Retail Portal Hitting Targets For Electronic Arts
NZ-DESIGNED RETAIL PORTAL HITTING TARGETS FOR ELECTRONIC ARTS
Electronic product ordering is proving hugely popular with retailers using a new e-commerce and product information portal designed by Electronic Arts (EA), the world's leading publisher, developer and distributor of interactive entertainment software. The EA Dealer Extranet, which was developed from EA's New Zealand office, will be rolled out across the Asia-Pacific region over the next couple of months. The portal's success is also generating wide interest from EA's other overseas subsidiaries.
More than 247 retailers are already using the extranet in New Zealand, which launched locally just under two months ago. EA New Zealand General Manger Mike Wynands says that the company is extremely pleased with the results.
"We set a target for how many retailers we wanted to be ordering products electronically by 1 July and we are well on our way to meeting this," says Wynands.
The extranet is an Asia Pacific initiative, featuring a unique interface for each participating country. Retailers are provided online access to EA's vast collection of new and existing game releases. Retailers can place and track orders, review account and invoice details, access updated price lists and release dates, and download product specifications. A username, password and internet browser is all that is required.
Wynands says that feedback about the site has been excellent.
Bryan Inglis, product manager for Central Park Interactive, a national chain of 13 specialist game stores, is very enthusiastic about the site. He says that it really adds value for his staff and stores.
"It automates everything for us and cuts out a significant amount of paperwork. It also shows what stock is available and when a title will be released, which gives us a better indication of delivery times. This is really valuable information, especially when there is strong customer demand for a really popular or new release title."
Wynands estimates that a 10% saving will be realised within 6 months time These savings will largely be attributed to the site's integration with EA's ERP system. Warehousing and shipping is outsourced to DHL.
"We no longer have to input the orders ourselves. The dealer extranet is linked directly to our warehousing partner, which means that orders directly bypass our office," says Wynands.
"We've sped up the process by cutting out the middleman, which was us!"
The extranet is also directly linked to EA's accounting system. As soon as an order is placed, an email is forwarded to the retailer and account manager confirming the requisition and expected delivery date/time.
In addition to quicker delivery times, Wynands says that the site is also helping retailers by providing a centralised and convenient place for them to obtain the stats and information they need to promote and sell the games.
Product specifications, game reviews, release dates, the week's top ten selling titles, packaging images, and screen shots are all available on the site.
*** Built in New Zealand The EA Dealer Extranet was custom built by Matt Leuthi, EA's e-commerce manager for the Asia Pacific region. Matt scripted all of the code himself, which is written for a platform that includes a combination of Microsoft Windows 2000 Server and ASP pages, an Oracle8i database, and EA's existing accounting / ERP system (Sage-tetra CS3) running on a Sun Microsystems platform.
Matt's first four months on the project were based in Australia but he moved to New Zealand in October to complete the site's final six months of development.
The New Zealand section of the portal was launched on March 1, two months following the Australian launch. The next step is to develop extra "skins" for other Asia Pacific nations, and Matt is scheduled to travel to EA's South African subsidiary in two weeks to begin the development process.
The New Zealand portal is at http://dealer.ea.co.nz/.
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*** About Electronic Arts Electronic Arts (Nasdaq: ERTS), headquartered in Redwood City, California, is the world's leading interactive entertainment software company. Founded in 1982, Electronic Arts (EA) posted revenues of more than $1.4 billion for fiscal 2000. The company develops, publishes and distributes software worldwide for the Internet, personal computers and video game systems. Electronic Arts markets its products under three brand names: EA SPORTS?, EA GAMES? and EA.COMSM. More information about EA's products and full text of press releases can be found on the Internet at http://www.ea.com.