Back in 1997 the internet was just taking off, and everyone was getting in on the action. Websites were going up left and right selling every product you could think of. Our data roots took hold there as well. Back then we were already in the computer business, selling hardware and software to local businesses who were putting computers on every desk. We wanted to get in on the internet craze as well though. So we created a webpage and launched an "Online Store" selling computer hardware. Wow, were we in for a wild ride.
Within 48 hours we had more orders than we could keep track of, over 400 in total. Within a week we had come to a grinding halt, buried in orders and inventory we could not effectively manage. We were buying paper order books at Office Depot to keep track of the sales, while orders were coming from every direction, phone, email, fax, and even walk-ins. Mistakes were everywhere, missing data, illegible writing and mixed up shipments. We had to stop and regroup because we simply weren't ready for that kind of business.
It took two years, many failures, and a lot of migraines to finally get an efficient and fully operational data management system in place, but we did it. Back then there weren't too many solutions that were designed for the amount of data we were passing through our business. At least not that we could afford so we did it ourselves. By combining off the shelf software with custom applications, we were able to put together a system to manage orders, payments, shipments, inventory, communication, and accounting efficiently.
A few years later we sold the business and decided to put our now incredibly valuable knowledge to use helping other companies solve their data problems. Now nearly 20 years later we would like to help you too.