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Specialization and collaboration. In a word, they represent the distribution of labor, including among companies.

Real time information. The time when stores closed down to do inventory for a week is long gone. Nobody wants to know how the inventory looked like 7 months ago.

These two requirements led to the development of supply chain applications. It's not a fashion trend, but simply a need to make the processes more efficient.

This is how one of our applications works:

A visitor uses Froogle to find out the price of a certain product (we developed the automatic importing of the products). Then, he orders the product from a Yahoo!Stores website. We check the inventory for the product, and we signal if the inventory needs to be replenished.

After the visitor orders, the command gets to the central database and the system waits for the payment confirmation. At the moment of the confirmation, the order is sent to the supplier through the interrogation of the bank's server. The supplier delivers the product it through a carrier. The application sends a confirmation for the order's execution, as well as for the tracking code for the package, to the Yahoo!Stores system. Our system constantly checks the status of the transport, and tells the arrival time to the client.

Also, the orders received are collected in order to assess the most wanted products, depending on the time of the year and the people that bought them.

The whole process involves seven or eight companies and as many computer systems. But for the client, everything is extremely easy. An one-button operation and the order arrives at his house in the shortest time possible. This is an example of a process carried out by a supply-chain application. Without any papers, without phone calls between various partners and without the costs and the delays brought about by the human element.

Case study: E-Logistics Application - Intrepid Business Solutions.