When Graam, a leading scrap gold business, realized that their current operational processes represent a significant bottleneck and hindered any innovation from taking place, they understood that a modern and, foremost, flexible solution was urgently required. They hired Vasterra to immerse into their daily business procedures and propose not only a digital platform but to also outline automation potential. The project objective was plain and simple: to foster scalability.
Interactive dashboard that present information from different departments in one page
Graam is one of the leading destinations for anyone desiring to buy or sell gold in any purity across the UK. They buy gold and eventually melt it into pure gold to sell it later on to institutional clients such as banks and the jewellery industry. Their vision is to transparently show people how much their unused jewellery is worth and what they could get for it. Graam matches buyers and sellers and carries out the transaction. Through their reputation, they reduce the risks for both parties and foster trust.
The Graam project has been an extraordinarily extensive one for our Vasterra team as not only a new platform had to be implemented but, foremost, all business processes had to be digitized. Up to this point, Graam had been working with Google sheets to indicate purchases, sales and transactions. All information was entered manually and, therefore, required a high amount of manual labour. The rather small team organized and allocated tasks through social media messengers, ultimately adding to the complexity and non-transparency of the processes.
Despite the large amount of required manual labour, the main drawback was that the founder had to invest all of his time supporting the team carrying out the manual tasks instead of scaling the business and focusing on strategic initiatives. Eventually, Graam was neither transparent nor scalable – both they aspired to be. Therefore, the main objectives of the collaboration with Vasterra were:
1. to create and to implement an ERP system
2. to establish Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) to scale the business
3. to launch a platform providing information in real-time and matching sales and purchases instantly
4. to automate repetitive tasks in order to free up resources
Vasterra's team had to initially immerse themselves into the daily business operations of Graam. As most of the work took place in excel sheets and through informal communication channels, capturing their processes was not a quick win. On the contrary, Vasterra recognized that the thorough grasping of their current way of working is of utmost importance to not only capture all requirements of the future platform but to also facilitate a simple implementation of the solution later on. Vasterra spent a significant amount of time capturing these requirements and enabled Graam to save time and costs during the onboarding of all employees onto the new system. Specifically, we streamlined their work procedures so that no employee oneself represents a bottleneck anymore. Today, responsibilities can be shared among employees and the business became less dependent on a few key roles within the organisation.
The customer journey was rather simple. When a customer sent a sales request, the customer service would then forward all information to the deals coordinator. The deals coordinator had to check on different Google sheets whether there is a purchasing deal it can be matched with, whether Graam has sufficient corporate funds to buy the gold and, eventually, what the current gold price is. All these steps took a significant amount of time. Vasterra recognized this bottleneck and introduced a sophisticated ERP system not only integrating real time market prices for gold but further integrated a tool where the potential customer immediately sees what amount of cash she will receive when selling gold to Graam. Furthermore, our developers enabled the integration of available corporate funds into any sales calculation to cater for financial limitations and avoid negative customer experience. The platform became a truly digital experience for selling and buying gold.
Vasterra not only migrated the workflow onto a sophisticated and new database with an intuitive user interface but also enabled Graam to automate a majority of their processes. We automated the customer matching and the transaction completion which shortens the entire deal timeline from up to one hour to less than a minute. Moreover, by automating repetitive tasks, Vasterra enabled Graam to focus on customer support and customer experience which led to a sales increase without spending any additional money on marketing.
We understood that not only the procedures had to be digitalized but also their workflow - and with it their approach to exploiting new opportunities. Graam works in a dynamic and very price volatile industry with a product crucial for the functioning of modern day lives. Therefore, Vasterra created the entire platform in the most flexible manner to cater for new business opportunities by a quick-to-adapt platform. Our solution enabled Graam to exploit the opportunity of increased demand for scrap gold by refineries across the UK through an easy-to-adapt platform. More specifically, our platform design allowed Graam to add a dedicated section for refineries representing their specific requirements.
From day one on, Vasterra closely collaborated with Graam, ensuring short feedback loops and the most effective outcome possible. The intuitive and modern platform with a sophisticated ERP system in the background allowed Graam to free up its employees from repetitive tasks and to focus on scaling the business to its full potential. Vasterra’s team immersed themselves into the business practices of Graam and enabled a smooth and effective transition to a truly digital Graam experience. By facilitating this transition, Graam became scalable, agile and efficient which led to a significant transaction volume increase. Eventually, Vasterra amplified the potential of Graam by truly understanding their mission, values and purpose. Comprehending their business model and the industry they operate in enabled our developers to decrease Graam’s internal transaction costs manifold and secure their competitive advantage in the long haul.
Graam has been collaborating with Vasterra for two years now and we are looking forward to more years to come as we remain in charge of their digital endeavours. Vasterra understands that proactive and customer-centric services are the key growth drivers – not only for scrap gold businesses.
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