Arcadia Corporate Merchandise, based in High Wycombe, on the outskirts of London, is one of the UK's largest promotional products suppliers. They supply companies as diverse as LinkedIn, Goldman Sachs and Virgin Active, delivering high quality branded merchandise.
Arcadia already had a system to help them manage their local customers, but they had a plan to move into the global market, recruiting a network of similar promotional merchandise companies worldwide. Global customers would be able to log into a single website, enabling them to deal with their local suppliers in a single place, and use their buying power to ensure that they received consistently high quality at the best price.
Without a global system, Arcadia was not able to reach the largest customers worldwide. They needed to develop a system that would allow their partners to load their customers' details, and communicate with each other, while ringfencing valuable, sensitive data.
"We serve a lot of different customers, and all of them are different. Some are single offices, others are spread around the country or the world. We needed to be able to handle them all smoothly.
One of the things I really appreciated about Prominent Media was that I could speak to the developers directly, making it easier to explain exactly what I wanted to achieve.
I'd always imagined that we would have to specify everything, but Iain and Derek made suggestions that we had not expected. The system has had no problems with any shape or size of customer."
With any project, the visuals are important, and even more so when dealing with branding and image on behalf of blue-chip customers. Prominent Media engaged a professional design firm to develop the look and feel of the system, and managed the design process on behalf of Arcadia, producing excellent results in a short space of time.
The team at Prominent Media also proposed a flexible ‘division-based' approach to representing Arcadia's customers on the system. This meant that any size of business, from a small company to a multinational corporation, can be accurately managed using the system.
As the system developed, and was used more widely, missing features were identified and added immediately as required. So far, none of Arcadia's customers have experienced any problems with the system.
At the time of writing, Arcadia had rolled out the system to 25 of their key accounts, and now see it as their de-facto customer interface. It has enabled them to standardise and streamline the process of setting up new customers, improving the efficiency of the process, and build a closer link to their existing customers. Other potential customers have also approached Arcadia directly, having been actively searching for a promotional goods supplier with global reach, which the new system enables them to be.
Before the system was implemented, Arcadia had partners in the USA, Australia and Hong Kong. The new system has enabled them to take on partners in Russia, Ukraine, South Africa, China, Columbia, Holland and India, with other partners around the world now in discussions about using the system. And best of all, Arcadia has taken on four new global customers who would have been out of reach without the system.
Having built the system and met Arcadia's expectations, Prominent Media are now considered a trusted partner, and Dave and Iain speak often about a wide range of web issues.
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