American Veteran Contracting Solutions, LLC
Helping American Veteran Contracting Solutions Provide Delivery Information to Their Customers
American Veteran Contracting Solutions, LLC produces granite and marble headstones for the families of US soldiers. AVCS is an official vendor for the US Department of Veterans Affairs. They supply headstones and markers for veterans all over the world. AVCS takes on a lot of orders. So many, in fact, that it was becoming difficult to let people know when their orders were going to arrive. The management team decided they needed a custom delivery tracker. The idea was that this system would cut down on the time they were spending sending tracking numbers and delivery details to customers.
In this case study, we’ll go through how Link Software helped American Veteran Contracting Solutions create that custom delivery tracker. We’ll walk through the initial challenges, the details of the custom software we made, and how it all ties together for one ideal solution.
AVCS came to us with a desire to provide some of their internal order data to their customers through their website. The concept was simple: provide a form for customers to enter in their information and then redirect them to the tracking information of the freight carrier responsible for delivering their order.
The first issue we had to address was how they were maintaining the order data. A large Excel file is how the team keeps important information that we would need (order number, customer name, freight carrier, and tracking number). Replacing it was not an option.
Secondly, the sheer size of the Excel file could pose a problem. The file can at anytime contains thousands and thousands of rows of order information. We needed to make sure getting that much order data into the system we devised was as simple as possible.
The Custom Delivery Tracker Solution
We created a custom delivery tracker application for American Veteran Contracting Solutions that ultimately fit their needs. The delivery tracker has two main parts: an administrative interface and a customer front-end.
We always create a dedicated interface for our client’s staff for every custom software project we create. The simple administrative interface for this custom delivery tracker has two components. The first, accessible via any web browser, lets AVCS staff login and upload their Excel file of orders into the system. The system takes the file, parses out the pertinent information, and stores it in a database for later retrieval. AVCS employees can also use this admin interface to create and manage individual login accounts for their customers. We’ll discuss how that works more in the next section.
In addition to the manual upload process, the team can send the Excel file to the custom delivery tracker via email. We provided American Veteran Contracting Solutions with a dedicated email address for this purpose. Anyone on the team can simply attach the order data to an email, hit send, in a few minutes get back an email with a notification that the data import has been completed.
Ease of use and speed was important. No one at AVCS wanted to have to make drastic changes to their daily routine. The simple to use upload interface and the ability to just email a file to keep everything up-to-date was an ideal solution.
For customers, everything is accessible from the AVCS website. The custom delivery tracker uses a simple login system to restrict access to the form. As we mentioned above, the team can create individual accounts for their customers to access the order lookup form. The form itself asks for four pieces of information, unique to each order in the system, and then checks the database for a match.
When a match is found, the custom delivery tracker figures which freight carrier is responsible for that order. Then, depending on that result, the customer will be automatically directed to that carrier tracking website with their specific tracking number already loaded and ready to view. If the customer needs to look up another order, they can simply go back to the form and use it again without having to log in again.
Adding the form to the website is simple. American Veteran Contracting Solutions uses the GoDaddy Website Builder for the company site. We created a new page in the content management system for the tracking form. Then we added a few simple lines of code using the standard GoDaddy interface. When it was all said and done, AVCS customers can access the company’s website, provide their login information, and quickly get back the delivery details they need.
The Final Result
When the project was finished, American Veteran Contracting Solutions had a new way to keep customers informed. The goal of directing people away from email and phone calls had been achieved. The AVCS staff could now offer their customers a unique way to stay up-to-date on the delivery of their orders. And, most importantly, the team at AVCS could keep the system fresh with current order data quickly and easily.
Would you like to learn more about how a custom delivery tracker could improve your business? Link Software has created many custom software solutions around order and delivery tracking. It would be our please to answer any questions you might have. Simply fill out the form below and contact us today.