I was having a talk with one of my mentors about the future of things. He’s convinced me that in the future, our things will be smart enough to request their own servicing and query local businesses to obtain quotes for the services they require and send us a request to approve the charges. Your life and your things would run and maintain themselves.
One of the major missing pieces is a unifying software system that can be customized inexpensively, has an API and that a lot of people are familiar with so that a whole lot of businesses could enter this ecosystem. I proposed that WordPress is flexible enough to do this and could be that missing piece, especially since the advent of the WordPress Rest API. Since so many businesses already have a digital storefront on WordPress and employees are starting to get the hang of how to use it, the next step would be to extend the functionality to accept and manage orders and customer requests and then turn that into tasks and workflows for other employees.
What I Built
I have a way for regular WordPress power users, like myself, to customize WordPress to suit their business management needs. What I’m about to share with you is a toolset that includes plugins, snippets of code, apps, and services that can be combined in different ways depending on what you want to create. You can use some tools or all of them and then some.
Personally, I’ve built the following using these tools:
- Live Transfer System for a call center
- Personalized Proposal System that creates a customized URL for each prospect
- Lead Management and Distribution System with remarketing capabilities
- Client Management System for onboarding new website design clients
I’ll be referring to them throughout this article by their italicized names as I give examples of how I combined different tools to achieve the functionality I was after.
The best way to understand how these tools can work together is to see them in action, so I’ve packaged the Client Management System I created into a plugin and a webform that you can get on Github. It has a simple workflow to automate the process of creating simple websites. Your actual website creation process will probably be different and more complex, I know mine is. This is a starting framework. Even if you’re not a web designer, seeing how all the different tools work together in one context will help you understand how to build your own process.
I believe WordPress as a custom software platform has the potential to standardize and automate tedious work for people who do not have a background in development. I hope you agree and give it a try.