Vermont Teddy Bear Co.

Improved Customer Service and Response Time
Industry

Retail

Company

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company (VTBC) is the largest handcrafter of teddy bear toys in North America. Headquartered in Shelburne, Vermont, VTBC began nearly 30 years ago with a single product called a BearGram®, a customized teddy bear delivered with a personalized greeting card and candy treat. Today, in addition to teddy bears, the company also sells sleepwear and direct-from-grower flowers and plants by phone, catalog, and online across three distinct brands: Vermont Teddy Bear, PajamaGram, and Calyx Flowers.

Challenge

A continually expanding product line and combined volume across multiple divisions helped VTBC achieve growth of more than $50 million in sales. Because its sales were closely tied to gifting holidays, the company experienced peak periods when orders per day grew exponentially from several hundred to more than 47,000. During these periods, it was not unusual for the company to ship more than 60,000 packages in one day. VTBC staffing fluctuated with sales, expanding from a range of 150 to 180 year-round employees to as many as 1,000 during the peak months of December, February, and May.

Vermont Teddy Bear recognized that in order to keep pace with constantly changing demands and respond effectively to customers, it was essential to change the way it managed data. In 1994, VTBC engaged IT partner Circle Commerce (formerly Avexxis) to help manage the company's information processing needs. Circle Commerce principal Frank Hanshaw recalled from his organization's early days of working with VTBC, “They were originally using an outbound telemarketing system rife with issues. They just wanted to handle the large blast of orders as the deadline approached, get them out on a timely basis, and manage customer service and shipping."

Results

  • Customized soltions to meet customer needs and reduce call center response time
  • Updated applications without rebuilding the database or writing new code
  • Updated the database without additional costs or downtime

Products
Applications

  • Database Management

 
For speed, performance, and size of a database running on a mid-size, mid-tier system, it performs very well. For example, response time for our call center is fantastic.
 
Bob Stetzel
Vice President of Information
and Ecommerce Technology
Vermont Teddy Bear Company