We have finally completed the first official release of a bespoke software package created for Windmill Computing Limited. Windmill Computing is a company based in Cranleigh that supplies ID Card Systems to a wide range of customers. They act as a European distributor for RF IDeas proximity card readers and a variety of other card readers and printers. We have worked on the development of the company’s website and e-commerce system since 2007.
One of the biggest challenges faced by Windmill Computing is managing its product list, which now numbers over 600 items. The company buys some of its products in dollars, but sells in pounds or euros. Also, it sells not only to end users but also resellers, who receive varying levels of discount.
This release is the culmination of many months effort to make the process of managing the product list more robust. We maintain a master list of products within the company’s private systems, and only calculate the end user and reseller prices for the website when synchronising selected products on the website with the master list.
One important area we have worked on is the calculation of prices. We now calculate all the basic prices, whether they be end user prices or the varying levels of reseller prices, offline, and write the prices in pounds to the live database. The only calculations performed online are currency conversions. This allows us to be confident that the prices for the various products are correct.
Another important area is the automatic regenerate of prices caused by a supplier issuing a new price list. We have automated the various methods for generating the end user and reseller prices from the original manufacturer’s buy price or list price. This both saves a considerable amount of work, and also makes the whose process far more reliable.