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B2B Procurement Portal

Infinity Brands, operating from Johannesburg in Gauteng, sells franchises in the building material supply and services industries. The group holds the ACDC Dynamics and Sunburst Electric brands and proudly offers full operational support to its franchisors and franchisees.

Having identified procurement management as essential to the success of its operations, Infinity Brands approached us midway through 2017 with the aim of enhancing their existing online procurement management tool. Together with Infinity Brands, we defined and documented the functional and business requirements for enhancing this tool, known as InfaNet.

The purpose of InfaNet, a source-to-settle platform, is to improve the manner in which franchise groups conduct business with their various suppliers. Its core function is to enable direct purchasing from accredited suppliers in a secure, user-friendly way. A self-service web application that benefits both suppliers and franchises alike, the InfaNet portal provides an effective solution to the communication challenges that typically exist between the two.

The Panthera Digital Commerce team boasts an illustrious track record in eCommerce (B2B and B2C). Our role in this project was to advise on eCommerce best practice, current trends, usability, and recommended strategy in terms of the design, workflow processes, functionality and end-to-end customer journey. Our first step was to compare the existing portal to the original portal specifications and document the gaps. Next, we analysed the analytics data that the existing portal had generated to date, focusing on such metrics as pages visited, drop-off points, acquisition, sales made and new user registrations. Then, taking these gaps and analytics insights into account, we documented our recommended enhancements in the form of a Business Requirements Specification (BRS). This BRS defined the project’s objectives and formed the foundation from which all subsequent documentation – including developer documentation – was produced.

Approved updates to the InfaNet portal include a new content management system (CMS) that is better-suited to meeting the client’s business requirements, and redesigned front-end screens with a focus on access to product information. Also included are: the ability for individual suppliers to login and manage inventory, order indexing and processing functionality, enhanced information architecture – particularly pertaining to catalogues and shop pages – and order status tracking functions. Portal administrators are able to moderate and manage users and user activity in the back-end, while applications for new users and new suppliers can be created from the front-end by the applicants themselves. Development included a significant amount of customisation, as well as integration to 3rd-party software such as Xero ERP, Instant EFT payment gateway and live-chat on-screen support. All web development was carried out by Spratt Consulting, our preferred development supplier.