What Is Jreps

Collateral Inventory System

Creative Image is an advertising and design company that envisions and creates marketing materials for its clients. The firm focuses on creating marketing campaigns for major banks. As a value added service, Creative Image manages the printing and inventory of marketing materials (also called collateral) for its clients.

Business problem
For several years, Creative Image managed collateral inventory with spreadsheets and a homegrown application using a popular single-user desktop database. As business grew, so did the volume and complexity of collateral management. With increasing complexity of inventory management, the resources and overheads required to manage increased as well. Increasing complexity led to management complications and sometimes orders were delivered late or missed completely. As this became unacceptable to the business, the company decided to implement a new system that was more inline with the existing business needs.
The firm approached IT Dimensions to build such a system. After several discussions, the firm decided against upgrading the existing database and improving existing functionality. Instead, it was decided to jump the technology gap and implement an extranet system that gave control of collateral management to the clients. The intent was to let reduce Creative Image's overhead and give management onus to the client.

Solution - Collateral Tracking System
One of the major issues faced by Creative Image while creating the system was with application design. The company did not have any prior experience with customer centric applications and was unsure of the functionality of the new system. When Creative Image approached us, we decided to use JReps to prototype the system. JReps' flexibility and ability to create a working, database-enabled prototype in a few days enabled us to quickly formulate system specifications. We conducted several JAD sessions with the client and were able to demonstrate a "production capable" system at every session.

We implemented the Collateral Tracking System as an extranet application. The system allows clients to login to the system over the Internet, view existing inventory of different items, reorder and ship items. As multiple levels of management controls and approvals were required, we created several security profiles. JReps built-in security features made this simple and easy to deploy. As system specifications evolved with each prototype, database design could not be formalized until late in the application development process. This could have been a serious issue with traditional RAD tools and would have delayed implementation. However, as JReps is loosely coupled with data sources this did not pose any problem. The system was implemented in 3 months. It currently supports over 100 users.

JReps advantage

Prototype and develop system simultaneously

Ability to deliver prototypes in a matter of hours instead of days significantly compressing implementation time

Pre-programmed multiple data visibility and security functionality that can be quickly customized to customer's requirements

Visit Creative Image website at www.ecreativeimage.com