Wandsworth Council Traded Services for Schools

Background

Traded Services for Schools promoted services on a printed brochure that provide details of the wide range of services available to Wandsworth schools and academies. The brochure gave an overview of each service, summary details of what was provided, benefits of purchasing from them along with the costs and contact details of each service.

Goals

Wandsworth Council approached Discover IT to develop an e-commerce site for Traded Services for Schools. At the time, schools were given a printed brochure for them to order goods and services to fulfil their requirements and needs. 

Wandsworth Council’s main requirement was an automated traded services to accommodate the growing online demands. To achieve this they required a bespoke pricing system which calculates the price of a product depending on a school’s specification (i.e. per pupil, per staff and per area), as this was originally done manually.

Other requirements Wandsworth had were a set of comprehensive user roles forWandsworth administrators, schools and services. For each school there would be two levels of user; one who can order products and another who can also order products, but also purchase them. Another requirement they had was a series of custom reports, such as a pricing report, which allows certain users to select a product and view the price seen by all of the schools or for a product.

Challenges

The main challenge Discover IT faced when transferring the brochure into a Kentico e-commerce site was applying the complex pricing structure they have for their products. Not only did they have products that had a standard fixed price, but also products that do not have fixed prices, that were dependent on the number of pupils a school has, the number of staff, if the school’s number of pupils or staff fall into a particular range, whether a school has purchased an associated product or not, and the schools’ total area in square metres. There is also a pricing condition for certain products if a school had previously purchased an associated product.

On top of all of this, there is another pricing for particular schools. For example, a product has two prices; one price for one school, and another price for all other schools. This allows the flexibility for schools to negotiate prices with the Traded Services for certain products.

Solution

Wandsworth staff were already familiar with Kentico CMS and enthusiastic to pursue Kentico’s e-commerce capabilities. Due to their Kentico expert knowledge and competency, Discover IT were able to assist Wandsworth with their requirement.

To service the extensive volume of products and services provided by Wandsworth, Kentico was able to support the categorizing and managing of vast amount of products and services into simple document types.

Custom Development
For this complex pricing system Discover IT created a custom pricing engine that overrides Kentico’s default fixed pricing function. This was implemented by customising Kentico’s default API providers. Some products have fixed prices, but those which do not have prices that are calculated depending on these following criteria for schools:

  • Number of pupils
  • Number of staff
  • Category range the number of pupils/staff fall in
  • Relationship to Wandsworth Council (Community, Independent etc.)
  • Whether school has purchased an associated core product
  • Type of school (Nursery, Primary, Secondary etc.)
  • School funding (Paid for by Wandsworth, Independent etc.)

Another solution was the ability for schools to order products using a spreadsheet style input form which uses the repeater control function, so it saves the school from going into each of the products that they wish to order and entering the amounts. Instead, all of the products for a service would be displayed on the service screen and they can pick and choose which products they wish to purchase. This control was created as a custom Kentico web part, which are the basic building blocks of portal engine page templates, meaning this control could be reused in any future application. 

For the comprehensive user roles this includes:

  • Schools – two new roles were created; School user and Bursar. The school user is allowed to add products to the ‘wish list’ but not able to make any purchase, whereas the Bursar/Headmaster is also able to add items to the ‘wish list’ but allowed to approve and complete purchases.
  • Services - allowing them to create/amend the products within their service and also the pricing for them.
  • Wandsworth Administration - allowing them to do all of the above, but for all services and also run all of the reports for all schools (the reports at service level are restricted to their own service), and also add/amend/delete schools within the traded services system

Wandsworth had some specific e-commerce reporting requirements; to analyse sales of products per school, and schools per product. Kentico has the capabilities to add new custom reports, via the reporting application. Which allows graphs, reports and values to be defined, viewed and subscribed to without any coding.