ArtofCommerce HTML

Web and Workflow for
Product Distribution
The Art of Commerce™ system was
designed to be the integrated system
for all sales activities and inventory
operations of an enterprise.
Integrating sales activities through the
use of business lines which support the
necessary interface for trade, web, mail
order catalog and retail sales.
Integrating inventory logistics, the flow
and fulfillment of orders through the use
of a facility, warehouse and planned
routing organization.
Working with such companies as Dylex
(Biway, NLS, Fairweather), Games
Workshop, Trisi Sales, GolfTown, Your
Expression we learned a great deal
about retail, sales, logistics and making
it all work together. This system was
our way of making a home for all that
experience and a place to integrate our
legacy technology into a substantially
more modern system and database.
We also wanted to achieve some new
things such as a shared repository for
images and digital media that we could
associate with business elements like
items and transactions. We called that
We also wanted a way to speed up the
supply process using a more intelligent
construct than min/max logic and we
did that with a three stage automated
replenishment model which can source
from supply and supplier encompass-
ing basic demand and the fluctuation of
that demand over time.
The Art of Commerce™ system exists
to automate the product development
and distribution activities of a business
within a single system.
At the heart of the system is a relational
database repository surrounded by
both web and desktop applications and
special attention to performance with a
flexible component architecture which
could be placed at the right location to
support performance for small and
large companies that have one or many
locations and reduce the impact of
database licensing costs.
The merchandise database provides for
many elegant and straight forward ways
to describe and present the product.
The Image++ component provides a
digital media library with active objects
such as a product image and rich text
description that are equally useful on
the desktop and on a web site.
Image++ also provides the ability to
store any digital media file, such as
drawing files, product specification and
instruction documents, streaming data
media such as video and sound and
any other computer generated file. A
system publishing control allows for
items to be marked as public or remain
private to the business, which also
controls their availability at the web site
A hierarchical classification system with
division, department, category and
class of product provides the initial
system catalog structure for a basic or
complex search and grouping of items
through other elements such as the use
of customized groups or strategic units
of a business.
EDI was important to integrate with the
system, although we looked to the
market for mapping software to work
with, we integrated the workflow and
standards into the system and it can
work with any mapping software you
Sales from channels are integrated into
a common order processing workflow
that streams into the order fulfillment
process (EDI, Web, Mail Order, Trade
orders) which is also combined with the
retail chain store fulfillment process
because we envisioned that happening
at the same facility if that was needed.
We developed an inventory transfer
process to manage retail chain store
replenishments from a central inventory
distribution so that order fulfillment
could be managed at the facility with a
view of all requirements.
EDI orders and other multiple destina-
tion and “ship to distribution centre”
requirements are supported via a
product and destination subset to the
standard order line level for greater
control of fulfillment rates. So our orders
can manage multiple ship to breakouts
of line items.
This approach also holds true in other
areas of the system such as orders for
purchase and replenishment/transfer
orders. A unique transaction number
management organization uses both a
master transaction number and a child
transaction number, in order to give the
operational level unique data level while
holding the transaction together at the
higher management level.
We envisioned different businesses and
their unique models of planning and
logistics to put our system together. We
put a substantial amount of thought
into Art of Commerce™ (AOC) from
what we learned working in the market
space since 1990.
CAPETOWN – Art of Commerce (TM), Imageion (TM),,,
© CAPETOWN COMPUTING CORPORATION 2006,2009,2013, 2015, 2016
all rights reserved.
We wanted to be able to feed orders into the
system in a variety of ways in order to manage
different types of businesses. This meant we
needed to create some essential elements that
could be reused but plugged into a different
facade or user interface that could do different
things based on where the sale was happening
and what the interaction with the customer was.
We created a trade order entry interface, a retail
interface and a web based interface. The web
interface was created envisioning not solely the
internal sales person or entry staff but also the
customer themselves and perhaps a third party
agent working in a remote geography.
We broke out some essential pieces that could
be reused in each of those and put some
thought into how they could be useful. So we
came up Image++ which could manage im-
ages and digital media associated with the
product items and Product Explorer which
could provide different ways of finding and
grouping items as well as different ways of ap-
plying order quantities to them as you found
them to bring more than one item back into
your order entry process.
We also wanted to have a way to reference
back to a catalog which a business may send
out so we created a catalog view that could do
We also looked to create a common data
stream so that we could look at orders coming
from different interfaces on any interface that
was being used. So we organized it with a Line
of Business and store structure that would be
associated with every order in the system. We
took a harmonic approach across the entry
process so that when the orders appeared
elsewhere you wouldn’t need to change what
you were using to see them.
The retail model required a desktop interface
moulded for the scanner based checkout of
product and quick receipt scenario. The ability
to run on equipment platforms that are specific
to the retailer such as IBM Point of Sale and
other PC based equipment is an important
element to this environment.
We looked to a retail interface that would be as
responsive to scanning as it was to keying and
we wanted a fast keying environment that could
also work well with a touch screen so we build
that interface with those things in mind.
EDI was integrated as a feed to the ordering
process and was integrated into the system that
altered the way those orders were controlled but
gave them a common view along with other
orders in the overall system. With EDI there was
a preamble requirement to ensure the accuracy
of the information as well as the additional work
requirements that came with those orders such
as ticketing, packaging and shipment container
labeling requirements associated with EDI.
Sales and inventory are integrated into the Art of
Commerce™ system through a client/line of
business and store/facility architecture that
organizes remote stores into a chain structured
architecture. This allowed us to manage the
transfer of goods from location to location in a
very stream lined and straight forward way, by
using transfer orders that had a source and
destination routing built in. Line and store in and
Line and store out. Line being the pre-defined
Line of Business of the Enterprise.
We used transfer orders not only as a way to
move goods from one retail store to another but
also as the primary method of moving inventory
from a distribution centre to chain stores while
keeping the data in the system harmonic across
the flow of all goods.
Vendor orders and transfer orders we done in a
unified effort to be able to manage the different
sources of goods and also as the direct output
of our automated replenishment process which
created these orders without keying but from
planned models. We used a common interface
to drive this that was very much like our trade
order interface.
All orders allow for a on or many destination
breakout of the line items. Thus supporting
distribution of items in a single order entry view
rather than many separate orders.
Not only does this architecture provide for a
logical approach to a business using our system
across all of its operations but it really gave us a
lot of flexibility to work in different areas and
integrate it with other systems. Integration with
other systems has provided many benefits to
doing business for our company and is also very
beneficial for staged implementation at a head
office, Distribution Centre or the store level.
CAPETOWN – Art of Commerce (TM), Imageion (TM),,,
© CAPETOWN COMPUTING CORPORATION 2006,2009,2013, 2015, 2016
all rights reserved.
Retail Desktop
Retail Desktop View designed with touch screen
and/or quick function key capabilities, scanning,
over-rides for operators and managers (far left
bottom) product search and inventory navigation
(far right bottom) sales checkout and tender.
Trade Order
Order entry interface, header, detail, financial
Finder and Image++
Product Explorer and Image++ elements