An online market place for buying and selling wine
Fine wines with all the convenience of online.
Bid for Wine is a web-based auction site, selling fine, rare or vintage wines. It’s the fruits of passion for Lionel Nierop, an entrepreneur with plenty of bottle and a corking good idea (no more wine puns, we promise). Lionel’s company began as an intensive, one-man-operation and now, under new ownership, continues to flourish. The main website www.bidforwine.co.uk functions like eBay, with a countdown for every auctioned lot. A second site www.live-auction.bidforwine.co.uk allows users to connect to live auctions and place bids in real time from the comfort of their home.
“Source[Lab] have always been responsive to our needs and proactive in recommending ways to improve our software development process”
Taking over the technology
Lionel approached us in September 2014 looking for a dependable software company to manage the technical side of the business and provide long-term support. The previous developer had left unexpectedly so we came to the project cold, forced to rely on our experience. Over the next year-and-a-half we stabilised and fine-tuned the technology, taking Lionel’s company to a new level, while paving the way for an even brighter future.
- Stabilise, improve and upscale all systems. Run the technical side
of the business.
- Taking on the project without a handover. Overseeing the sale to Dreweatts.
- Robust platform handling thousands of users. Complete technology peace of mind.
The ‘get well’ program
Once familiar with the technology we performed a full-service MOT and carried out maintenance tasks on the infrastructure. We found creative ways to improve operations, freeing Lionel and his team from simple admin tasks. For instance, we automated the accounting of Bid For Wine’s invoices, a welcome piece of software that really helped to boost efficiency. Now, with a stable and viable business, Lionel could set to work on selling up.
Going, going, gone:
Showing technical consistency
In the summer of 2015, Bid For Wine was bought by Dreweatts; a large, practiced auction company. Rather than form an internal development team, the new owners wanted to keep things simple: they would stick to the business of auctions and trust us to continue managing the technology. Source[Lab] were crucial in smoothing the handover between Lionel and Dreweatts, supporting all systems at every stage of the process.
Meeting the extra demand
As Bid For Wine’s popularity grew, so too did its user base, resulting in huge increases in traffic to the website. This caused a few niggles, including occasional spells of downtime, but we investigated promptly and remedied everything.
Now, under our supervision the site has operated perfectly for many months, allowing Dreweatts to focus on the business without having to worry about the technical side of things. Further, by using Puppet scripts to improve the infrastructure, we gave them a robust, full-bodied product that only gets better with age (okay, one more pun).
“The team takes time to understand our underlying business needs to ensure what they’re building will actually do what we want!”