Sales & order management system for DNA testing corporation

DNA Services of America had a problem. Their existing business management system was slow, out-of-date and cost a fortune to run. With increasing interest in their services they needed a new system which integrated with their sales pipeline and would automate the company.

Introduction

Referred to me by an agency who couldn't tackle a project of this complexity, DNA Services of America (DNASOA) needed a system which managed the sales process for their call center, increased customer self-service and provided an audit trail, as well as performing accounting tasks to free up their CFO’s time.

After a meeting in London, we got started.

Phase 1: The New Business Management System

Despite 4700 miles between us we collaborated closely and I was ‘virtually’ in their office, as video conferencing and screen sharing allowed me to observe staff and executives at work. The directors knew the problems they had and ideas of what they wanted, but to ensure nothing was missed we began with a roadmapping phase to determine exactly what they needed.

“I would recommend Peter to do just about anything. I trust him and I've come to the point where I pass ideas by him and I don't bat an eye when he rejects an idea. He is a joy to work with and is as talented as they come.”
Jeffrey A. Martin,
President and CEO, DNA Services of America

I started by holding stake-holder interviews and watching how staff used the old system, to identify friction points. This turned up interesting finds and influenced the new system’s design, which was tested using mock-ups with staff.

Once complete we had an outline specification, cost and timeframe which DNASOA could sign off. We chose this approach instead of an agile one as the budget was fixed and and couldn’t overrun.

Building for staff needs

A browser-based system was chosen as this was the model the previous system had used, and it worked very well alongside other web-based services DNASOA were using.

Motivational features were built in to help call-centre staff know how each case was progressing, and the process gamified to incentivise case closure.

Payment processing was built into the order management system, so payments could be taken without switching browser tabs, and no details about the payment had to be manually input, increasing the number of cases an operator could handle and removing a source or error.

With the sensitive data being handled, I set up a workflow so two managers had to approve all documents before they were released to customers via a new self-service case management portal.

When the project started suppliers and franchisees were paid manually, with the ACH file created daily by hand by the CFO. Creating it could take 2 hours, so a clear win was for the business management system (BMS) to do enough of the day-to-day accounting to automate creating the ACH file.

In short, the whole system was individually crafted to the needs and wants of the company, leading to a truly bespoke product.

Results

The entire system was built on the Symfony web framework which proved exceptionally robust and reliable.

DNASOA saved over $65,000 in operational costs in the first 6 months, and the savings continued at this rate.

Staff morale increased and retention of call center operators improved.

Phase 2: increase sales

With the core system proven and money being saved, we turned to improving the conversion rate. The fixed-budget for phase 1 meant not everything operated as DNASOA now wanted, and this phase was run on a looser, agile approach.

A case being worked after InfusionSoft integration

Infusionsoft had recently been adopted by DNASOA and was showing great promise at converting leads to customers. It was imperative that the new business system and Infusionsoft were tightly integrated, and the integration was prototyped and developed iteratively.

John & Jeff knew what they wanted, and this and user testing shaped what was delivered.

“You don't regret working with Peter Bowyer.”
Jeffrey A. Martin,
President and CEO, DNA Services of America

Campaign information was shown against each case, and the stages towards closure. Reminders were automatically created and case operators could see at a glance on their dashboard which cases needed action.

Results

As each part was finished the project was put live so it could be used and feedback from staff and customers incorporated into the next round.

Within six months DNASOA’s conversion rate was up by 47% and they were closing 56% more sales on the same volume of calls.

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