Behind the scenes of Independence Australia’s modern commerce platform
How the social enterprise are using eCommerce to improve care experiences for people living with a disability
Independence Australia is a social enterprise that provides products, services and support for people living with a disability or other personal need, enabling them to regain and retain their independence within a supportive community. The operation is funded by the online sale of health care products to thousands of customers across Australia.
Balance Internet and Independence Australia began collaborating to develop a B2C and B2B commerce platform that provides health care supplies to thousands of customers across the country. Each digital commerce initiative brought to life by the brand is driven by a passion for improving care experiences for Australians living with a disability.
Independence Australia was using a platform nearing the end of life and support period. The organisation saw this as an opportunity to explore new technology that would improve the digital experience for consumers and business customers, whilst also digitising workflows to optimise business operations.
Independence Australia’s previous solution had limited its ability to effectively cater to larger organisations and business partners, lacking features such as multi-user teams, self-service portals, custom catalogue pricing, and more business-to-business features. These all needed to be prioritised to ensure the solution would provide a competitive edge in the market.
Independence Australia wanted to be able to fulfil orders for NDIS patients and their associated medical organisations, the previous website did not allow these users to place orders directly online, or to apply government allocated funding options.
A key focus was placed on improving the user experience for all customers throughout the development. This included user experience and user interface designs to compliment customer behaviours and enhance the look and feel of the new solution.
The solution architecture has enabled Independence Australia to have its entire catalogue available online for both end customers, as well business organisations and healthcare partners, for the first time.
There is now support for each customer group; end customers, business customers, partners, medical professionals and NDIS patients to see the appropriate pricing which applies to them. In addition, NDIS patients can place orders through the solution using allocated government funds, or authorised medical staff can do this on their behalf.
The significant digital leap for the organisation has completely transformed its customer experience. They are driving social impact by improving the personal care experience and supporting thousands of Australians towards regaining and retaining their independence.
Independence Australia’s goal was to make their use of commerce technology as efficient and customer-centric as possible so that they could focus on their mission of improving care experiences for people living with a disability.
The modern commerce solution has allowed the organisation to operate a platform which drives business growth, with 150+ companies on-boarded to the platform since launching. Further, with 650,000+ orders placed, each transaction is a step towards improved care experiences.
Independence Australia and Balance Internet have a continually evolving strategy for platform innovation, the roadmap of key initiatives ensures customer experience is always at the forefront of strategy, for example increasing the number of NDIS participants who utilise the solution, enabling grant application, and optimising business workflows.
“As our organisation has grown and diversified, so have our digital community solutions; the services that Independence Australia develops delivers and fosters for people living with a disability or personal needs. The commerce platform we developed with Balance Internet helps us provide these unique and vital services for our community; the technology ecosystem has been developed in response to needs identified by our customers.“
- Full control of ordering processes for each client, from controlling who can input and customise an order, to who can approve and purchase it within a company.
- Each company entity can trace the detailed transactions relating to orders, removing many of the manual sign off processes and digitising the audit trail.
- Workflows have been developed with a deep understanding of client requirements and preferences.
- Pricebooks have been implemented to ensure agreed pricing is shown for each user and organisation.
- Business customers can reduce overspending with reports including company budgets and more. They can also restrict unauthorised purchases with an approval hierarchy.
- Business Intelligence tools provide real-time insights for Independence Australia and a consolidated view of the critical customer journeys.
- As a registered NDIS provider, Independence Australia provides online ordering for all NDIS participant customers.
- Inventory availability messaging is included to allow customers to understand product availability.
- Personalised pricing is available for individual customers using non company based customer grouping to support relevant ordering workflows and scenarios.
- Single unit and bulk ordering is available, allowing users to quickly build their cart based on their requirements
Scalability and optimisation
- The ability to scale the number of clients and companies onboarded to the solution is supported by a robust architecture, built to grow with Independence Australia.
- Integration between key systems fosters interaction and seeks to keep business operations streamlined, organised and automated
& Interface Design
Balance Internet is proud to work with Mitre 10, a prominent player in the Australian home improvement and hardware industry, to create digital commerce experiences in sync with their customers at every moment, on any channel.
The platform is rich in information to empower customers to select and purchase the most suitable appliances for their lifestyle. The platform services the needs of end consumers, the B2B trade and interior design customers who specify and buy on behalf of their clients.