URBN is a portfolio of global consumer brands comprised of Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Free People, FP Movement, BHLDN, Terrain, Menus & Venues, and Nuuly. We spoke with Jas Singh, Architect at URBN’s technology department responsible for driving some of the larger projects they have on-going in the corporation.
So, Jas - how did you find PDF Generator API - what was the problem you were trying to solve?
I am a part of the technology department at URBN where I work on a multitude of projects for all of our consumer brands. Some are bigger, and some are smaller. I was looking for a solution for sending our customers an order invoice email - essentially the details of what was ordered, what we shipped, and how much was charged and via which payment method. Some of our customers order in bulk from us, so we need to generate invoices including all the product information, financial data for tax purposes, etc.
In more complex cases where, for example discounts, refunds or adjustments are added, the customers have contacted our call center and their issues have been solved manually. To accommodate the underlying workflows, we have built a number of API-s, which pull data from various sources into Salesforce, which is what we use as our call center solution. As an end result of all of this, we needed to generate the final PDF, which is to be sent to the customer. In order to generate this invoice in PDF format, I was looking for a solution that is API based and provides me the ability to configure the invoice as a template.
While searching for all the options available in the market, I came across the PDF Generator API. So far, all my requirements have been met by the product at a reasonable price.
Which functionalities in PDF Generator API do you appreciate?
One of the functionalities I like is being able to save the documents in your SaaS system, as opposed to saving them locally somewhere. That allows us to send the customers a link instead of the document itself, which is very convenient. Additionally, I love that I can easily go in there and configure various templates and let the calling system decide which template they want to use, based on Country, Language etc.
Additionally, I love that I can easily go in there and configure various templates and let the calling system decide which template they want to use, based on Country, Language etc.
What were your initial steps in adopting PDF Generator API and what are your plans for the future?
Initially, I only created two different templates - one for our Northern American customers and another for Europe. The next step would be to look into adding some language complexity into the mix, using different language templates for different markets.
Adopting a new software solution usually comes with the hope of some savings - be it in monetary terms or in time? How much do you estimate adopting PDF Generator API has saved your organization?
Previously, creating a new template probably took the person responsible for it 2-3 sprints. So each template was essentially run through the normal development cycle, which we can now avoid. But it also lifts the control over the templates higher up - if something needs to be adjusted, I can now do it myself without overloading my team.
Who are the users of PDF Generator API at URBN?
Although I am the person maintaining it we could say that the users are spread over the entire organization. All of our brands generate invoices, so it could be anyone in one of the URBN brands.
Ease of implementation - your website was clear and very straightforward on that - including examples and a lot of background information, which was very useful.
What made you choose PDF Generator API over other solutions available on the market?
It was mainly 3 things - for one - ease of implementation - your website was clear and very straightforward on that - including examples and a lot of background information, which was very useful. And secondly - having the possibility to use your free sandbox in the beginning - to test your solution and see if it could be good for us. So you made it very easy for me.The third is a very quick response time from your support team. The decision was easy to make. Michal from your support was not only able to answer the actual product-related questions but also provide support in invoicing/billing issues, etc.
How long did the implementation take?
The implementation was very straightforward - it might have taken me 3-4 hours only, the rest of the time was spent on the underlying processes and getting those in line. So not even a day. We use a lot of reusable components in our in-house solutions - for example, the creation of buttons in Salesforce or email flows. That’s where most of the project’s development time was spent. The generation of the PDF document, if developed in-house, would probably have taken us 2-3 sprints per template to develop, given our normal development cycle.
The implementation was very straightforward - it might have taken me 3-4 hours only. The generation of the PDF document, if developed in-house, would probably have taken us 2-3 sprints per template to develop, given our normal development cycle.
Who are the types of customers you would recommend PDF Generator to?
I guess anybody that needs to generate PDF documents. In our case, we are currently only using it for generating invoices, but if I get a project that needs PDF generation capability as a component, I will definitely look into integrating your product into the stack. We also appreciate the fact that your pricing setup is flexible - we can scale up or down as needed, or implement your on-premise solution.
As you can see, PDF Generator API is truly a flexible product that adapts to the needs and requirements of its customers, regardless of the sector - independent of whether it is implemented on top of an existing stack or used as a building block for something entirely new.