Tamiya America is the North American subsidiary of the world’s largest plastic model manufacturer (Tamiya). The standard of excellence achieved by Tamiya is regarded among the very finest in the world of model hobbies.
Tamiya wanted to streamline and automate specific retail and distribution channel processes and desired to engage consumers directly through it’s consumer Website. Tamiya engaged DBG to fulfill this vision and develop Internet and Intranet based web solutions, which required end-to-end custom software development. The new Internet channel was important in growing Tamiya America product sales and DBG was commissioned with the daunting task of strategically executing this initiative without disrupting established retail and distribution channels.
- Since 1946, Tamiya has been manufacturing plastic model kits, RC cars, educational models, sailboat models, and various supplies to model hobbyists around the globe to earn the reputation for being called the “First in Quality Around the World.”
- DBG has worked with Tamiya for 10+ years to provide insight, innovation, and engineering excellence in the digital age.
DBG worked collaboratively with the Tamiya management and technical team to identify key business objectives and potential conflicts behind the new initiatives. During the planning phase, DBG completed a technical analysis, execution plan, and conflict summary. The backbone of the strategy included the development of custom software, which seamlessly integrated all Internet based ordering systems and CRM applications with Tamiya’s mainframe IBM AS/400 database, inventory, and JD Edwards Accounting application.
SEAMLESS DATA INTEGRATION
DBG analyzed Tamiya’s business objectives and requirements to develop custom Internet solutions using object oriented PHP5, and backend database management systems. The DBG team also designed the database schema and installed database systems for optimal performance, and data replication. Replicating MySQL databases on the Internet were used to synchronize data between MySQL databases on the Tamiya Intranet, and a data migration layer developed using Ruby was created to execute and manage automated tasks, which integrated Website orders and customer infomation with Tamiya’s IBM AS/400 database mainframe. This solution resulted in a much more efficient order entry solution and order processing workflow.
DBG identified four major web-based systems, which were developed to achieve Tamiya’s online initiatives:
- Administration Web Portal
Content management systems, product management, dealer CRM, DBMS, and backend Internet channel systems.
- Tamiya Distributor Web Portal
Website to expedite the ordering process by allowing Tamiya distributors to upload orders online, check shipping status, manage account options, and verify product stock and arrival.
- Tamiya Retailer Web Portal
Separately branded Website for Tamiya retailers to purchase Tamiya product, verify order details, and check product information.
- Consumer E-commerce Website
Publicly available Website for consumers to purchase Tamiya product, manage order details, and view a full catalog of product information and images.
The Internet channels were successfully integrated with Tamiya backend systems, while being adopted by critical distribution and retail channel partners. Within the first month of launch, the Internet consumer Website proved profitable and processes have been redefined and streamlined.
As a forward thinking organization, Tamiya selected DBG to provide innovation in the hobby industry that aligns with Tamiya’s core values.
- Launched online sales channel, exposing new revenue streams.
- Reduced operating overhead by 50% within 1 year.
- Archived ROI on technology investment within 4 months.