Open Customizable Platform
A flexible, modern platform that makes it easy for 3rd-parties to customize was exactly what Timebomb needed, and that’s why the company chose Acumatica Cloud ERP.
Timebomb needed to connect its disparate systems, figure out a way to eliminate the tedious manual task of entering thousands of SKUs, and determine an efficient way to categorize and manage its three different order types:
- B2B pre-booked orders from retailers coming through the B2B platform Elastic, which didn’t connect to its previous legacy system and required its proprietary data format
- Shopify orders to Canadian Consumers via its Canadian brand sites
- Orders through its own limited online store.
Connecting Shopify and EasyPost was easily accomplished simply by implementing Acumatica, whose open platform was designed to seamlessly connect many third-party applications, says Kevin Gartly, senior implementation consultant at The Answer Company who managed Timebomb’s Acumatica deployment. Instantly, using Acumatica’s REST API, the need for Timebomb staff members to upload tracking numbers from EasyPost into Shopify was eliminated.
Solving Timebomb’s other main challenges took some software development by The Answer Company. Those technical challenges included:
- Getting EmeraldX’s solution called Elastic to work with Acumatica
- Figuring out how to pull in orders from 11 Shopify stores into Acumatica
- Creating a way to maintain inventory levels in various Shopify stores from Acumatica
The Development Team at TAC created a customization package that allowed EmeraldX to integrate its Elastic solution into Acumatica via a “plug-in” architecture. In more detail, the developers tapped Acumatica code implementation for Elastic Support Extensions. They also implemented data definition and business logic for:
- Attribute Types
- Parent Brand – Brand mapping
- Brand – Sub brands, Customers, Salespersons
- Inventory Catalogs
Automatically Generated Product Matrix
Every season, Timebomb Trading handles some 10,000 to 20,000 new products from its brands previously they had to enter every item manually. When Acumatica was deployed, The Answer Company’s developers were able to build upon Acumatica’s functionality that allowed retailers to generate variations – sizes and colors – for one SKU automatically.
The Answer Company developers leveraged and expanded that technology so that Timebomb could take that product matrix and apply it to thousands of products, automatically generating thousands of SKUs in a click of a button, says Leonardo Justiniano, Sr. ERP Application Developer, Cloud Solutions.
“We figured out a more dynamic and easy way to create catalogs of products that was not time-consuming to handle thousands of products in just one go,” he says.
Automating the matrix SKU generating process eliminated the need to add additional employees to manually enter that data. It also lengthened the selling season, says Timebomb Vice President Lester Yuen. “Retailers now have access to brand catalogs faster and we can offer the apparel for sale for a longer period.”
Because they deal with nine brands and sell to hundreds of retailers as well as stock brands’ online Canadian consumer sites, and its own inventory, Timebomb Trading needed a way to properly sort and distribute inventory items appropriately in Acumatica.
The Answer Company provided a custom Matrix Generator solution that allowed Timebomb to generate inventory from a spreadsheet of Item attribute values, thus creating all possible combinations of items.
The developers created a way for Timebomb Trading to prioritize its inventory, allowing them to bulk allocate stock based on customer priority so they can make sure their customers get their requested items. They also created a way to reserve stock for eCommerce stores in a virtual warehouse to ensure items wouldn’t be picked from their main warehouse accidentally.
Timebomb Trading executives are happy that The Answer Company decided to invest heavily in Acumatica and that they decided to move into Acumatica development. “The Answer Company pretty much saved Timebomb,” Yuen says. “They were able to develop customizations and came up with solutions that will help us remain competitive well into the future.”
Developing on Acumatica: A Competitive Edge
The Answer Company’s decision to develop Acumatica’s agile, modern, and flexible xRP platform allowed it to create custom processes, procedures, and applications that meet Timebomb Trading and other clients’ unique business requirements. The Answer Company has also developed 33 Acumatica customizations for other customers and created two applications for the Acumatica marketplace.
The Acumatica platform is easy to learn, easy to troubleshoot, and help is easy to find. Just ask The Answer Company’s Justiniano, who was a key developer on the Timebomb customizations – even though he had just learned the platform.
“When I joined The Answer Company, all of my horizons expanded because of Acumatica and how powerful it is,” he says.
“I like how fast you can get into the Acumatica platform and if a customer has an issue, right away you can figure out a solution because Acumatica’s framework allows you to do that, whether it’s a customization, or code, or configuration,” Justiniano says. “In the end, it’s the customer that benefits.”
And when Justiniano or other developers run into challenging scenarios, Acumatica provides not only extensive information through its Acumatica University that’s full of training materials and videos, but also has created a robust developer community where others share knowledge and willingly collaborate to solve problems.
In addition, Acumatica created a developer track as part of its annual Summit, where it shares its future product roadmap and holds a hackathon where developers team up with other business functions to create applications or products.