Building a simple eCommerce interface for a complex ERP
Navigating complexity to reach eCommerce bliss.
For over 40 years, Surgical Specialties has developed and manufactured high-performance sutures and surgical needles. Through precision engineered solutions, competitive prices, and best-in-industry customer service, Surgical Specialties has become a major global player in the suture industry.
With headquarters in Massachusetts and sales teams, manufacturing facilities, and distributors across North America, South America, Europe, and Asia, Surgical Specialties is a globally trusted and respected name in sutures and wound closures.
- Produce a website that showcases their revitalized branding
- Consolidate 4 websites and 4 brands into a single, fluid experience which both maintains brand identity while elevating the Surgical Specialties umbrella brand
- Create an eCommerce site dynamically synchronized with Microsoft Dynamics AX (365) ERP platform
- Develop a compliant process for purchasing restricted medical equipment online
How to scope a project of this complexity.
Scoping a project of this magnitude can be tricky and takes a thorough discovery period to execute correctly. We realize we can never know 100% of the questions to ask at the beginning of a project like this but we do our absolute best to dig in before the project scope has even been finalized. Digital Impulse is committed to providing the best service to our clients which often means putting in the extra work up-front.
Tech-Heavy. Functionality-rich. Elegant.
Surgical Specialties runs their business on the Dynamics ERP platform – every sale, every customer, every product, every price. Surgical Specialties is able to control the display of products, customer-specific pricing, customer compliance status, manage orders and order changes, initiate shipping and more on the WooCommerce site through their customized AX platform.
Surgical Specialties Microsoft Dynamics instance is not internet-connected, and the deep customization makes the system. In order to allow for specific customer and product information to be available to the eCommerce site via API’s, DI developed custom middleware hosted on a Surgical Specialties Azure server. This middleware also caches and enqueues data to prevent the Dynamics platform from reaching bandwidth limitations or timeouts. A detailed log of every transaction is stored and monitored in an intuitive interface by DI developers and the Surgical Specialties IT team.
Almost every Surgical Specialties customer has a suite of custom pricing rules for individual products and product groups. Their team has tweaked and customized the Dynamics integration over the last decade to create a truly unique workflow. Digital Impulse designed and developed custom software to replicate the customer-specific pricing from AX to calculate prices accurately, on the fly and quicker than AX is capable of. There are over 100 ways each product’s price can be calculated and everything is dynamic and happening in real-time!
Surgical Specialties wanted a custom, best-in-class website and eCommerce platform which would give them the ability to edit all the content on the site easily. DI provided a series of potential solutions, and SS and DI decided together to move forward with a custom WooCommerce install which would communicate with Microsoft Dynamics through custom middleware. Fulfilling the project requirements necessitated thorough integration of WooCommerce APIs as well as a series of 10 robust custom API endpoints to assist with the Dynamics integration. This is one of the most complex and highly functional eCommerce systems any of the engineers involved have seen before.
"We set out to take something complex and make it feel simple."
Director of Technology
Through the custom WooCommerce implementation and industry-catered design, DI delivered a product which revolutionized the Surgical Specialties purchasing process, and drastically reduced the workload for customer service employees. Surgical Specialties customers have been ordering more, and more frequently due to the elegant and intuitive UI and UX design, and speed of the platform. Targeted marketing campaigns are bringing new customers to the site, and SS is able to track the success of their efforts in ways they have never been able to.