Ecommerce and Retail Management Solutions
One Application, One Database, One Vendor
Executive Summary For any business, the ability to do more (sales, productivity, etc.) for less (money, people, time, etc.) is a recipe for success. The trick of course is how to do it. South Florida-based car audio electronics retailer IkeSound.com has found the answer, and its name is CORESense.
In business since 1994, IkeSound.com set up shop on the Internet only four years ago. Prior to that the company sold its car audio electronics products to consumers at a local outdoor market. Since creating its web site in 2000, business has flourished to the tune of more than 2,000 customers per month, with annual sales revenues in the millions of dollars range.
Yet despite this success, it wasn't until IkeSound.com engaged with CORESense, in summer 2003, that sales really took off and the cost of doing business has decreased. That's because CORESense, with its retail order management system for multi-channel retailers, helped IkeSound.com to sell through its proprietary web site and the eBay auction web site more effectively.
When IkeSound.com began in business, it had 12 people on staff. Since deploying with CORESense approximately nine months ago, that number has been reduced to eight.
During the same time period, revenue from product sales at both web sites has increased, thanks in large part to the ability of CORESense to process orders and manage customer service more efficiently.
For example, launching auctions to eBay was a time-consuming process prior to deploying with CORESense, often taking 35 to 45 minutes per auction. This work was handled by an IkeSound.com staffer, whose full time job it was to enter product information into the database and prepare it for auction. Because CORESense comes pre-built to work with eBay, the auction-launch process is more fluid. The result: launching an auction with CORESense takes between seven and 10 minutes.
Another way CORESense is helping to drive efficiency at IkeSound.com is by decreasing the time it takes to process new orders and prepare them for shipment to customers. Before CORESense, the order management process was handled manually. Customers faxed or called-in their orders, invoices were created by hand and credit cards were charged - and each part was handled by a separate individual. On a good day this process took between 15 and 18 minutes. Now that customers are placing orders over the Web through the CORESense system, the entire cycle takes 30 seconds, regardless whether the order originated at the IkeSound.com web site or at eBay.
Customer satisfaction also has improved since IkeSound.com added CORESense. In the past, customers typically had to wait three-to-five business days before their orders were shipped. In the meantime, customers would email or call IkeSound.com for updates on the status of their orders. Responding to these inquiries required the help of a full-time employee. Because CORESense integrates all aspects of the sales process, including shipping with UPS WorldShip, customers orders ship after a single business day. According to Ike, president of IkeSound.com, the company is receiving 60 percent fewer calls and emails than they did before CORESense.
But that's not the only benefit of the CORESense integration with UPS WorldShip. When order fulfillment was managed by hand, sometimes there would be errors or omissions related to a customer's address or the product requested. CORESense order management system has helped to resolve this problem by automating the transfer of data from its system to UPS WorldShip, eliminating for the most part mistakes-of-hand, and enabling IkeSound.com to re-assign its shipping person to handle other matters.
IkeSound.com and CORESense are proving to be good partners, too. When IkeSound.com identified the need for an eBay "non-paying bidder report" that was not already available with CORESense, developers at CORESense built it for IkeSound.com upon request. The report, which allows IkeSound.com to see the names of persons who have won - but not yet paid - for a product acquired through eBay, prompts an IkeSound.com representative to follow up with these persons directly to complete the transactions. In addition, IkeSound.com can request a refund from eBay for its auction commission, as IkeSound.com is entitled to its money back whenever an auction is not resolved with a customer payment.
"Key to our selection of CORESense was its ability to manage orders and handle customer service from a single application, as opposed to separate systems for our web site and eBay," said Ike. "Some technology vendors can do one or the other, but few offer a solution that unites these outlets.
"Since deploying with CORESense, we have saved nearly $90 thousand in employee resources, while simultaneously increasing sales by more than 15 percent," noted Ike. "In general, customer orders are processed more efficiently, customer satisfaction has been substantially improved, and we can compete more effectively in the marketplace. The CORESense focus on multi-channel sales efficiency has reduced our overall cost-to-sell and positioned us for tremendous growth going forward."
"I was impressed at how CORESense was everything we needed in one solution. It wasn't necessary to piece together our business with software X doing this function, and software Y doing this other function."
"CORESense provides the tools, expertise and best practices to help us succeed. They are an amazing company and two steps ahead of the market with their features and functionality."