When we first met, Drewry had already produced a highly intricate brief - covering hundreds of points of detailed systems requirements for an end-to-end enterprise grade subscription sales and management platform. At the heart was the requirement to allow Drewry to sell its high end and high value products in a very specific manner around the globe, both online and directly.
The major challenge being that Drewry sells over fifty complex subscription services, with core periodicals but then also with a host of downloadable supplements that are made available on an ad-hoc basis and seasonally.
Effectively Drewry had digitised what had been very traditional annual, quarterly and monthly printed reports, whilst still providing the service in the way that the market was accustomed to - just instantly downloadable.
At the time, Drewry was operating a number of platforms with distinct solutions for the CRM, ecommerce, websites and subscriptions management. These had been integrated, but as the setup was ageing, the connections between the four platforms were no longer reliable nor fit for purpose. The net result was that every single order was having to be manually checked across all the platforms and there was a very significant manual overhead for every transaction. Drewry also had very limited ability to create sales funnels, and no sales and marketing automation capabilities.
The goal was to further evolve the digital offering to allow Drewry to develop new engagement approaches such as content marketing, and using perforated paywalls, as well as being much better able to present the Drewry product portfolio and expertise in a powerful and engaging manner.
There was an extensive process of requirements gathering post the initial briefing documents, with multiple levels of workflow discovery, and in-depth due diligence across the editorial, operations, sales, advisory and marketing teams. In practice it was one of the deepest-dive discovery processes that Affino has ever undertaken, with an immense amount of groundwork to prepare for the migration of all the services, data, and workflows to Affino, with multiple test rounds scheduled in.
Migrating the legacy CRM, commercial, financial, and subscriptions data to Affino was a major challenge on every level and we worked with a data partner - Stanton Allen to prepare the legacy Drewry data as far as possible in advance of importing it into Affino. The legacy data was then extensively re-worked and cleaned up over a period of weeks, with multiple cuts of the data taken, and multiple rounds of data import testing run against Affino to give the best chance of eventual success with the data migration.
Drewry also created very intricate designs for showcasing the Drewry services and products. These had no equivalent in Affino in the core display elements and templates, so there was a great deal of coordination between Drewry’s independent designer, and Affino’s design and build team to best realise the vision.
The most significant aspects of the project revolved around - the data, the advanced subscription offerings and renewal workflows, and the bespoke front-end with multiple custom searches, templates and navigation elements throughout the new Drewry site.
To make the best use of time, Affino ran four parallel strands to the project - the development, content population, design implementation and data transition.
On the development side, the intricacies of the subscription renewal workflows in particular were very complex. These required hundreds of changes to core Affino to facilitate all the updates that were required for the workflow - both on the Drewry side and on the end user side. The biggest single development was the roll out of the Pro Forma Orders and Invoices within Affino, and the accompanying financial and sales reports.
When it came to the roll out of the font-end site designs, the Affino team was able to create a mix of core and custom elements to fully deliver on Drewry’s requirements. There was a particular focus on using core components wherever possible and using CSS styling to deliver on the look and feel. In practice though many of the components and searches have been built purely custom for Drewry so that Drewry’s vision would be fully realised.
We also incorporated secondary web sites into the overall Drewry presence including Container Insight Weekly, with their own sign-up process, and in the future they will have engagement walls and paywalls to further tailor the access.
What everyone appreciated the most in this project was that when it came to the launch day, everything ran smoothly with minimal downtime during the transition. In fact all the systems were fully up and running within a 24 hour period. For a project with such significant scope the project required considerable foresight and preparation to realise.
The original goal of migrating all the sales, marketing, messaging and renewal workflows to a single platform have been realised. The net result is superior centralised workflows, with single customer views and integrated messaging.
And the best marker of all - engagement, sign-ups, and enquiries are all up significantly since moving to Affino.