LOADING

James Trachier, Universal Air Conditioners

Industry

Air Conditioner

The Client

Universal Air Conditioner, Inc. (UAC) is an automotive aftermarket air conditioning parts manufacturer headquartered in Texas; we are a family owned and operated, third generation business.
Since our founding in 1988, we have grown to be one of the largest suppliers of aftermarket automotive air conditioning parts in the world.
We connect with customers in many countries around the world through our global supply chain.

Technology Stack

  • Frontend – HTML, SCSS, Javascript, jQuery
  • Backend – PHP, WordPress
  • Database – MYSQL
  • DevOps – BitBucket, AWS

Challenge

As an automotive supplier, UAC needs to interchange data from customers.

  • Customers require flexibility to send orders, receive invoices, get pricing and availability, and transmit catalog data in many formats.
  • UAC accepts orders via email or fax or through a basic web site portal (without pricing, availability, payments, shipping, or tax information).
  • UAC requires a centralized software to allow customers to seamlessly interact with UAC to fulfill all of their needs without requiring manual intervention (self service).
  • The centralized software should retrieve information from backend ERP systems, send/receive information from customers, and process third party information such as API’s (payments, rating, shipping).

The Solution

To handle the needs of UAC staff and customers, UAC contracted the services of Aezion, Inc.

The knowledgeable staff at Aezion worked intently with the UAC team to develop a plan to automate all facets of interaction between UAC and their customers.

The following projects were all completed by Aezion to the complete satisfaction of UAC staff and customers.

A public web based online ordering system that served as a secure portal for UAC’s customers.

  • The site provides current, up to the minute catalog data (vehicle to product mapping, product to competitor/OEM mapping, specification information)
  • The site provides live inventory and pricing via backend connections to the ERP system
  • Many custom search tools to find just what the customer needs
  • Data import capabilities to process large orders.
  • Data export capabilities for inventory and catalog data for customers to purchase or redistribute
  • Estimate shipping for sales orders based on customer settings (prepaid, 3rd party shipping, COD, etc…)
  • Estimate tax based on customer settings (tax exempt, non-taxable state, nexus)
  • Process credit card payments through a payment gateway (for orders and/or account payments)
  • Provide report generation for invoices and sales orders.
  • Apply security to control customer access, tiered access with customer administrator and user roles
  • Image management

A private web based administrative site that allowed for administering many aspects of UAC public online ordering system

  • Several tools to manage catalog data in bulk with import/export capabilities
  • Tools to manage customer data (administrators, taxes, default shipping, default locations, tax settings, security settings)
  • Ordering tool to allow UAC staff to upload customer sales orders in bulk
  • Labeling software settings
  • UPC management
  • Vast array of reporting tools
  • Newsletter management tools

A tool to generate catalog data documents in industry xml format from catalog backend data system

  • Read massive datasets of millions of records
  • Compress data per XML standards to remove redundant information

An API to allow UAC customers to connect directly to UAC from their backend systems to push orders and receive invoices automatically

  • Tool that allows many orders to be uploaded to UAC directly all at once
  • Example client to assist customer and their developers with interacting with the API

An API to connect our shipping solutions to our ERP system

  • Tool to retrieve and update orders, assign users, update pricing
  • Send orders to backend ERP
  • Automatic generation of purchase orders for drop ship items
  • Update shipping statuses
  • Email reports to customers and distribution hubs

Results

  • As a result of the hard work and dedication of the Aezion and UAC partnership, UAC has grown significantly.
  • The ease of use of all of the new software developed with Aezion allowed UAC’s customers to get everything they needed without having to wait for a staff member.
  • Everyone is extremely happy with the work Aezion, has done and UAC will use them for every IT project in the future.

Key Success Points

  • Since the completion of the online ordering system in 2014, UAC had grown from a $45 million in annual revenue to over $80 million in 2019.
  • More than a 75% revenue growth while only increasing our staff by 5%!
  • Accuracy has increased as well, as there is little to no data entry required for UAC or the customer.

Low-TCO Approach

iMed Biomedical recognized the significance and value of the Aezion low – Total Cost of Ownership development approach.

The project team invested the up-front effort required to architect and design a solution that delivered desired features in a reliable and easy to use application. I-Track Pro accrues value every day through productivity improvements and significantly reduced maintenance and support costs.

Project Life Cycle Cost Dynamics

Low-TCO Development Declining Costs

  • Initial Software Cost

  • Support & Mtce – Year 1

  • Support & Mtce – Year 2

  • Support & Mtce – Year 3

  • User Training

Conventional Development Escalating Costs

  • Initial Software Cost

  • Support & Mtce – Year 1

  • Support & Mtce – Year 2

  • Support & Mtce – Year 3

  • User Training

The Numbers

We are proud of the work we do, grateful for the satisfaction of helping our clients solve hard problems, and humbled by the trust we’ve accrued through our work.

  • 70% of work derived from rescuing failed or failing IT projects

  • 80% of projects result in repeat business or customer referrals