Optikrock - Customer Success Story

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Business Story & Description

Mike Farrace worked for almost 30 years at Tower Records as a VP publishing magazines and establishing Tower’s digital and direct-to-consumer divisions. When the record business and Tower started to falter, a turnaround CEO let go of most of the executive staff. "I loved working at Tower, but I was a bit weary of digital rights battles and corporate life in general," Mike said. "I have been a near-compulsive collector for most of my life. So I decided to be a contrarian and put my love and knowledge of musical 'stuff' to work sourcing things that couldn’t be digitized -- signed and numbered fine art prints, limited edition silkscreens, clothing and other collectibles for wholesale to terrestrial stores. Solid, beautiful and mostly handmade things with tactile appeal."

The first few years went well. Armed with a merchandising and packaging system and a selection of more than 1000 art and collectible product titles, including art merchandise by R. Crumb, Arminski, Coop, Kozik, Mouse, Moscoso, Emek and many others, he distributed to music retailers large and small. Tower, Virgin and Hastings were among the large accounts providing the lion’s share of revenue. But the music business continued to shift away from pre-recorded discs so dramatically that many stores could not adapt. Within a few years, most chains had disappeared and the remaining ones changed focus. Mike’s wholesale business (Melody Wholesale) lost steam before it could fully hit its stride.

So, with the goal of diversifying the business, Mike created OptikRock.com, a direct-to-consumer website which added a much needed revenue stream to his existing Wholesale distribution business. He also started doing business as OptikRock on eBay. Revenues rebounded, but this tidy little business was beginning to get out of hand. Three different sales platforms meant inventory disappearing into three different sales channels. It was becoming difficult to keep on top of stock, and counting it was taking up an increasingly large amount of time. Mike needed a more facile way to manage his inventory, or he would need to hire additional staff to manage his growing operations.

Details

Bussiness: Music Art and Memorabilia

Industry: E-Commerce, Wholesale

Locations: Sacramento, CA

Agiliron integrates with Quickbooks, keeps customer & vendor lists, sales histories, multiple pricing scenarios and much more. And I'm optimistic about Agiliron's plans for increasing number of e-commerce channels. Mike Farrace, CEO, Optikrock
  • Testimonial
  • Challenges
  • Solution & Results
  • Highlighted Capabilities
  • Business Process Flow
  • Testimonial

    Optikrock and Melody Wholesale needed a way to track inventory no matter where we were selling it. Agiliron’s back office was the first one I found which managed inventory across popular platforms like eBay but which also integrated with non-ProStore websites. It also integrated with Quickbooks, keeps customer and vendor lists, purchase and sales histories, incorporated multiple pricing scenarios and much more. And I'm very optimistic about Agiliron's plans for integrating with an ever-increasing number of e-commerce channels.

    So, we seemed to have found what we were looking for, but just as we began learning the system, making design choices and customizing our back end, disaster struck. A devastating fire destroyed most of our inventory and all of our computers, backup drives, storage and physical files -- the works. Luckily, no one was hurt, but we were out of action for months and it has taken us over a year to fully rebuild our stock, physical setup and databases.

    It is important to put data somewhere safe. Having all our data on Agiliron, including inventory, product shots, customer and vendor lists, sales history and all the rest gives a high degree of comfort. One great feature of the Agiliron system is that you can export your online databases to a local .csv file, which my old website could not do that.

    And another thing -- the post-fire days were terrible, but the Agiliron guys were great -- very patient and understanding. Having a great partner makes a big difference. Agiliron doesn't make a fire less frightening, but it makes it a lot less debilitating. We will never have to reconstruct a product, vendor or customer database from scratch again. Just back after over a year of rebuilding inventory and systems, we still have a ways to go. But Agiliron’s unique set of features -- its highly customizable backend, its secure off-site data center and very helpful staff -- will make going that distance a lot easier.

    - Mike Farrace, CEO, Optikrock & Melody Wholesale

  • Challenges

    Product Catalog - With art and music memorabilia, it is important to be able to define many custom attributes that our customers might search by to find what they are looking for - this could be by performer, illustrator, label, year, autographs, location, printing method etc.

    Inventory Management - Three different sales platforms meant inventory disappearing into three different sales channels. It was becoming difficult to keep on top of stock, and tracking it was taking up an increasingly large amount of time. Since the items being sold are collectibles with limited inventory, the eBay listings had to be managed conservatively.

    Dynamic Pricing Management - With eBay being a dynamic marketplace, the ability to list products with different pricing and manage that automatically thru the back office solution is critical to track this information over time and support a consistent way to approach this.

    Support for sales thru Consumer WebStore, Wholesale (B2B) Store and eBay Auctions – Sales thru these various channels requires visibility - it was very inefficient to take and process orders and have visibility into the state of the business at any point in time.

    CRM Automation, Order management, Fulfillment and Accounting Integration to QuickBooks are some of the other business processes that needed to be addressed to streamline operations.

  • Solution & Results

    Edition, Modules, Users & Roles
    • Edition: Premier Edition
    • Modules: WebStore, eBay, CRM, Accounting, Order Management
    • Users: Owner
    Migration of Existing Solutions
    • Import of product, inventory and customer data
    • QuickBooks
    Challenges Addressed & Results
    • All Sales Channels Integrated
      • B2C WebStore, B2B WebStore, eBay
      • Auto-inventory management and synchronization across all channels
      • Centralized Order Management across all channels
      • Centralized Order Fulfillment for all channels
    • Product and Inventory Management across multiple channels
      • Custom Attributes created for Products to capture their unique characteristics
      • Real-time access to stock data as well as attributes
      • Automatic Browse By Capabilities in the WebStores to allow customers to search by custom attributes
    • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
      • Single customer database of customers from all channels
      • Filters for email marketing
    Impact on Business
    • Single Integrated Solution for managing all the Sales, Back-office and Front-office functions.
    • Significant cost savings in time and personnel for managing operations
    • Total visibility into business from anywhere
    Adoption & Deployment Timelines
    • Due to the devastating fire at the facility in 2009, the implementation was delayed by a year to August 2009
  • Highlighted Capabilities

    • Product:
      • Premier Edition
    • Multiple Sales Channels:
      • B2C WebStore: E-Commerce
      • B2B Webstore: Wholesale
      • eBay Auctions Integration
    • Inventory:
      • Custom Attributes, Auto Browse By
    • QuickBooks Integration
  • Business Process Flow

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