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4H

4-H Mall

With the need for an expert to help them leverage their enterprise Ektron system within a desired timeline, National 4-H Council partnered with MethodFactory, already a trusted commerce partner, for their tier 2 architecture design and the development of more functionality for the business users; such as custom dynamic navigation, a locator system with 'geo-location' and Google Maps overlay.

View Site: www.4-hmall.org

Client Background

National 4-H Council is the largest out-of-school youth organization in the United States, consisting of over 7 million youth members.  Its mission is to “empower youth to reach their full potential, working and learning in partnership with caring adults.”

4-H (Head, Heart, Hands, and Health) was created around the start of the 20th century to engage rural youth in practical, hands on learning.  Its programs were designed to bridge the gap between public school education and country life as well as to connect young people and adults.  Life skills development is built into 4-H projects, activities and events to help youth become contributing, productive, self-directed members of society. There is Cooperative Extension staff responsible for 4-H clubs and programs in every county and city.

National 4-H Supply Service
National 4-H Supply Service is the e-commerce and mail order catalog unit of National 4-H Council.  Created in 1924, it is the official primary source for supplies, paraphernalia and other similar items bearing the 4-H name or emblem.  Products offered for sale include awards and recognition items (trophies, plaques, medals, and ribbons), 4-H apparel and club supplies, office supplies, 4-H curriculums and other printed resources.

Business Challenge

The e-commerce and catalog unit of National 4-H Council, National 4-H Supply Service, was using a generation-1, “home grown” custom commerce system that was no longer serving their needs.  The site lacked agility and modern functionality, and the graphic design no longer represented the contemporary image of the council.

With the impending mass mailing of their annual catalog just a few months away, they needed a new e-commerce website to be up and fully functioning to support and supplement catalog sales by the time the catalog was delivered.  Another consideration was that Council had recently invested in a new ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) system and needed a solution with which it could integrate. They soon realized that in order to meet their critical timeline, goals and budget, they would need to find a technology partner who knew e-commerce inside and out and who had ERP integration experience.

Solution

Council partnered with MethodFactory based on their extensive experience with Microsoft Commerce Server 2009 and ERP integration, as well as their out-of-the-box commerce extension tools to enhance Microsoft’s native customer, product catalog, and marketing management.  Considering Council’s tight timeframe and budget, it was determined that MethodFactory’s B2C Storefront Accelerator would be the perfect fit for accomplishing Council’s eCommerce goals.

The new site was architected with a modern category browse, guided navigation, and search functionality, as well as a streamlined check-out process and a membership management area. MethodFactory redesigned the site graphically with a clean, logical, and contemporary look - utilizing the latest in CSS interface design, giving Council the flexibility to change the aesthetics of the site as they evolve.  MethodFactory implemented Sitefinity Content Management System and integrated with their ERP system, streamlining the business and creating a user-friendly environment on the front end as well as the back end.

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