An Envoy White Paper

Developing a Wholesale B2B Platform On Your Own VS. Adopting Envoy

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Introduction


As we begin a relationship with an organization in need of an enterprise level wholesale B2B platform, we often hear that they’ve been exploring the possibility of developing a platform on their own. To date, we’ve yet to learn of a single organization that has decided to take that step and found long term success. This white paper will outline the differences between developing on your own vs adopting Envoy, and why so many companies eventually choose Envoy.

Building a Platform Internally


Development

The first thing that must be considered when developing a content distribution platform is the development effort. This would include both time and cost. To establish an accurate estimate of this effort, let’s break down the scope of what’s required.

WEB PORTAL

  • User Management
  • Order Placement
  • App Management
  • Order History
  • Content Builder
  • Invoicing
  • Content Distribution
  • Catalog Builder
  • Integration
  • Catalog Segmentation
  • Assortment Planner

TABLET APP

  • All Web Features
  • Integration

As you can see, there are many different elements that need to be developed to support a successful platform. And while it might be easy to imagine all of the features you’ll want to include, planning and developing these features takes a great deal of time and resources. Consider that it’s taken five full years for Envoy to become as feature-rich as it is.

Additional Needs

Global Support

Once your platform has been developed and is ready for release, your team will need training as well as ongoing support to ensure they are kept up to date on new features and can get help when they need it most. Also consider the fact that many users have never used a tablet before so they’ll need device training as well. Your geographic footprint will likely demand servicing many regions at once.

Content Creation

In order to make use of your newly developed platform, you’ll need to think about content creation. Who will create the digital versions of your catalogs, format the assets so they’re compatible with your system, and make sure all of it is distributed and updated in a timely manner?

Feature Development

As your team continues to use the platform, they’ll expect that new features are added to keep the platform relevant and useful. If the platform doesn’t continue to improve, over time it becomes stale and your investment will be diminished. Developing and rolling out these features to your users will require concise planning and management on both the web and tablet side to make sure they’re a success.

Ongoing Development

Aside f Aside from developing new features, your platform will need to be kept up-to-date as technology changes. For instance, Apple just released iOS 9 requiring app developers to update their apps to support features that have been redesigned, added, or even removed from their toolkit all together.

With all of those factors in mind, let’s take a look at adopting Envoy.

Adopting Envoy

Development

Over the last 5 years Envoy has been developed into a robust platform. We’re now many versions in on our web portal and tablet app. It cannot be understated how much effort has been put into making sure the platform works towards fulfilling the needs of a fast moving, global enterprise team. When you choose to adopt Envoy, your app and web portal can be up and running within weeks.

Additional Benefits

Global Support

Along with developing the platform, Envoy has spent considerable time develping a robust support site filled with articles and videos to help users get the support they need. And when support articles aren’t enough, Envoy staff is ready to help with one on one phone and email support as well as group training as needed. Envoy has a global support team offering comprehensive support.

On top of our robust support options, Envoy will help your team get trained and up to speed as you roll out the platform. We’ll meet with your team on-site or via the web to host in depth user training for both app and web.

Content Creation

Each year as our clients release new catalogs, Envoy staff creates thousands of pages and distributes them to users. So while you might not have the staff to get your content to the app quickly and efficiently, Envoy has the means and experience to execute this for you at a fraction of what it would cost to hire someone to do it for you.

Feature Development

To make sure our platform stays relevant and exciting, Envoy sticks to a quick eight week development cycle. With that you’ll find new, updated, and more efficient features across your platform, upwards of six times per year. Envoy is a team of experts who know the footwear and apparel industry, and continually innovate the Envoy platform.

Conclusion

Considering all of the elements detailed in this paper, you can start to realize that the total cost of ownership in building your own app can far exceed your initial expectations. Envoy has already invested our resources into developing a robust platform that can easily meet the needs of a global footwear and apparel organization. Great footwear and apparel brands create great products their consumers want. By partnering with Enoy your brand will remain focused on doing just that.

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