Merlin Cycles is one of Britain's foremost retailers of bikes and cycling accessories. Cycling in the UK is a growth market, spurred on by the government's cycle-to-work scheme, London's "Boris bikes" and, no doubt, Bradley Wiggins becoming the first Briton to win the Tour de France. The UK's cycling industry has recently been valued at £3 billion per year, with 13 million of us regularly getting on the saddle.
Given this demand, Merlin's problem was that any downtime on their site would create severe problems both for them and their customers. Not only would they be unable to take orders, but they wouldn't be able to process them properly. All of the products Merlin sells are in stock at their warehouse, ensuring the fastest possible turn-around time for their customers. However, without the online orders and reliable hosting, the whole supply chain would be in jeopardy.
Memset's dedicated servers were used to deliver the Merlin Cycles website. This enabled the company to centralise all of their business processes, including order management, despatch, stock control and after-sales operations. What is more, they could even do this when a customer made a purchase in the shop, rather than online.
This solution simultaneously answered a crucial business need. Like many businesses, Merlin Cycles needs to keep tabs on exactly what has been sold where, and to whom. The fact that the system is hosted online means that they can use it to generate a number of management reports. They have all the information they need to ensure the smooth running of their business.
The overriding benefit is that Merlin Cycles now has a far greater knowledge of their business, and how it is doing, on an almost instantaneous basis. A customer that visits their site will find a seamless, user-friendly experience, one that will only enhance Merlin Cycles' reputation for friendly customer service. In terms of reliability and performance it is second-to-none. In an increasingly competitive cycling marketplace, these assets will prove invaluable in the years to come.
Furthermore, the project did not finish when Memset's solution was first implemented. It came with full, on-going client support which included, for example, Memset notifying Merlin Cycles of a potential problem on their server before the company had even noticed it. Allied to Memset's value-for-money offering, this continuing assistance has formed a strong link between the two companies.
The Client Says
'We have found Memset to be excellent in terms of reliability and service availability. On the very rare occasions that there has been a problem, it has been addressed within minutes. We can always speak to someone straight away who is able to understand the issue and deal with it, rather than being passed from pillar to post in a call centre. This gives us the reassurance that, in the unlikely event of a problem, it won't stay a problem for long.' Neil Hamilton, Head of Technical, Merlin Cycles.