It’s been a heavy duty year on the development front, particularly as regards the CRM component of the platform. When the CRM was first introduced several years ago, it was mostly used as an adjunct to existing CRMs and ERPs, but as many Clients have moved away from systems like Salesforce, Affino’s CRM has had to take on an ever greater central role. To a point where it will very soon offer the complete Media Company CRM Solution - including print planning and management, order building and a variety of advanced reports. We’ll do a detailed update when it is fully tested and part of a new release.
All this work has somewhat held off the final stages of the official Responsive Design Centre Launch, which we are still hoping to finalise in Q4. Throughout the year the system has benefitted from some incredible productivity updates - allowing the phase 1 AOP site to be implemented in a very speedy fortnight. Smart Cities World went up almost as quickly in the build phase, obviously complexity and mileage can vary depending on requirements.
I had intended to post this report a little earlier, but we’ve all been ever so busy on the projects front. I thought it opportune as we’re just coming into the peak holiday season to get everyone up to speed on what we’ve been working on so far. We’ve had six significant launches in the last 6 months or so, as follows, and in reverse chronological order:
The most recently launched is a complete Responsive Re-design for leading and award-winning city-based - Finance, IT and Business Management recruitment agency Investigo. Affino sites are often iterated from previous versions, but as is increasingly the case with the different dynamics involved with Responsive, we tend to start most Responsive projects on entirely fresh Zones and build up from scratch. Content needs to be formatted differently for responsive, and there is no magic button for converting most fixed HTML formatting into fully optimised responsive div-based alternatives. There are added core complexities as optimizations have been made in every part of Affino - leading to page code being up to 90% slimmer than in the previous Classic version.
The new build re-focuses the customer journey through the site, and concentrates very much on the recently reorganized 9 Specialisms. Several years ago Investigo was the first company to make full use of the Affino Recruitment component, and it still leads the way today.
Infrastructure intelligence in one place
Combining several different Urban Planning specialisms - including Connectivity, Energy, Governance and Transport. Smart Cities World (SCW) aims to give modern city planners - both local authority and private sector, all the intelligence and tools they need to attain optimal results in a highly complex, multi-disciplinary sector.
The site content is structured around key resources including special reports, white papers, webinars and a major annual event. Forthcoming phases will deal with the challenges of increasing community and visitor participation and making such event sites more relevant well beyond the actual live event period, run-in and follow-up.
Association of Online Publishers
As mentioned in the introduction, Affino was drafted in to effect a very rapid update of leading Online Publishers Association AOP’s website. AOP’s activities are largely event-focused, but there are significant member resources too in the form of Knowledge Centre, Research and Reports.
Further phases and iterations will see additional micro-sites brought online to offer a greater degree of topicality and specialisation.
Pristine timed deliveries
Icelandair Cargo prides itself on being exceptional in delivering time-sensitive products and produce to market - in absolute pristine condition. The first phase of the Affino update involved refining the experience of Airway Bill and Account Management - for the Icelandair Cargo Management Systems Intranet.
Phase two will involve making the design fully responsive, and adding public-facing gateways for key Client-facing tasks.
An oasis of green in the middle of Chelsea
At the start of the year, Affino re-designed and re-worked the Chelsea Gardener Ecommerce website to fully responsive. The Garden Center’s extensive product catalogue gives customers a great overview of the on-site inventory, and allows easy delivery of less portable goods.
The site is used both as a kind of onsite product guide for the Garden Center, as well as a fully dedicated and stand-alone retail resource. This latest iteration raises the bar for customer experience yet further, and underlines the quality-focused approach of the entire company.
Smart digital resources for education
Near the turn of the year Affino finalised the build of Gill’s new digital education resource. This innovative site matches Teachers’ Subject and Class Level Booklists to an enormous library of Gill publications digital teaching aids - in the form of audio, animation, structured templates and various class planning tools and topic worksheets.
The site has undergone several iterations and refinements, and will likely require a more data-driven booklist entry system in the near future. It already provides Teachers with invaluable tools to help them get the very best out of their students, and the resource library will continue to grow, as will its influence.