This Trecenti case study is based on a case study that was published in the May 2011 issue of i Magazine Japan. www.imagazine.co.jp
Trecenti sells fine jewelry, mainly engagement and wedding rings, at its 13 shops in Japan. The company was originally a subsidiary of Oriental Diamond, a diamond importer that develops, manufactures and sells diamond jewelry. In 2007 Sumitomo Corporation, 100% shareholder of Oriental Diamond, sold and transferred its Oriental Diamond business to Nissen. Consequently Trecenti has become a member of the Nissen Group.
Trecenti's main products are engagement and wedding rings with diamonds. To meet the diverse wishes of its customers Trecenti offers a wide assortment of rings, ranging from readymade off-the-shelf rings to custom made designs that are based on the customer's own choice of ring frame with one or more loose diamonds.
- The Challenge
- Web system developed with LANSA required no change for iPad's Safari browser
- The Benefits
- Company and System Information
In the past, customers chose their ring and diamonds from samples in the shop and from catalogues. After the customer had made their choice, sales staff had to go to the office at the back of the store to call the product department at Trecenti's head office to check whether the customer's choice of ring and diamond(s) were in stock, and if not, what the scheduled delivery date would be. If the delivery date did not suit the customer, sales staff had to ask the customer to make another choice, repeating the whole process. Many customers visit the shops on weekends and therefore Trecenti's head office product department staff needed to work on weekends as well.
Trecenti's business model is shifting towards custom made jewelry and to support this change in business model, procedures had to be improved. Discussions about introducing a system to support custom jewelry sales had been going on for a while, but no decisions had been made yet. In the summer of 2010 Mr. Minami, Manager of Business Information Systems at Oriental Diamond, was visiting Trecenti to consult with management on system development, and he renewed the discussion regarding a system to support custom jewelry sales.
Sales staff had to go to the office at the back of the store to check stock availability
Web system developed with LANSA required no change for iPad's Safari browser
Mr. Minami particularly took note of Oriental Diamond's Loose Diamonds Web System built using LANSA. Oriental Diamond is a long-time IBM i user, who has developed a number of business systems using LANSA since 1995, while Trecenti's core business system is running on Windows.
Oriental Diamond's Loose Diamonds Web System is an Internet-based application that allows potential buyers to search the inventory of loose diamonds and secure the selected diamonds, all in real time. The system, to which over 400 diamond suppliers are connected, was implemented in 2008. The system was built using Web Application Modules (WAMs), LANSA's component-based technology for building Web applications using XML/XSL. Benefits include better quality screen expression and fewer development man hours.
Oriental Diamond's business partners have been satisfied with the Loose Diamonds Web System in a B2B scenario. Mr. Minami suggested re-using it for Trecenti's B2C custom jewelry order system, allowing customers and sales staff to check the availability of diamonds at the shop counter while discussing the ring design.
The original plan was to set up PCs at the shop counters and show the search results to the customers. However, when discussing the specifications in more detail, Mr. Tsukuda, President of Trecenti, decided iPads should be used in the shops rather than PCs. Letting customers use iPads at a jewelry store is quite rare, but Mr Tsukuda thought that iPads would allow for a more enjoyable experience for the mostly young female customers and their fiancés while choosing their ring design.
Oriental Diamond set up a Logical Partition (LPAR) for Trecenti on its IBM i 9406-560 server. Except for the new inventory master, which was created by Trecenti for pre-purchased loose diamonds, the existing LANSA-based Loose Diamonds Web System could be used without any change. This made the implementation period very short. Trecenti went ahead with its system decision in November 2010 and rolled out the iPad solution to all its 13 stores nationwide in January 2011.
Except for a new inventory file for pre-purchased items, the LANSA Web system could be used without any change in iPad's Safari
The system allows customers to search loose diamonds by carat, color, quality, price, line, bare metal, and other criteria using Safari, iPad's browser. Thanks to the systems' self-service and real-time search capability, business negotiation with the customer is less time consuming. The iPad solution has been received well by customers. Even male customers visiting as fiancés like it. The president's wish to make choosing a ring design a more enjoyable experience for both male and female customers has been met.
As sales are rapidly shifting from ready-made rings to custom designed rings, the business opportunity for using iPads has grown. Since the system was introduced, Trecenti's sales close rate has increased and business efficiency has improved. Customers can select their ring and diamonds even when not attended by a sales clerk. Also, Trecenti's product department doesn't have to come to the office on the weekends anymore to answer inventory related questions. Both customer satisfaction and staff motivation have increased. The system has delivered results beyond expectation.
Planned enhancements to the system include adding a customer survey capability and sales analysis features.
The duration of business negotiation with the customer has been shortened and the sales close rate increased
Company and System Information
- Trecenti, established in 1988, has its head office is in Chuo-ku,Tokyo. Trecenti employs over 60 staff and the company's capital assets are Yen 200 million.
- Trecenti's IT infrastructure is largely Windows based. The loose diamond search inventory system runs on Oriental Diamond's IBM i 9406-560 server, which is accessed on iPad Safari browsers at Trecenti's jewelry stores.
- For more information visit: www.trecenti.com