About TOT Shirts
TOT Shirts is one of the UK’s leading T-shirt printing and garment decorators. Starting small and building on quality, TOT Shirts has grown to be the favoured choice for fashion designers, sports clubs, merchandisers and brands.
TOT Shirts have been using FileMaker for a number of years and this works very well to manage their operations and accounting processes, ensuring everything runs smoothly and that the company can handle high volumes and time sensitive production runs.
They already had a web interface that was available to their vendors and allowed those vendors to place, review and renew orders for various types of stock, print and embroidery.
The problem came when the number of vendors who were using the web platform at the same time started to increase, this lead to the system becoming slow or unresponsive and having a knock on effect with the internal system whilst putting a large load on the hardware.
TOT Shirts decided that a rebuild of the web platform was required using the latest web technology whilst still utilising their existing FileMaker Platform., They needed to improve the speed and stability of both solutions whilst also adding more functionality to their vendor website.
The Path to Success
During an initial scoping calls, TOT Shirts expressed their desire to achieve the following:
- Their internal system to be less affected by web traffic;
- Improved user experience on the website;
- Latest cross browser support including a responsive (mobile friendly) design;
- Guest access to the web platform for certain activities;
- Offline messages during maintenance.
Through consultation with TOT Shirts, we agreed to build a native web application that would use the FileMaker DataAPI to interact with the data stored in the internal solution.
The web server would be hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) infrastructure allowing easy changes to the machine capabilities if required at a later stage.
Data would not need to be synced as we would be using a single source of data for both vendor activities and internal operations.
The first phase of the project involved building the DataAPI components on their internal solution whilst the web team created the whole new website based on TOT Shirts technical and functional specifications as well as their previous solution as a guide.
The second phase of this project added more features and improvements to the way processes were handled and offered the users more customisable options relating to some of their tasks within the website, such as design sign off and 3rd party access for ordering.
Since the new website went live, TOT Shirts are benefitting from the following:
- A much faster, more responsive vendor website;
- A significant drop in hardware utilisation and no knock on effect of higher web users;
- Vendor engagement has improved with the addition of new features.
TOT Shirts are very happy with the outcome of Phase 1 and Phase 2 and are looking to improve other parts of their solution with the help of Lesterius.