Rapid Application Development

Difficult technology mandate issued by printing company’s largest customer solved by our cost-effective open source software solution.

The Business Need

When a major customer makes a major request, one is obliged to comply.  The client employs 12 and produces specialty-printing products in a competitive industry. Their largest customer employs more than 35,000 and expects considerable attention from its vendors. Our client learned that future business with its large customer would require interfacing with the customer’s Ariba applications for procurement, invoicing and payment.  The client had no IT infrastructure and no in house capability to comply.

Centric’s High-Impact Approach

The business sought counsel from several consulting firms, and quickly decided Centric had the technical skills, business insights and affable style to help them through a critical transformation of business processes. Centric was able to devise and quickly implement a solution that not only made the client compliant, but also made them the standard by which other vendors are measured.

A small shop (i.e. no IT department) like our client’s provides some unique development advantages. Centric was able to utilize the Ruby on Rails development framework. Among the many benefits was the ability to create a responsive application to meet  and exceeded  the needs of the client in a remarkably short timeframe while keeping costs low. More specifically, the Centric solution:

  • Used Agile techniques to understand business processes, prototype, refine, and deploy the needed functionality via frequent releases. Valuable business functionality was therefore deployed at regular intervals.
  • Utilized Ruby on Rails to simplify and thus accelerate development and test activities
  • Deploy open source infrastructure (LINUX, MySQL, etc.) to keep costs low
  • Rapidly add new functionality as mandated by the customer’s business.


Not only did the client comply with their customer’s demands, they are now positioned to grow their business due to increased productivity and the ability to serve new customers with similar procurement requirements. Additionally, they were able to implement the solution using Centric and Ruby on Rails in 8 weeks versus original estimates of more than 6 months.