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Learn Direct now powered by Actinic. Admin staff reduced by 50%, fulfilment of orders reduced

University for Industry (Ufi), the organisation behind the government-funded learndirect elearning network, has made significant cost savings in the distribution of course and related materials with the introduction of a fully automated ecommerce web site powered by Actinic Business. The site means that the partners who run the countrys 2000+ learndirect centres on behalf of Ufi can order online rather than by fax. Since it was opened for business in October 2004, the online system has reduced the time taken for fulfilment of orders by 62 per cent and halved the number of administration staff employed in the companys distribution team.

Greg Freeman, distribution manager for Ufi, says: “The software is user friendly and straightforward to maintain, which means we can make changes immediately to update the system with new items and stock information.”

Ufi made the decision in early 2004 to opt for a packaged ecommerce solution for its distribution needs. Having researched the marketplace, they chose Actinic Business from British supplier, Actinic Software. However, Ufis brief required some other significant features that were not provided out of the box, including a fully automated link for:

* orders from the web site to the 3rd party fulfilment warehouse

* stock control from warehouse system to web site

* account information from warehouse system to web site.

Ufi chose internet solutions experts KC3 to develop the site, and KC3 adapted the Actinic software to meet Ufis brief. The new ecommerce system was fully piloted over the summer in the Leicester region, and went live across the network in October 2004.

Greg Freeman explains the three main benefits of the new site: “Our partners can now view the range of marketing and support materials online. Order fulfilment, which used to take up to eight days, is completed within three days. The number of staff required to process orders, invoice customers and deal with enquiries has been halved, due to a dramatic decrease in processing time and the number of queries received.”

He concludes, “The Actinic solution developed for us by KC3 has been a great success and has brought tangible benefits. The big wins have been service improvements for customers and cost savings for Ufi.”

Chris Barling, CEO of Actinic, comments, “We are delighted that Ufi chose Actinic Business and KC3 to develop their new site. Its success underlines the effectiveness and economies of scale that can be achieved for clients by a specialist internet company working with a packaged ecommerce solution.”

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