Building an E-Commerce Platform for Risk and Safety Resources: The Puzzle Pieces, Solutions, Results, and Lessons Learned

A Pertrain TAKE 5 book. Image owned by Pertrain

Building an e-commerce platform for risk and safety resources is no picnic. It’s like navigating a nation-wide jigsaw puzzle, with pieces from each state, shifting regulations. That’s exactly what I threw myself into when creating a cost-effective system for Pertrain.

The Puzzle Pieces.

  • Diverse clients: From Alaska to Africa, every country and industry had their own safety and training requirements.
  • Customisation vs generic: Pre-built resources are great, but sometimes specific tweaks were a must. Balancing convenience with flexibility was key.
  • Logistics: Getting resources from A to B without breaking the bank or taking years?
  • Regulatory changes: Keeping content on track with ever-changing safety rules felt like chasing a moving target.
  • Happy Customers: At the end of the day, it all boiled down to one thing – making customers smile with great service, fair prices, and resources that worked.
Illustration of the Swahili version of the AngloGold Ashanti TAKE 5 books
The Swahili version of the AngloGold Ashanti TAKE 5 books

The Solutions

  • WordPress and Woocommerce: I wielded the power of WordPress for Pertrain’s online platform, ensuring a seamless and safe shopping experience for diverse products. Merchant gateways were negotiated and set up guaranteeing smooth transactions and building customer trust.
  • Marketing: Through data-driven analysis and customer feedback, I continuously transformed the platform’s UI, optimising navigation and crafting strategic price breaks and value-driven bundles.
  • Partnerships: Teaming up with regional printing and warehousing ninjas meant just-in-time printing and speedier delivery, no matter the distance.
  • Logistics: We built a dynamic shipping network that provided options and could be adapted to location and speed needs.
  • Standardisation: Streamlining packaging and distribution processes decreased packing time, minimised damage and kept resources arriving safely to their destinations.
  • Change Management: Instead of playing catch-up, we adopted an agile approach, implementing iterative updates based on anticipated regulation changes and client feedback. This ensured resources stayed relevant and met evolving needs.
  • Customer-Centric: Regular feedback loops during book design, responsive service, and competitive pricing were our secret weapons for keeping customers happy.
  • Modular design: I crafted adaptable pre-built booklets with customisable sections, offering the best of both worlds. Think Lego® for safety checklist books!
Safety resources example. An inside page of a TAKE 5 booklet. Image owned by Pertrain
The generic TAKE 5 book was the biggest seller.


  • Cost-Cutting: Reduced printing, storage, and shipping costs through optimised logistics and process improvements.
  • Profitability: Optimised pricing and streamlined operations for both generic and custom resources made everyone’s wallets smile.
  • Speedier Delivery: Just-in-time printing and dynamic partnerships shaved delivery times down.
  • Happy Customers: Positive feedback on quality, service, and pricing solidified our commitment to making customers the real winners.

Lessons Learned.

My journey with this project didn’t end with launch. I embraced a culture of continual improvement, leveraging customer feedback and data analysis to identify areas for optimisation. This ongoing process ensured the platform stayed ahead of the curve and delivered maximum value.

  • Data analysis: Market research and client feedback became our secret sauce for continual improvement.
  • Flexibility: Adapting to different needs, cultures and regulations opened doors and conquered markets.
  • Partnerships: Collaborating with the right partners boosted efficiency, provided support and kept costs down.
  • Legals: Proactive compliance kept us relevant, avoided disruptions, and built trust with everyone involved.

By prioritising efficiency, compliance, and customer satisfaction, we not only achieved success but also learned valuable lessons that will stay with me in every future project.

Pertrain is a Registered Training Organisation that can help with your training, technical writing, design and programming needs. Check out there website for more information.