The reference application supports inventory management of promotional material and worldwide online ordering of such material by sales representatives and their office staff. It was implemented to relieve staff from the cumbersome and error-prone use of spreadsheets for the same tasks. It supports inventory management, workflows for warehouse clerks, processing of orders and their shipment to different countries with different legal and documentation requirements, as well as automatic inventory reports, invoices and accounting within the corporation and with suppliers. The combined effort for solution development was two months, spread over a period of six months with 19 successive versions to refine workflow specifics and the information model for a perfect match. Since it has become operational, on average 3 refinements or changes come up each year. Each command from a few hours to a few days of work. They are either due to changed organizational procedures, or changed technical operating conditions.
The economics of this application is due to the perfect modeling of complex work procedures. They are too complex for spreadsheets, and require too much (and expensive) customization of standard office or industry solutions.
»The ALI Way« here is a concept for developing and operating web applications. These web applications support professional work flows of small businesses: