The Big Picture
Glasgow based international fashion house Marble specialises in feminine co-ordinates that appeal to women of all ages. Set up in 2008, the company had grown rapidly, developing a strong customer base, with over 400 retailers in the UK, Europe and Canada. Their product range was being promoted, in numerous markets and languages, using centrally developed printed catalogues and price lists. The existing ordering and fulfillment systems had reached tipping point which threatened the company’s continued success and future expansion.
Marble needed an iPad app, accessible offline by sales agents across the globe, which could be easily and instantly updated. They also wanted to improve collaboration and communication across the whole business and develop the systems to support their international expansion plans. Specific requirements included customer facing printable product and price lists and the capability to order and monitor stock in a very interactive way.
- Internet access was not always available so the app needed to work offline
- The product database (master price list) needed to be easily accessed and collaboratively maintained
- The company needed a consolidated and accessible photo library to store their twice yearly photoshoots
- The app needed to be very straightforward to operate as users were not necessarily technically minded
- Product and price lists needed to be translated into various languages, converted into appropriate currencies and also be readily available for in market printing
- A more sophisticated and responsive stock management & control system had become essential The previous sales process, using printed brochures, hard copy orders, confirmations and invoices needed to be completely streamlined.
The Smart Answer
The smart use of existing G Suite technology delivered a powerful, reliable and easy to use solution which might otherwise have been unaffordable. Using a combination of Google Spreadsheets, Google Drive, Google Docs and G Suite script and some really ingenious thinking, Refractiv developed a totally integrated system comprising a mobile app, back office applications and reporting, together with collaborative document solutions and corporate email. The system is available in the Cloud from any device, anytime, anywhere and its effect was transformational.
The new master price list, developed using Google Spreadsheets, is totally accessible via any platform from any location and by numerous contributors at any time. The granular access control also allows all team members in UK and Sales Agents on the ground appropriate access to information.
The cloud-based back office application which processes orders and enables supplier orders to be managed also has great management reporting tools and delivers multi-language and multi-currency price lists and collection labels, shipping notes and invoices for head office.
The intelligent dashboard shows the management team what orders coming in and provides despatch requirements to warehouse staff.
Driven by Google Spreadsheets, the iPad app now enables sales agents across the globe to showcase products and take orders from retailers in an instantaneous and customer friendly way. With sales agents always ‘on the road’ the App works offline but syncs orders for the day when internet access is available to create a seamless and responsive sales process.
The Photo Library was developed using Google Drive which provides a simple, secure and accessible solution. Photos are now instantly available wherever and whenever they are required by sales agents, industry press or other sales channels like teleshopping.
G Suite Script was used to generate customer facing, printable Google Doc price lists for Sales Agents in multiple countries
Translations were done via another Google Spreadsheet using a ‘look up table’ that automatically generates language specific versions of price lists.
Google Spreadsheets and Google Docs are also used by the design team to develop product spec and style sheets giving manufacturers specific details and detailed instructions on individual colour, unit price, sizes/style number, fabric composition and working garment sketches.
The Net Result
- Preparation for each season’s collection is much quicker and more efficient by the use of Drive for photo upload, automatically generated price lists and multi-language sample labels
- The sales process has been revolutionised. Agents have the App available 24/7 removing the cost and delay of market specific printed brochures. All orders are immediately placed via the App and customer confirmations dispatched directly by email, all of which make for a better and more efficient customer experience
- Head office order processing has also been speeded up; sales reports are now available as Google sheets
- Fulfilment and stock control, dispatch and management have also been automated, thus optimising staff time and improving responsiveness.