Spitfire Audio Case Study
“You're the best external people a team could hope for.”
Catalogue and shopping cart, digital downloads application, front-end ecommerce website, financial integrations, marketing integrations, development support.
Spitfire Audio is a music technology company who specialise in sounds: sample libraries, virtual instruments and other useful software devices. They collaborate with the world's best composers, artists and engineers to build musical tools that sound great and are exciting to use. Composers can create symphonic film scores without hiring an orchestra.
Switchplane has been working with Spitfire Audio since 2013, and over that time the music technology company has grown considerably. Since reaching a tipping point in their company size, Spitfire Audio has been able to carry out some development work in-house, but continues to collaborate closely with Switchplane on the underlying infrastructure and the development work needed to support Spitfire Audio in achieving their goals.
Spitfire Audio first approached us in 2012. They had a very piecemeal setup: WordPress for their CMS; a combination of WorldPay, Ejunkie, and PayPal as their shopping cart; Continuata for the file distribution; and Mailchimp for their email campaigns.
Spitfire's goal was to bring everything together into one place both to provide a more consistent and professional experience for the end user.
Since then, Switchplane has built extensive shopping cart functionality, a platform for the global distribution of large sample libraries, and a front-end ecommerce website in collaboration with Spitfire's design team. Switchplane also provides day-to-day development support for the Finance, Marketing, and Customer Experience teams.
Switchplane has worked with Spitfire Audio's design team to create a beautiful, custom-made online shopping experience for their customers.
Switchplane created a powerful tool, Layout Designer, for Spitfire Audio's use. This enables the Marketing team to set up new pages and to drag and drop widget components onto the page, so they can create customised layouts for new products as and when needed, without developer involvement.
Spitfire Audio has a complex shopping cart with numerous layers, enabling their Marketing teams to set product and site-wide discounts to suit particular campaigns. The shopping cart can consider whether a customer has particular product items in their collection and offer the customer the ability to complete a collection at a reduced price.
The shopping cart and ecommerce platform as a whole is able to respond to peaks in customer demand, for example during the Black Friday weekend where there are numerous promotions attracting high numbers of customers to the site.
The Spitfire App provides users with the ability to download their purchases. It was created jointly between the Switchplane and Spitfire Audio development teams, with Switchplane focusing primarily on the back-end web and app functionality and Spitfire's team working on implementing the beautiful user interface.
Our recent updates to the application have led to a dramatic improvement in the download speed, as we are now using CloudFront to distribute content. We were also able to reduce the amount of disk space required for installing a product and the installation process is also now significantly quicker.
Switchplane has worked with the Spitfire Audio finance team to create integrations with the SUN finance system, saving time and streamlining processes for staff and avoiding manual reconciliations.
We automated Spitfire's sales ledger, so all orders through the website are automatically processed into appropriate invoice (or credit) journals, and similarly we prepare settlement journals for cash received from credit card receipts, PayPal, Afterpay and Affirm. Journals are batched via an end of day process to create an XML feed to import into the SUN financial package. There is a complete audit trail from journals in the accounting records back to the original order.
Given that there are now Spitfire Audio customers around the globe, we have recently worked on an integration with tax rates providers in order to account for appropriate VAT rates on a country and state level. A VAT CSV export allows the finance team and GST consultants to download all the VAT information ready for submission.
To support the Marketing team's desire to sell gift vouchers and the Finance team's need to track the relevant liabilities on the balance sheet, we updated Spitfire Audio's cart to allow customers to purchase gift vouchers and updated the sales ledger system to track voucher purchases, redemptions, and usages.
Switchplane carried out the necessary work to enable Spitfire Audio to integrate with the Ometria marketing platform, and subsequently with the Drip platform. This means that the Marketing team can closely monitor sales on the website, follow customer journeys, and create appropriate targeted audience segments for email marketing campaigns.
Although Spitfire Audio have their own development team, Switchplane continues to provide day-to-day support on the underlying ecommerce platform. A shared Slack channel makes communications easy between the two organisations, and really helps us to feel like our customers are partners.
"I wanted to convey my sincere thanks for your dedication over the past weeks. [...] it has been a resounding success and your work has contributed significantly to providing us with the fuel we need to continuing doing what we do at Spitfire."
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