Posted by: Mark Fontecchio
RPG on System i
Western Power Sports reworked its online presence using Web development tools on the System i, a move that has increased online sales of its power sports equipment fivefold.
Prior to the project, the Boise, Idaho-based company was only generating about 10% of its sales online. Now about half of its sales comes over the Internet, garnering more than 1 million page views, 17,000 orders and about $7.5 million in sales every month.
How did it happen? Well, it almost didn’t. The fast-growing company was outgrowing its outdated Web presence, and needed something that would better integrate with its existing System i platform.
“We didn’t have the time or the ability at that point to develop our own solution,” said Rody Cummings, the company’s IT director. “What we were looking for was a company to sell us a product and also provide a solution they could support.”
What Cummings found was that most products had steep, lengthy learning curves that Western Power Sports didn’t have the time to endure. So the company was leaning toward outsourcing its Web development entirely.
It decided to listen to one more pitch, from a company called Profound Logic. The software vendor sells RPGsp, an RPG-based Web development platform on the System i. Cummings said that halfway through the demonstration, he knew it was something that Western Power Sports could use.
A few weeks later, Western Power Sports had developed a new online platform that was implemented soon after.
“With our previous solution it would have taken a full week of me working with the product along with their team just to get a website online that still had no functionality,” he said.