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Inaport Transforms Sales Process with Rapid Data Transfer Between Frontier ERP and Saleslogix

SyncSite uses Inaport to implement rapid data transfer between Frontier ERP and Saleslogix, resulting in a more proactive, strategic and successful sales process for their client Hit Promotional Products. To discuss your specific needs, email here to request a call or webinar, or please read on.

Hit Promotional Products is using Frontier ERP on the AS/400 for order fulfillment and production cycle management. The Company’s order process is very flexible, and though this is convenient for their customers, it leads to a lot of different options and details per order. As a result, sales information is spread across many different parts of the ERP system.

While Frontier ERP works well for Hit Promotional Products, as a green screen ERP system it does not match the ease of use provided by today’s modern interfaces so it can be hard work to find and consolidate the client information; it requires navigating complex screens and has a steep learning curve. Saleslogix, on the other hand, has been designed to capture a wide range of data and pull it into a coherent whole, and is an ideal way of managing clients and their order details.

SyncSite was asked to develop a link between Frontier ERP and Saleslogix to provide better, and easier, customer and prospect management. With hundreds of sales people needing ready access to current order details, Saleslogix was expected to transform the sales process as long as all the information could be transferred in a timely manner.

There were several challenges associated with transferring data from Frontier ERP to Saleslogix. Probably the greatest issue was the sheer amount of new data that Hit Promotional Products needed integrated with Saleslogix. SyncSite had to find a way to transfer millions of sales order and order detail records to Saleslogix each day, as well as associated information to create and update accounts.

I asked Norman Rice, Senior Solutions Architect at SyncSite, how Inaport helps manage these high volumes:

“One way to speed up the process is to create a Linked Server to the Frontier database in SQL Server that the Saleslogix database resides in. Then we can left join data from Frontier to Saleslogix, in this case for Sales Orders, to look for data that has yet to come over.  Notice this is pulling over the minimum amount of data to determine if the record needs to be inserted.  The data is placed into a staging table and the last line calls another stored procedure that gets all of the data needed to populate the SalesOrder table in Saleslogix. Doing this in two steps greatly reduces the amount of time it takes to get the required data.

Over time, this query will take longer to run as more data is entered so we’ll probably add a date range to the select query so that only data from the last day will be pulled over; this will keep run times short.

Here is the code I wrote for Inaport to manage this.

ALTER procedure [sysdba].[insert_etl_salesorder]
 @isBackOrder bit
 as
 begin
delete from  sysdba.etl_salesorder
insert into sysdba.etl_salesorder
 select x.o4ord#, x.o4sufx, 'Insert' from (
 select *  from openquery(frontier, 'select o4p.o4ord#, o4p.o4sufx
 from FRNDTA030.O4P O4P
 '))x
 left join sysdba.SALESORDER so on x.o4ord# = so.ORDERNUMBER and x.o4sufx = so.ORDERSUFFIX
 where so.SALESORDERID is null
--select * from sysdba.etl_salesorder
exec sysdba.get_salesorder @isBackOrder
 end

To use this stored procedure in Inaport, the Source and Target are the same so I created a second connection to Saleslogix and made it a direct connection. The source query is simply exec [sysdba].[insert_etl_salesorder] 0.  You can still use the “Add fields” and “Change Data” tabs to manipulate the data as needed. A huge benefit of setting up Inaport this way is that the operation for the SalesOrder table is set to “Create new record always”. This means no matching is required to see if the record exists – that has already been taken care of.  This puts Inaport into maximum overdrive for speed.”

Norman and his team were also faced with a lot of data mapping between the ERP data and Saleslogix fields. As an example, in Frontier ERP dates are stored in three separate fields: month-day, year, and century. In Saleslogix they are in just one field. There were also different data formats to accommodate. For instance, Frontier ERP stores pricing information to four decimal places, and Saleslogix to two. Inaport’s strong data transformation functions and custom profiles were used overcome these sorts of discrepancies.

SyncSite’s integration solution for Hit Promotional Products exchanges customer details between Frontier ERP and Saleslogix, and deals with over 30 million rows of order detail data in Saleslogix for over 40,000 customers. Salespeople can now access this client information in seconds with full visibility of orders – items, status, history, problems.

Managing millions of updates each day, the solution gives everyone at Hit Promotional Products – from management to sales to support – ready access to complete, up-to-the-minute client details through their Saleslogix system. This comprehensive view has opened up the entire sales process.

As Norman puts it:

“Inaport has directly contributed to the successful roll-out of Saleslogix integration with Frontier ERP at Hit Promotional Products. What started out as greater visibility and ease of access has brought on a myriad of new ideas and practices, some requiring software development.  We are currently working on a solution that will allow Management to set objectives (globally, or by region) that they want the Sales Team to discuss while on site with the customer.  The Sales Team will be able check off the items they’ve covered and add notes for each one to track, and share progress with their management almost immediately.

Getting the data from Frontier into Saleslogix via Inaport has opened Hit Promotional Products to a new mind-set for interacting with the customer, and is transforming the sales process from a reactive mode to a far more proactive, and successful, engagement with their customers. The access to data that it has provided allows Executives at Hit Promotional Products to fully execute their sales vision.”

Inaport, from InaPlex, delivers CRM integration and data migration solutions for leading CRM systems including Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage CRM, Infor CRM (previously Saleslogix), Goldmine and ACT. It has a range of connectors and maps for quick results, and its straightforward approach provides a wealth of powerful functions. To learn more please book a free webinar, download a free 30 day evaluation license, or visit the InaPlex website.

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. Great post! Do you have the code for the second stored procedure that you can share?

    December 11, 2013
    • Thanks for the comments, Michael. Yes, we can get the code, and I’ll contact you direct when it’s available.

      December 11, 2013

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