Oilpro – Oilfield Used Equipment Catalog

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Implementation of Knowledge Vector’s IntraWeb based system is allowing us to consider expansion much earlier than would have been possible with our previous arrangements.

Olav Cramer, President, OilPro Oilfield Production Equipment

The Company

OilPro Oilfield Production Equipment is a trusted name in new and used production equipment. Products carried in inventory are; pumpjacks, treaters, separators, line heaters, dehydrators, free water knockouts, tanks and other assorted gas and oil treating equipment. OilPro sells equipment to companies in Canada and around the world.

The Problem

Oilpros exisisting on-line catalog system was showing its age. Driven by and Access database and ASP server pages, was difficult for customers to find information on equipment and presentation left a great deal to be desired. Maintaining the catalog was a cumbersome task and often not done at all. Generation of quotes from catalog information involved cutting and pasting from the website which was time intensive, time that could be better spent selling.

The Solution

OilPro contracted Knowledge Vector Corporation (KVC) to design and implement a new cataloging system that would address the following issues:

  • Ownership of data  OilPro desired that the master database be kept on their own server.
  • Hosted Solution  Oilpro did not want to host the solution on their server, preferring a co-located solution.
  • Minimal Maintenance  OilPro is a small organization and dont want the overhead of database maintenance.
  • Feature Rich  OilPro wanted to give potential customers the tools to find what they needed.
  • Simplified Quotation Generation  OilPro wanted the ability to generate multiple quotes/hour rather than one or two per day.
  • Cost Effective  OilPro has a minimal IT budget.

In addition to the above, the OilPros hosting service only allowed access to port 80 (http) and port 29 (ftp) even though OilPro provided the server. In addition, the hosting service would not allow Microsoft IIS to run on their network.

KVC proposed a Delphi/Intraweb/Firebird/OmniHTTPd solution. The solution consisted of the following components:

  • Client Application accesses the master Firebird database running on their server. The client application manages data entry and quotation generation using MS-Words mailmerge capabilities
  • Website db Updater Application and Service Written in Delphi monitors a change log in the database and streams the changes to an ISAPI dll running under OmniHTTPd on the web server. Live data is not so much of an issue since this is big iron and can take a month or so to sell and new items are not being added daily.
  • Catalog Service  Written in Delphi using Intraweb and TMS Intraweb components as an ISAPI dll, this service allows the customer to view available equipment, request a quotation, ask OilPro to look for equipment or let them know when equipment becomes available.

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KVC developed and deployed the first generation of solution in one month.

Results

The combination of a robust office application and the website catalog has allowed us to respond to customer requests faster, says Olav Cramer, President of OilPro. We’ve seen a marked increase in customer requests because of the website application and it has significantly enhanced the way our customers view us.

In fact, he added, our competitors now ask us to quote on equipment for resale because they can find what they need on our website faster than they can generate their own internal quotes. The application developed by Knowledge Vector using IntraWeb has given us an immediately identifiable competitive advantage. In another instance we became a competitor’s most significant reseller because we can quote equipment of their inside stock list more quickly than they can formally quote their own clients. Implementation of Knowledge Vector’s IntraWeb based system is allowing us to consider expansion much earlier than would have been possible with our previous arrangements.

IntraWeb and Delphi really sped the overall development, said John Wester, principal of Knowledge Vector Corporation. Because we could integrate existing business rules from the client application directly into the IntraWeb application we were able to fast-track development. As well, the familiar Delphi development paradigm allowed us to use our existing skills as developers, leaving website layout to those that are way better at it than us.