MiShop.local – Multi-Location Presence Management

Google My Business Tools, API’s and automation for managing multiple data sets.

Technical Project

MiShop.local required API’s to manage millions of data points for its retail clients. They needed to improve their efficiency, accuracy and data analysis as they took on bigger clients.

Until this point, MiShop.local relied on manual processes for managing data.

Summary:

A platform was delivered which automated the updating of millions of data points, across 1000’s of locations. The accuracy, quality and efficiency of MiShop.local’s services were improved.

” Creative stack helped MiShop.local to scale in-line with our evolution; enabling us to take on bigger business opportunities. The technical side of things works seamlessly, it is also maintained by the same team who built it.”

” We continue to work with Creative Stack for their ability to provide innovative, scalable and reliable tech solutions at a fixed price.”
— David Whatley, CEO MiShop.local

Company Background:

Mishoplocal works with multi-location retailers such as Marks & Spencer and Waitrose to manage their local presence in Google Maps and other directories.

We ensure store information; such as map pins, opening hours, addresses and phone numbers, are correct wherever a customer finds them in local search.

We launched in 2010 and grew rapidly, at first working with SMEs but quickly progressing to multi-location brands. As complexity and competition grew, we needed to automate and streamline our processes to be efficient and competitive.

Our core service was cleaning and managing multiple data sets across multiple business directories. Most of these did not offer APIs, and therefore required an element of manual intervention.

To overcome this limitation, we sought a technology company that enabled semi-automation of our core services – we needed to securely clean and manage millions of data point across thousands of locations.

We had the process and project management expertise in-house, the quality control and procedure for our core services, but we lacked the technical expertise to scale and automate our processes and integrate with client platforms.

We needed a technology company that could provide viable options to automate our processes, but also implement, support and manage our technology requirements as we evolved.

Initially, we used a far-east technology company to tackle this project as they were very cheap and we were on a tight budget. However, it quickly became clear that they did not understand our needs and, after some frustration, we dropped them.

In fact, we lost a lot of time and money.

I must add: our entire operations team is based in the far-east. I highly respect and value my team, and I am familiar with working with companies from the far-east. However, I was not happy with working with this technology developer as, aside from not delivering my brief, I did not feel I could keep working with them. It was crucial for the business that we had a technology partner that could not only deliver a solution but also manage and develop it going forward.

By this point, I certainly knew what I didn’t want.

As it happened, Creative Stack called me just at the right time – we were under pressure to find a viable solution in a short time-frame for a reasonable price.

Cue Creative Stack:

I met Greg from Creative Stack and was impressed by his passion, expertise, understanding, and the Creative Stack business model – which struck a chord with our needs.

Discovering that Creative Stack had solved similar problems in the past, we scheduled another meeting. Greg included pertinent examples of reliable tech solutions with blue-chip clients. He was personable and considered my requirements thoroughly.

We kicked off with a call. Creative Stack’s team were open to my idea, attentive to my requirements, and assigned a specialist – Alex, their CTO – to be my point of contact.

A few emails and a meeting later…

All of my requirements were reflected in their proposal and sensible questions showed how seriously they were considering my business. They offered viable solutions. Future-proofing and ongoing maintenance was tabled. Overall, it seemed a truly capable, scalable solution that would evolve alongside MiShop.local’s capabilities – both in terms of the volume of data, but also the needs of future clients.

Between us all, we agreed on set processes and elements around the data capture – figuring out how we could quickly, yet securely implement the platform.

It was reassuring to be working with a UK-based firm that clearly understood my business objectives and would be able to fulfil my requirements for a fixed price, in a fixed timeframe. They offered a workable, intuitive solution in-line with their previous industry experiences and technical capabilities. Which is to say, they did not over-promise and were transparent about their ability to solve my problem.

Quite the opposite of my previous technology partnership.

Finally, I came to the realisation that partnering with a reputable, UK-based tech company would remove most of my frustrations with development. Even though they were less competitive on price, it would be worth the peace of mind.

Our Process In Completing The Project:

From here on, communication was efficient and regular – Creative Stack’s developers, our far-east operations team and my UK-based project manager worked effectively throughout.

As everything was documented from the beginning, I also knew the project was progressing as agreed. Because of this, I was able to promise my clients the timely delivery of our services.

Creative Stack also ensured the platforms were properly tested in a rigorous process that aligned with the project schedules. There were no surprises. I was always updated.

It was a positive process throughout: my business expertise was realised early on; they adjusted to incorporate my experience and ideals, and I was reassured by their technical ability which complimented my own understanding. When I needed technical explanations, they were provided.

Overall

I invested in Creative Stack’s service to increase the capacity of my team to take on bigger clients with more complex projects.

The delivery process was leaner and faster versus familiar corporate methods.

The platform increased productivity through automation and reduced human error in data entry, management and analysis. Consequently, it significantly increased the quality of our work. It also removed monotonous repetition for my team – enhancing their productivity and satisfaction.

As a result, our services are better and faster while our prices are more competitive.

Mishop.local’s team is now more capable and confident to work on complex projects with millions of data points.

The outcome exceeded my initial expectations: solutions that complimented our processes were delivered on time and within budget. Once the platforms were established, consideration for ongoing requirements – updates, upgrades and security – were managed on an ongoing basis.

Thankfully, Creative Stack understood my background and checked my understanding throughout. It was clear that they respected my experience, and so we were able to work together to streamline the process: clear outcomes were agreed and progress was consistent and measured. Through that, we avoided scope creep and finished our project on time and on budget.

We were able to scale Creative Stack’s solutions in-line with MiShop.local’s business needs as we evolved.

I was finally able to focus on implementing cost-effective solutions for our clients using working, reliable technical tools at scale.

Widsom

As I was already familiar with providing detail upfront; being clear with my problems meant that accurate and timely deliverables for technical projects could be set. My expectations were well defined. In turn, so was the project and the platform.

Final Words

The primary benefit of my ongoing partnership with Creative Stack is the ability to rapidly progress from my ideas through to feasible technical roadmaps and solutions.

Once primed, the team comes back with a fully qualified deliverable – from idea to implementation. This compliments my own capabilities. If I decide to proceed they are already on board with a plan, ready to action my ideas. Thereafter, I know they can practically fulfill my ideals while providing ongoing management and maintenance.

I particularly value this as a small business as I can massively punch above my weight. With Creative Stack’s help, I can integrate my technology with huge IT firms – I now speak their language and can use their systems if the need arises. Usually, this would require an in-house tech team.

Creative Stack is excellent at guaranteeing their workmanship – they deliver and hold true to their promises.

David Whatley,

CEO MiShop.local