The term “clicks and mortar” should be cemented into IT industry jargon thanks to a new B2B site.
Systems integrator gen-i designed and built “ClickCrete” for nationwide cement and concrete supplier Milburn New Zealand so its customers can order concrete, check the availability of stock and see delivery times online.
Milburn e-commerce general manager Paul Commons says the portal will tighten his firm’s supply chain and ease the ordering process. "Concrete contractors typically require their deliveries each morning and this can sometimes cause a logistical problem. Using ClickCrete, contractors can see the availability of concrete and delivery trucks and plan their schedules around them," he says.
Gen-i e-business development manager Chris O'Brien says the system, which was developed and hosted in Christchurch, took six months to develop and cost a "five figure" sum.
The Microsoft Transaction Server uses a COM+ solution, with a "thin layer" of active server pages. The site is XML-based, with presentation layers driven by XSL (XML stylesheets).
Milburn and gen-i have also created "SmartStock", which lets the cement supplier check the level of cement stocks in its business units. Although SmartStock is currently only used internally, the company plans to make the service available to suppliers and customers.