Tervis – customizable drinkware – 70 years of success
In Michigan in 1946,Frank Cotter and G. Howlett Davis invented the procedure of isolating double-wall tumblers and named their company Tervis Tumbler Company. In the 60ies, the 2 founders sold the company to the Donnelly’s, a Florida based family. Today the 3rd generation family business employs more than 900 employees and offers a multitude of products in thousands of designs. Tervis has become a leader in using innovative technologies to market drinkware in the U.S., selling their products through ecommerce, B2B distribution channels and retail stores. For years now, they have been the leaders in selling customized Drinkware through their e-commerce portal – www.tervis.com
An eCommerce Platform for Drinkware
Software Maintenance to start with
Tervis Management Team understood early what potential ecommerce would have for them, not just to sell but also to have customers design and order their own drinkware. After few years their solution was not state of the art anymore and maintenance became a challenge. This is when Tervis found Helios.
They asked us to maintain their solution, which we have done since: Bug fixing, software optimization and support, changes in front and back end systems. Within two months of our maintenance services they were extremely satisfied by the thinking process of our development team and the agile process.
.. soon evolving to Tervis asking us for advice on a multitude of topicst
Working with us, Tervis understood that Helios was more than just programming. They started to talk to us about developing the most critical features of their web portal, started using our experience, asking for our advice, our support in addition to our development capabilities.
The business-critical co-designs and developments affecting different areas within Tervis demonstrate the level of collaboration we had reached:
On the operational side the list goes from enhancing of the ecommerce based Catalogue and Inventory Management to tool such as a package list generator.
On the marketing side, we connected totheir Marketing Automation System and developed customized ecommerce analytics for them.
How We Grew Together
Help! Our "customizer" fails on mobile customers
The "customizer" is a user interface and logic for customers to visually design their own drinkware online, and then order it. It is a competitive edge topic for Tervis.
Tervis had a "customizer" which was successfully running in Adobe Flex Technology. When more and more users were moving towards mobile,Tervis were faced with a major challenge: Adobe Flex does not support iOS. It was threatening: a business critical solution prevented them from interacting with a large chunk of their market. They now required a new solution which was compatible across multiple devices and they wanted to add some new features.
Tervis again turned to Helios to discuss possible approaches. We researched thoroughly, decided on a technology framework (HTML5) and created a prototype. Once the prototype was accepted we applied an agile project management approach to develop the application. The solution successfully went live and we continue to support Tervis running it.
Customers can now access the "customizer" from any device and conveniently design their own drinkware using drag & drop functionality. They can start from scratch or adapt readymade templates. Once they have a draft design they can see their drinkware in 3D rotation, change and visualize again till they are happy with the outcome. Printing the designed drinkware is easy: the program automatically generates a pixel perfect, print ready output. The process is fully automated to create a "batch size one" order for Tervis.
Can you help us integrate and manage better?
Creating an order is only one part of the process. Terviswanted the whole process to be faster and more efficient. This required abetter integration of the marketing-front end applications with their Microsoft Dynamics Navision ERP system. Again they asked Helios to conceptualize and program the integration.
Another opportunity for Helios to prove competence and flexibility popped up when Tervis needed to make their ecommerce business more stable, faster and safer. Tervis and Helios collaborated to implement Demandware as the digital backbone to ecommerce as well as Microsoft Commerce Server.
Looking back at 3 years of collaboration
These successes were the result of a team of 6 Helios resources in India collaborating with a team working at Tervis and other system partners. Right from the beginning and since we have taken support work off the shoulders of their own people.
We then could help them creatively complement their knowledge with Helios competence and capacities allowingTervis to stay competitive and profitable. We did so developing new and improved solutions in a complex server oriented layered architecture. We designed new architectures based upon Software as a Service approach. We have thus evolved from just another software support partner to a valued complete IT solutions partner.