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IBUK Extranet

Key business benefits:

  • IBUK can list and sell books online with no storage and packing overheads.
  • Web-based system can be run from anywhere in the world.
  • No deployment and no updates necessary to client software.
  • Link to Amazon means over 100 titles can be catalogued per hour.
  • Extranet is directly linked to the IBUK database, so no importing/exporting required.

The Internet Bookshop UK is one of Europe's leading sellers of used books through the Internet. They list over 1 million titles on major sites such as Amazon, ABE and Alibris. The Company handles over 1000 orders per week on average, with over 15 staff working constantly to provide prompt service and customer satisfaction.

One of the companies' biggest overheads was that of warehousing and storage, as well as the packing and dispatch of books. To overcome this, IBUK began taking on Agents, who collect books from their locality in bulk and store them at home, listing their books online through special software and dispatching orders received directly to the customer. They recieve a fixed amount per book sold, and a shipping allowance.

Currer Web Consulting worked with the IBUK team to produce a customised web-based system, founded on the Microsoft technologies the company already had in place, to allow the Agents to list their titles, as well as handle orders and accounting. The system is an extension to the existing internal systems within the company, and interfaces with the same database, which was also previously designed by Currer Web Consulting. Book data for the Agent titles is downloaded directly from Amazon, via their Amazon Web Service offering, eliminating the vast majority of unnecessary data entry and much improving the speed at which books can be catalogued.

The system now handles over 100 Agents working concurrently, with an estimated inventory of well in excess of 250,000 books. The Extranet has received very positive feedback from it's users, and the number of support requests generated over the initial 3 month period can be counted in single figures. IBUK is hoping to extend the Agent concept internationally in the near future, at which time Currer Web Consulting will work with IBUK to translate the Extranet into different languages.

This project is an excellent example of how a bespoke system designed by Currer Web Consulting (the original IBUK database) can be extended and adapted when business requirements change.