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Case Studies

  • How Sitefinity Helped Get the National 4-H Council’s Product Catalog Website up and Running Within a Tight Budget and Time Frame

    • The National 4-H Council partnered with us to provide workable solutions within a tight time frame and budget, so we put together a suite of technology that would best serve their immediate needs and also allow them to grow.  Sitefinity is an integral part of that equation, as it provides them with the adaptability necessary to accommodate that growth in a user-friendly environment.

      Author: James Williamson, Partner Company: MethodFactory, Inc.

    • Client: National 4-H Supply Service
    • Industry: Non-Profit
    • Project website: http://www.4-hmall.org
    • Implemented by: MethodFactory
    • Industry
      Non-profit
    • Background
      National 4-H Council is the largest out-of-school youth organization in the United States, consisting of over 7 million youth members. Its mission is to “empower youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.”

      4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) was created around the start of the 20th century to engage rural youth in practical, hands on learning. Life skills development is built into 4-H projects, activities and events to help youth become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society.
    • Challenge
      4-HMall.org has plenty of manageable content on their eCommerce catalog site and needed a CMS system that was scalable – one that allowed them to make changes to pages, supporting their eCommerce offering.
    • Why Sitefinity
      4-H needed a CMS system that allowed them to remain adaptable. Sitefinity offers an open architecture environment for ease of use and the ability to create custom modules.
    • Technology Highlights
      ASP.NET, SQL Server
      Sitefinity CMS
      Microsoft Commerce Server 2009
      MethodFactory B2C Storefront Accelerator
      MethodFactory Integration Extender 
      Sage MAS 500 ERP System
    • Results
      With Sitefinity as the core CMS platform, 4-H is now able to deliver the information their members need as it becomes available. The implementation of Sitefinity, along with Commerce Server has visibly improved sales and internal operations; they no longer have to struggle with a CMS and are enjoying increased productivity.
  • The Challenge

    The eCommerce and catalog unit of National 4-H Council, National 4-H Supply Service, was using a generation-1, “home grown” custom commerce system that was no longer serving their needs.  The site lacked agility and modern functionality, and the graphic design no longer represented the contemporary image of the council.

    With the impending mass mailing of their annual product catalog just a few months away, they needed a new eCommerce website to be up and fully functioning to support and supplement catalog sales by the time the catalog was delivered, one that included an agile content management system that would allow for the modification and addition of static content. 

    Another consideration was that 4-H Council had recently invested in a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and needed a solution with which it could integrate.  They soon realized that in order to meet their critical timeline, goals and budget, they would need to find a technology partner who knew eCommerce inside and out and who also had ERP integration and CMS experience. 
     
    The Solution

    Council partnered with MethodFactory based on their extensive experience with Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 and ERP integration, as well as their out-of-the-box commerce extension tools to enhance Microsoft’s native customer, product catalog, and marketing management. Considering Council’s tight timeframe and budget, it was determined that MethodFactory’s B2C Storefront Accelerator would be the perfect fit for accomplishing Council’s eCommerce goals.

    The new site was architected with a modern category browse, guided navigation, and search functionality, as well as a streamlined check-out process and a membership management area. MethodFactory redesigned the site graphically with a clean, logical, and contemporary look - utilizing the latest in CSS interface design, giving Council the flexibility to change the aesthetics of the site as they evolve. MethodFactory implemented Sitefinity Content Management System and integrated with their ERP system, streamlining the business and creating a user-friendly environment on the front end as well as the back end.

    The Results

    With Sitefinity as the core CMS platform, 4-H now has the ability and confidence to manage their content in an open architecture environment, allowing them to remain adaptable to any changes that might be required, ensuring that website content stays up to date.

    4-H is now able to deliver the information their members need as it becomes available. The implementation of Sitefinity, along with Commerce Server has visibly improved sales and internal operations, as they no longer have to struggle with a CMS and are enjoying increased productivity.

    With the ability for real-time content changes through Sitefinity, customer service has improved a great deal.  The use of Sitefinity has helped to mitigate any guess work and questioning on the part of the member because the information on the website now represents in real-time valuable customer and company information.

    “MethodFactory delivered a quick-time-to-market, no-nonsense eCommerce solution that gave us extensive phase-1 functionality and extensibility to add additional features as our needs evolve. Our return on investment considerations included benefits derived from significant increases in sales, staff efficiency, and customer/member satisfaction and loyalty”, says Kirk James, Director of Information Technology at National 4-H Council.

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