Peers Hardy is a national distributor of watches and other associated items for a number of household brands such as Radley, Daniel Wellington and ICE Watch.
IO Studios were tasked with revolutionising their sales and merchandising process by developing a portable piece of software that could be used effectively in the field.
Along with taking orders, the role of the Peers Hardy field sales team is to support customers through merchandising strategy. Their daily activities include stock analysis, stock replenishment, product range advice and client relationship management. Historically there had been a distinct lack of consistency in the methods used to do the job, ranging from the use of personal tablets to hand-written documents. Our goal was to introduce a consistent standard of practice.
The biggest challenge for IO Studios was to create a system that seamlessly interacted with Peers Hardy’s bespoke ERP system, and yet also allowed the field sales team to do their job on the go.
IO Studios developed a bespoke piece of software called ‘PHASE’ (Peers Hardy Automated Sales Engine), designed for portable use on 3G tablet devices. The tool offered a range of features to help the salesperson manage their appointments, view up-to-date client account information, browse the complete product catalogue and place online orders within a live environment. It also provided the user with a suite of reports to measure performance and goals.
The software interface was specifically designed for simple, intuitive navigation and to present clear, real-time data to both the salesperson and the customer. To keep the design contemporary and clean we based our concept on the Windows tile theme, which worked especially well when used on tablet devices.
The biggest hurdle IO Studios faced in the project was working out an effective way of pulling and interpreting data from the existing ERP system, and also sending orders back to the system. Our development team had the challenge of writing a series of bespoke and complex queries that interpreted the data fed from the ERP and allowed it to be used effectively within the tablet tool.
One of the highlights of our intensive query work was reducing a pre-existing query down from 15 minutes to 30 seconds.
This project demonstrated our skill and competence in writing bespoke software and also our willingness to work alongside existing data systems. It required us to learn and work with technology not native to our developers in order to develop a truly bespoke solution for the client.
Our main goal was to revolutionise the sales process at Peers Hardy by introducing a new standard of practice. Not only did we achieve this, but our piece of software has increased productivity and enhanced the opportunity for up sales in the field.