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Microsoft .NET Delivers Flower Power

With Mother's Day Coming, Consumers Can Thank Technology

With Mother's Day looming and other events such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc., one of the world's largest flower growers and distributors, Falcon Farms, is relying on .NET technology to deliver the goods.

In less than one year, the New York-based consulting company Lab49 developed a scalable and modular software system that enabled Falcon Farms to enter the retail and e-commerce markets.

Falcon Farms's retail and wholesale customer base includes some of the largest U.S. grocery store chains: Albertson's, Winn Dixie, Stop & Shop, Giant Foods, Wal-Mart, and Safeway, among others. These retailers order as many as 20,000 cases of flower bouquets, sending out as many as 20 tractor trailers full of products in one order.

And orders for Wal-Mart, for example, are accessed using a proprietary Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) terminal system within the Falcon Farms facility - Wal-Mart transmits an order and Falcon Farms fulfills it.

According to Lab49 partner Daniel Chait, "Falcon owns farms in South America (Colombia and Ecuador) as well as distribution centers throughout the United States. This allows the company to do an end-to-end, direct-from-the farms-to-end-users business. Falcon Farms was really the first company to vertically integrate in the fresh-cut flower business - up until now, U.S. retailers and wholesalers would purchase flowers from international sources."

To meet Falcon Farms's requirements, Lab49 built a warehouse system that can receive order information and provide an online product catalog through Web services. Lab49 built a distributed system of Web services, databases, integration adapters, and Microsoft ASP.NET Web sites that provide shopping, product catalog management, order ticket generation and order tracking, and merchant integration services. It's based on Microsoft SQL Server 2000 Analysis Services, and provides transactional processing as well as online analytical processing (OLAP)-based reporting capabilities.

 

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.NETDJ News Desk monitors Microsoft .NET and its related technologies, including Silverlight, to present IT professionals with news, updates on technology advances, business trends, new products and standards, and insight.

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