Oakwood is a design agency from the UK. They offer all kinds of design work, from print to 3D production and interactive digital projects. We have been working together since 2018, helping Oakwood maintain their clients' existing websites, providing upgrades and fixes, likewise developing new digital solutions from scratch. We are their technology partner and team extension.
Background. How we came to work together
Like most of our clients, they had found us through a referral. We've already had an established partnership with a couple of other digital marketing agencies in Bristol, where Oakwood is based. They were going through a transition period at the time and were short on resources and specific skillsets, and we were able to provide both. We started with a kickoff project and developed our relationship from there. Now, it's mainly retainer-based work, but we also work on all sorts of new projects.
Our latest challenge
The latest project we worked on together was for a big toy retailer, one of Oakwood's regular clients. Unfortunately, the client couldn't meet resellers across the UK during the pandemic. So our partner brought us in to produce a secure login and enable those resellers to log in and take a good look at the latest products, toy brands, industry trends, and new releases coming to the market online.
How do we share work in the team extension model?
Before this one, we worked on projects for Oakwood's two other major clients, so there already was an established trust. In this case, Oakwood was responsible for the design and functional specs. At the same time, we had to work through the specification and provide:
- All the .NET-based coding.
- Backend, frontend CMS and full-stack development.
- Project development.
Oakwood was the primary contact for the end client, but we were the main contact internally for project development purposes.
To solve the issue with travel restrictions, we developed a secure login that could showcase new toys, marketing materials, trend forecasts, core brand guides, product inspiration, and basically every necessary information regarding upcoming releases. In addition, there was a virtual showing so logged users could look around and see how the products would look in a natural retail environment. They could also provide clients with their feedback using convenient forms.
There was also a whole backend content management system and a user management section to be developed. The client wanted to create a large number of accounts for the retailers and integrate the system with email campaign mods that could handle the communication. It was supposed to be "hidden" on a domain separate from the client's main website, and we needed to address all the access requirements.
Results and end-client's feedback
The toy portal's launch was held for an exhibition in Las Vegas in the summer of 2022 and met with an encouraging response from the retailers who attended the show. Soon the client will start rolling it out and use it to promote the brand and upcoming toy product. Overall, all the feedback we get has been very positive.
What our partner appreciates in us
As Matt Newman, Digital Solutions Head from Oakwood, wrote about us in our Clutch review:
"They've been very flexible with how we manage projects or how we want to approach them. The team responds promptly and is excellent at communicating. They always contact us if there are options or concerns or if they want to recommend a slightly different route, which is what we want from our developers.
Their flexibility is outstanding. If we ask them to do something, they go away, think about it, and come back with solutions. If there are any change requests, they manage them and adapt to the requirements because it isn't always clear from our side. Nonetheless, they respond appropriately, which is also very important at the end of the day. That's another central aspect that makes them stand out."
As part of our cooperation with Oakwood and our other partners, we always try to be proactive. Therefore, we not only carry out projects following the documentation but also try to catch potential problems as quickly as possible and provide the best solutions.