By David F. Carr  |  Posted 2003-10-01 Print this article Print

This battery distributor bet its business on an order-taking system developed initially by one programmer, in his spare time.

-Biz Base Case">

Company: Battery-Biz


The total ROI, over a three-year period, from the battery distributor's $643,000 investment in software to boost sales processing and order fulfillment.

Business: Supplies computer and electronics stores with replacement batteries for laptops, camcorders, and other products, primarily imports from Asia.

Headquarters: Newbury Park, Calif.

Key Business Executive/Key Technology Manager: Ophir Marish, chief executive officer

Project: Implement a complete order processing, distribution, and inventory replenishment system.

Objectives: Eliminate barriers to growth by allowing Battery-Biz to handle more orders without a big increase in staff, while using just-in-time reordering to keep products in stock and reduce inventory cost. Marish says results have exceeded his expectations, with the new system allowing the company to quadruple the number of orders it takes a day; and save $400,000 a year on inventory.

Technology Used: Keller Systems' BOS software, Powerbuilder rapid application development tools, Microsoft SQL Server database.

Lesson for Big Companies: One programmer, or a small developer team, may be able to achieve results that a large software company would be hard-pressed to match.

David F. Carr David F. Carr is the Technology Editor for Baseline Magazine, a Ziff Davis publication focused on information technology and its management, with an emphasis on measurable, bottom-line results. He wrote two of Baseline's cover stories focused on the role of technology in disaster recovery, one focused on the response to the tsunami in Indonesia and another on the City of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.David has been the author or co-author of many Baseline Case Dissections on corporate technology successes and failures (such as the role of Kmart's inept supply chain implementation in its decline versus Wal-Mart or the successful use of technology to create new market opportunities for office furniture maker Herman Miller). He has also written about the FAA's halting attempts to modernize air traffic control, and in 2003 he traveled to Sierra Leone and Liberia to report on the role of technology in United Nations peacekeeping.David joined Baseline prior to the launch of the magazine in 2001 and helped define popular elements of the magazine such as Gotcha!, which offers cautionary tales about technology pitfalls and how to avoid them.

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