the only way you can order anything from this company is by ordering over the phone.
so if that’s the case then they are manually entering in this information in the program, so what difference is it having a front end with WP and woocommerce to have a better market exposure?

As you replied in my other thread, I can connect Affiliates Pro so employees can use referral links or affiliate codes.

Their current website is 100% crap, like it was literally made in 1999 and hasn’t been updated since.

I know they could operate sales and inventory online without the program, but there is a lot of internal management that they utilize with that platform, so I think my best option is to pitch a separate front end and have sales/sysadmin/IT handle transferring sale data the same way they do over the phone anyway?

I may be misunderstanding you completely so my following sentence might not make sense:

The issue is going the OTHER DIRECTION. if there where a way to have sales automate something OUTGOING to the program, that would help.

But honestly I think this is a one way street, since they manually enter this information over the phone, they may simply need to enter this information the same way but taking the data from woocommerce sales.

Hi Masterolive, OK so it’s the other way round that to means having to sync ‘your solution’ with theirs (as apposed to the other way round’ - I’m thinking of size and multiple entries not ‘updating across’ both systems due to a slight time lag e.g. Fred takes and order enters into your system your system then has to update their DB BUT whilst it;s doing that John is doing the same (for the same product) so in symplistic terms stock levels etc are wrong. -

Unless I’m barking totally up the wrong tree:) - in which case ignore:)

The really easy (well I find it) solution I can think of is using something like Firebase which ‘automatically’ syncs on date entry and produces JSON objects - OK not exactly waht FB is for but it would and could work, be very very quick lack of duplication very easy to build.style etc.

That sounds like your only option.

It still all sounds a little disconnected i.e. multiple systems, additional plugins etc. unless you wrote in some kind of integration or sync as @Kwikbitzonline suggested

I understand that they are probably trying to avoid the costs of a properly configured and custom solution but given that no one in this thread is very familiar with their platform I would still take time to make sure it’s not more complicated than it seems on the surface and to avoid ending up with unanticipated issues.

Oh I’m positive it’s complicated, and I Don’t want to get involved, however, I really want to help their company and they are friends of mine.

I’ll just pitch the WordPress and woo commerce idea alone and make sure I’m clear on them having to manually enter orders into the system for the sake of having a modern, nice, and professional website.