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
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
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
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.