Case Study: Oyster Marine


The Oyster Marine Company Database is a solution that runs the entire Luxury Yacht business from sales activity and new boat sales through to second hand boat sales and after sales support. It's most important function is to record all customer communication, of which it currently holds 1 million records.

What value has it provided Oyster?

The Oyster Marine Company Database has provided the business with many benefits since implementation including more efficient working, stronger ability to manage the communication coming in and going out to customers, categorise certain contact groups with flags that drive automatic actions (e.g. to be emailed an event invite), tighter management of the after sales function (including financial management) and clearer visibility of owner details.

The two most valuable additions in the new Oyster system are:

  1. Automated prospect ranking
  2. Automated capture of all email communication and tagging against contact records

1. Automated prospect ranking

The previous prospect ranking methodology contained an inherent weakness that resulted in prospect rankings of dubious accuracy. In particular, poor database functionality led to artificial ranking (giving prospects higher rankings so that they remain on the radar), even when in reality they shouldn't be on the radar for some time. We felt that the current single ranking structure may benefit from migrating into a multi-level ranking structure.

In the new structure the end ranking is given to the prospect automatically based on the combination of two tiers (ability to buy and likelihood to buy), and taking into consideration the timeframe. This now allows Oyster to resolve the issue that in reality a prospect's ranking changes over time but the previous system couldn't cope with it.

2. Automated capture of email communication and tagging against contact records

The Email Tracker is an in-house FileMaker module that Cordis developed for the purposes of collecting all email communication coming in and out of a business. Email Tracker automatically tags emails against contacts within the Oyster database. It also provides a further level of integration for Oyster, with the content of the email messages be directly fed into 'Activities' tab for each contact. This saves Oyster a significant amount of time by removing the previously manual process of copying and pasting emails from a users' email client into a contact's activities tab on an individual basis. It has been reported that this process took up to 17 clicks per email, providing immediate benefits to Oyster when removed.

All emails that are not automatically tagged against a contact in the database go into a pool record in the database for either manual tagging or deleting. All emails that are in the pool file, where the sender or recipient is subsequently added to the Oyster database, will automatically be assigned to that new contact via a 're-tagging routine'.

Client testimonial

"The solution Cordis developed for us has helped us to achieve multiple gains in organisational efficiency. Cordis combined technical expertise with a solid understanding of our business processes to deliver a system that makes our job of making customers feel loved easier. FileMaker Pro is a great product as it allows Cordis to be constantly working on the system to add new functionality as well as maintain what is currently there. Our FileMaker database is definitely a mission critical tool for the Oyster Marine business."
Tim Goodwin, Oyster Marine, Director

Areas of Innovation

  • This solution developed by Cordis allows Oyster Marine to achieve efficiencies and levels of responsiveness that would not be possible using other technologies. FileMaker's ability to link to other sources of data is vital for Oyster who regularly pulls in customer data from external sources.
  • The ability to separate the data and interface within FileMaker allows Cordis to work on the Oyster solution remotely without impacting on the customer. Updates are developed and uploaded in the evenings without any user downtime.

Key Features

  • Automated prospect ranking
  • Automated capture of email communication and tagging against contact records
Client Version:Filemaker 9
Server Version:Filemaker 9
Servers:1 x Filemaker Server