In 2001, Christian Engelke and Philipp von der Born were in their final high school years when they started a mail order service for ink and toner cartridges - a service from which later emerged Compredia GmbH. In the beginning, Compredia relied upon third-party software for order management and deployed a customized version of an Open Source solution as their POS system. Using the C++ Builder under Windows, they also developed a number of software tools for enhancing and optimizing individual elements of the workflow. Later, PHP and MySQL served as the basis for integrating custom-designed Internet POS solutions within the company.
Tailor-Made vs. Off-the-Shelf
Over time, Compredia's very own standards evolved. Especially the demand for their online POS solutions to be as easy to integrate as possible, within their corporate workflow, but also concerning the IT infrastructure of any given vendor. Based in Northern Germany, Compredia had been growing steadily and significantly. Meanwhile with a third business partner aboard, the company sells toner and ink cartridges, as well as ink ribbon for all types and sizes of faxes, printing systems and copiers - ranging from home and small office inkjet printers to full-size industrial digital copiers and dot-matrix printers. Many of the products in Compredia's portfolio, particularly those for older machines, have to be purchased at different distributors worldwide.
Through this, management at Compredia realized that readily-available "off-the-shelf" software is often less-than-perfect for fully-grown, complex workflows. So, even considering the elevated costs of the required changeover, Compredia decided to develop a truly customized solution for their requiremens from online POS and order management to inventory management.
System Migration Made Easy
A few years before, Compredia had already switched to Apple hardware. This step brought spendings on system maintenance and repair to almost zero. Inventory management was the only process still running on a Windows system. While on the lookout for an easily accessible yet powerful software development environment with support for complex projects, Engelke and von der Born came across Xojo. Its cross-platform approach and seamless integration with Mac OS X made Xojo stand out as the perfect development solution. Migrating from the previously-used Borland C++ Builder to Xojo was easy. First, von der Born developed some smaller special-purpose utilities. His report generator 'TurboReport' has meanwhile been made available to the entire Xojo community as a free download. From this basis, Philipp von der Born developed his Xojo knowledge.
All applications developed in Xojo are now integral to the daily routine at Compredia. They continuously help to keep order management running smooth, as well as to automate communication with clients and vendors. Complex procedures have been fully-automated, such as the creation of pick lists. The processing of invoices and credit memos are also being handled by programs written in Xojo. Last but not least, the entire linkup to logistics service providers, as well as the communication with external business partners, have been implemented in Xojo.
Customer-Focused and Easy-to-Use
Philipp von der Born developed Xojo applications which in turn rely upon MySQL to communicate with the various Compredia shops on the Internet to provide customers with all required information, in real-time. This ensures a comprehensive and lasting shopping experience. Von der Born describes his use of Xojo as particularly effective in regard to Compredia's requirements concerning their own inventory management.
In hindsight, custom-developing a business software solution was definitely the right decision. It met even the most ambitious demands without being too complicated. And, as a pleasant side effect of working with Xojo being as efficient as it is, a new business segment may be emerging for Compredia. In the course of some consulting projects, several of the e-commerce solutions developed in Xojo could in the near future become installed at Compredia's clients. Not before having been configured to their individual needs, of course.
Learn more about Compredia.