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Case Studies

High Growth TV Shopping Channel

Via one of our existing clients, we were approached by a company that had a leading presence in the production of jewellery for a number of existing TV shopping channels. They were launching their own project and wished to combine a TV shopping channel with online and telephone auctions. To control these multiple sales channels, a software solution was needed to manage and integrate a number of applications that were necessary for this venture, as well as providing a solution with standard business-user functionality.

Our client expressed a preference for an established solution, with the ability to adapt and expand with the company whilst maintaining an efficient performance level. Our clients that our wealth of experience in bespoke applications, coupled with our core application Auria, offered them the ideal solution.

Real-time auction handling capabilities were vital to the success of the project. This included the ability to manage multiple stock movements and high volume sales capture; all of which were to be driven by the digital broadcasts, the call centres and the web site. The solution needed to allocate and manage the appropriate stock for auctions with full movement history and apply a 'quality control' procedure to ensure that products would be fully prepared for auctioning to our client's exacting standards.

As standard, the software solution needed to offer customer facing functionality that included Sales Processing, Despatch, Returns and Activity Management. It should also integrate with several other systems including the parent company's Management Information Systems (MIS) and the tele-visual graphics rendering software used for the TV broadcasts.

Most importantly, the client wished to go live in a very short time frame and there was no room for error. It was imperative that the system work first time and without fault.

The implementation was structured in three phases, with the system going live by phase one and further developments made during phases two and three.

To ensure a quick response, 'economy' was the key initial approach. Using Auria as the core application, necessary modifications were made to ensure that the telephone and online bidding could start within the schedule and that key systems were satisfactorily integrated.

During phase one, Micro Data Systems Ltd oversaw the integration process that encompassed the Interactive Voice Response (IVR) application, the customer and call centre web interface, the graphical rendering software, database and XML services and Royal Mail fulfillment. The parent company MIS was also integrated to gather stock information.

Phase two saw further integration with the IVR system to give greater control of the bidding processes and inventory. Interactive auction status was also provided, allowing programme producers access to relevant and up to date real-time information as the auction progresses. And deeper integration with the parent company MIS was provided, enabling a complete transaction export for stock control and financial data.

Phase three will see the development in several areas including overnight auctions, the direct control of the graphical rendering package and additional management reports that would reconcile multi-system data for essential market trend analysis.

We implemented robust management solution that integrated five separate systems into one cohesive and reliable database.

The extremely tight time frame saw us identify issues and develop solutions to deliver a system that runs their real-time auction sales channel, a fully automated telephone bidding facility and a fully integrated business management solution all on-time.

Within a week of going live, our client saw an exponential sales increase with a very high number of orders processed efficiently. Their growth continues and the volume of orders being processed can now exceed 1200 per day, average order volumes growing from over 225 orders per day up to nearly 700 over a six month period.

Five systems were initially integrated within the schedule; the parent company MIS, the IVR application, Royal Mail despatch, the graphics software interface and the customer and call-centre applications. We efficiently brought together several applications within a single management environment, in order to provide robust support for a market success story.


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