Views is a London-based inventory management startup looking to help save dealers time and do more deals. We recently partnered with them to make requesting shipping estimates for their users easier. With this in mind, we thought it would be useful to spotlight the new art startup by asking Views co-founder Jamie Gourlay a few questions.
Firstly, it’s great to be working with you to make requesting shipping requests much easier for Views users. Could you outline how the button works?
Sure. It’s pretty simple! Users select works they want to ship, hit ‘Ship’, input the collection and delivery address and a little more, and off the request goes to yourselves at Queen’s who will then revert back with a quote as quickly as possible. Depending on the route, this can be within a little as 30 minutes.
And what inspired you to create Views?
Two big frustrations.
Firstly, the lack of a really excellent mobile inventory system has frustrated me for a while (I’ve been an art advisor for a few years so have felt the pain!) There are loads of good web-based systems, but the accompanying mobile apps are generally less good, meaning it’s hard to pull works up when you’re sitting with a client and desperately need to. The mobile apps don’t meet the standards set by Instagram and WhatsApp and are just hard to use. Loads of galleries will have one system for web and another for mobile, which causes a load of headaches.
Secondly, it’s constantly got to me how art deals so often rely on chance conversations. I was talking to a friend at a big gallery the other day who was telling me she had been looking for Picasso Musketeer for a client earlier in the year. She found out after months of looking that her best friend in the industry (who actually worked for the same gallery!) had a client looking to sell one. She ended up getting a deal done, but it could easily have not happened, and more often than not it wouldn’t have. Information just doesn’t flow.
There are legitimate reasons for this – it’s crucial artworks don’t circulate and get over-exposed. We’re working to make it easier for dealers to identify these opportunities without the artworks in question getting over-exposed.
There are many inventory systems out there, how is Views different?
We’re working on creating an experience as easy as WhatsApp, and as visually beautiful as Instagram. Most dealers don’t even bother trying to log into their inventory management system on their phone because they’re complicated and hard to use. This often results in poor sales assistants finding themselves making emergency PDFs at 11pm at night. Views saves both the dealer and the assistant a load of time: a dealer can access everything they have access to and PDF it up quicker than it takes to text her assistant. The assistant’s evening goes uninterrupted altogether.
Views also has a Requests feature that lets you log client requests. Any relevant artworks in your inventory immediately show up, making it easier to come up with ideas of things to suggest to clients.
How easy is it to transfer from existing inventory systems?
Easy! We offer functionality to import your works from most popular existing inventory systems. We also offer a confidential free white glove data migration service if you need help.
Privacy and security is obviously something we have to take extremely seriously at Queen’s and I presume it’s the same with Views. What measures do you take to ensure your systems are bulletproof?
Customer privacy and security is basically our number one focus, to the point we hired a cyber security expert to our founding team to ensure we’re completely watertight. His previous role was implementing security systems for a prestigious online bank. We’re encrypted in transit and encrypted at rest and we literally have banking-level security, so we’re taking it seriously.
How can someone interested in signing up to Views get started?
To get the app go to www.views.art and hit ‘GET VIEWS’ (or alternatively you can just click here). We ask people to just fill in a quick form so we can find out a bit about them and make sure Views is for them.
If you require assistance with shipping, installing or storing your art? Your Queen’s contact remains at your disposal. Alternatively, you can contact the expert team at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be happy to assist.