|Project Name||Graybar Outlook Sidebar Product Order App|
|Tagline||Quick supply order plugin|
|Project Summary||Design an outlook plugin that allows Graybar electrical customers to quickly send supply re-orders to their local reps.|
|Client||TDK / Graybar|
|Date or Timeframe||October 2019|
|Tasks & Responsibilities||Research electrical supply customer, work on user persona, develop concept that could integrate with TDK / Graybar API, design UX screens, simulate workflow.|
|Design Tools / UX Methods||Figma, Outlook 365, UX Component libraries|
|KPIs / Analytics||Completed orders, re-orders, plugin downloads|
|Team / Collaborators||Mike Smick, Tim Saunders, Adam P.|
Graybar came to the team at TDK to work on a concept that could improve the customer / sales rep relationship by streamlining transactions but utilizing existing paperwork process. After the initial meeting, we got together to discuss the potential for the system. Realizing some of what could be done, could be simplified in an Outlook plugin, I sought to reach out to the customer base and utilizing the current Microsoft UX component library, created the screens towards a workflow. Once completed I presented the work to Graybar for continued evaluation.
Fortunately I have a few colleagues and relatives that work in the electrical business I could reach out to for some research. The service model Graybar had was utilizing reps assigned to customers for order fulfillment. Because of the volatility of supply quantity and all things financial around the client relationship, it was critical to maintain that service model using the plugin.
These screens represent the customer view, but I explained the administrative requirements that the sales rep or customer service rep would be required for the product order to work. In order to bypass a search with degraded response time, model # confusion and convenience, the products would be assigned to the client so they could quickly be re-ordered.
A note about Outlook plugins. There would be a constraint on versioning both client and server. In my research and discussions with the team, we evaluated the SalesForce plugins for outlook to see what functionality and design references were available.
Method #1 Generate Order PDF – Auto-Compose Email to designated recipient
Method #2 Prepare an order and automatically submit in background as webform
The next two screens are the second method of ordering which generates and sends the order as a webform post. In discussions with the team, this would require more infrastructure on the back end to form process and and integration with inventory API. This would allow the customer to potentially pull up their records of orders as well as order modification and more direct customer service.
Next are a couple of configuration and help screens that are helpful for the sales rep. The initial setup of the plugin after installation requires the customer to identify their sales rep so they will be designated recipient. This could include an automatic assignment of their account manager / CSR at Graybar as well.
The final screen is the Help screen. In my work I like to include that in most of my design proposals if they don’t exist already. Sometimes help can be integrated with instant messaging, support contact and more. In this case, I wanted to provide a couple potential FAQ items and provide a way to submit a support email to the sales rep / CSR.
This last slide was part of our discussion regarding potential additional screen views and requirements from the admin side of things. Also other functionality that would grow the complexity of the application. Because these were unknowable at the time, they were instead just explained as project considerations to be discussed. They also helped open up for questions and comments from the client, and our developer and architect and sales manager.