Orioles Manage to Launch Team Catalog
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By Alicia Orr
Until last year, the Baltimore Orioles were one of only two major league ball teams without a mail-order catalog. By early summer 1997, the Orioles were in first place, and newspapers and talk shows were abuzz with excitement over what was possibly the greatest Orioles lineup in team history including the legendary Cal Ripken. Orioles Retail Outlets Manager John Greeley was convinced that it was the year to try a catalog. "Everybody had baseball on their mind. If it was not going to work now, it was never going to work," he says.
It was decided that the ’97 season would represent a project would represent a project feasibility study into mail-order sales. The good news was the Orioles already had a list of 108,000 dedicated fans who were hungry for team merchandise. But time was short. "For this to work, we had to be up and running before the playoffs stretch," Greeley recalls.
So the Orioles marketing and information services team set off to find a software package to manage the project. When Greeley talked to the catalog managers of eight or 10 other major league teams, he found, to his surprise, that besides those who had custom packages, no one was able to recommend with any enthusiasm the software they used to manage their mail-order business.
One of the teams used a retail package, and the Orioles had several consultations with that company’s reps. But the package was not geared to mail order. And even though their sales rep told the Orioles’ Jim Kline, director of computer services, that the package could be customized, the cost was thousands of dollars above what the Orioles felt was warranted for a test-run.
Fortunately, in late July, Kilne came across Dydacomp’s Mail Order Manager (M.O.M.) on the Internet. Kline spoke to the sales staff at Dydacomp, who assured him that M.O.M. is easy to set up and requires no customization.
Most important, M.O.M. passed Greeley’s personal litmus test ("If I get lost in a program, how easy is it to find my way back?") with flying colors.
In Spite of the challenges, sales from the Orioles catalog division finished 1997 $20,000 higher than projections. "We are now in the catalog business to stay," Greeley says, adding that he’s about to mail a second catalog which is double the size of the first.
For product information on Mail Order Manager, call Dydacomp at (800) 858-3666, or visit its Web site at www.dydacomp.com.
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