Henderson USA / Second Descent

Client: Henderson USA
Project: Second Descent
Project type: Website [ visit ]
What we did: Interface/UX design, Graphic design, Back-end development, Database integration, Front-end development
Date completed: July, 2006

The project

A B-to-B sales portal for Henderson USA, a wetsuit and water sports equipment manufacturer, used primarily to sell discontinued items and overstock to their distributors at a discount.

The challenge

Second Descent began as a relatively straightforward e-commerce site, but it was quickly complicated by a number of unique requirements.

While most of the items were being stored in their main warehouse, only some of them was being tracked in their inventory management software; other items were sitting in unmarked boxes, or being stored in random locations throughout their facilities. Next, because this was a "sale" site, they needed the ability to set and assign discount schedules to every item in the store - so that a given item's price would be cut a certain percentage every x-number of weeks. And finally, because this was a "dealers only" store, the checkout process had to integrate with Henderson's Accounts Receivable rather than use a simple payment gateway.

The solution

Because of these requirements, we quickly realized that an out-of-the-box e-commerce solution just wouldn't work. Using an agile development process, we created a site that allowed Henderson to add products based on the myriad ways they were storing them: we integrated an auto-update functionality that integrated with their MAS-90 warehouse inventory management software for the bulk of their products, but we also built functionality to allow them to upload spreadsheets of inventory that were being tracked elsewhere, and to manually manage one-offs and random items.

We then created a system of depreciation schedules that could be automatically assigned to products based on their category and type, but could, for the one-offs, be manually managed as well. This allowed Henderson to set up a system of defaults that could be managed and fine-tuned over time.

Finally, we streamlined the login and checkout processes to be tied to each Henderson dealer's unique dealer id. When they were ready to checkout, notification was sent to Henderson's internal accounting department, where the charges were merged into the dealer's regular monthly invoice. This made the whole process as seamless as possible from both Henderson's and the dealer's perspective.