Founded in 1945, Jodrell Bank’s inspirational story includes revolutionary scientific discoveries, amazing feats of engineering, the dawn of the Space Age, and the creation of the Grade I listed Lovell Telescope, an icon of British science and engineering.
Given its status as a UNESCO world heritage site, Jodrell Bank welcomes countless visitors to its premises all throughout the year, requiring a system that can accommodate complex booking processes.
Many years back, when the solution was still known as Merac, Jodrell Bank adopted K3 MStore to facilitate a seamless visitor journey and offer additional services like Gift Aid.
More recently, however, Jodrell Bank had money outstanding from the Culture Recovery Fund in the wake of the pandemic and was advised to procure a new system with integrated Customer Relationship Management (CRM) capabilities.
While examining other providers, it became clear that alternative solutions could not resolve Jodrell Bank’s biggest challenge – that being integration with the WPM Payment Platform used by the higher education sector.
A lot of university-run museums throughout the United Kingdom require at least a basic integration with WPM, as it is widely used to facilitate student payments.
“We looked at alternative solutions, but there didn’t seem to be one provider that could give us everything we needed. For example, they didn’t necessarily have an online shop, or they may have had an online shop, but not an on-site EPOS,” said Lorna Harper, Deputy Director at Jodrell Bank.
“We also faced another huge challenge in that we have to work within the university’s systems, and there’s no other solution that has the integration with WPM. So, we thought let’s talk to the K3 MStore team.
“We’re not quite there yet, but there’s been a real willingness from the K3 team to deliver what we need, and we hope to be there soon.”
While there are other solution areas the organisation would like to see further improved, the ongoing collaboration between K3 and Jodrell Bank will ultimately drive the best outcome and serves to highlight that sometimes, the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.
When asked about what advice Jodrell Bank would have for other visitor attractions and cultural enterprises considering changing solutions, Lorna said:
“Be cautious, because no one system is going to be perfect. Be mindful, and often it’s worth asking your existing provider whether they can further support your needs by developing additional functionality or integration capabilities before deciding.”