Recticel unrolls self-service portal for exceptional customer experiences
The era of faxing an order and sending it to suppliers by mail is behind us. But even today, plenty of inefficient phone and e-mail tag still occurs between customers and suppliers. The self-service portal that delaware is rolling out for Recticel Insultation proves that customer communication can be done smarter.
Taking the tedium out of the ordering process
Recticel Insulation is part of the listed Recticel Group, a leading player in insulation products, and employs 4,270 people in 20 countries worldwide. “Being one of our customers should be a pleasure,” asserts Ralf Becker, group general manager at Recticel Insulation. “We strive to provide an efficient, easy, fast and reliable experience to every customer when they order from us. This is why we teamed up with delaware to offer our customers a smooth experience.
“Before the portal, customers placed orders by e-mail or phone,” explains Ralf. “This isn’t an efficient process for customers or suppliers because it takes considerable time to complete the order. Is the product still in stock? What is the total cost of the order? When can it be delivered? In order to rapidly respond to these common customer questions, we decided to implement a self-service portal that can be accessed anytime, anywhere.”
The Amazon of insulation solutions
Every Recticel customer with access to the platform can request real-time data such as prices, product availability, delivery times, technical product data order history, invoice overviews, and so forth. “In just a few clicks, the customer can place their order or repeat a previous order,” Ralf continues. “Our B2B e-commerce platform is like an Amazon for insulation solutions. In the same way that consumers order takeaway online, book an appointment with a dentist or buy Christmas gifts, professionals can access insulation solutions via our platform.”
Connecting all functionalities
The core of the platform consists of an SAP ERP system that links every single building block. For example, if a customer orders twenty pallets of a particular product, production of a new batch is scheduled immediately and automatically.
Ralf: “In this way, we are able to coordinate the entire chain in real time. Of course, this extends much further than the supply chain; many other data flows are also linked to the platform.”
The advantages of real-time data
In the platform, customers rely on real-time information, making ordering faster, as few manual actions are required, and minimizing the risk of errors. “It’s a win-win for us and our customers,” Ralf states. “Customers can count on the same efficiency gains that we do. We’re already using the platform in our facilities in Belgium and the Netherlands and are currently working on the rollout in France, the UK and Scandinavia.”
However, Ralf and his team are aware that not every customer is ready to use this system. “And they don’t have to,” he adds. “Over the last six months, however, we noticed that the coronavirus pandemic motivated many customers to digitize, which has been an important move for them and for us.”
Generating maximum buy-in from customers and employees alike
“We closely involved our customers in our plans from the very start. Based on interviews and workshops, we gained insights into their needs and challenges. We started the project with a handful of pilot customers, who tested the portal and provided feedback that the delaware experts would then implement.”
"Because customers and employees were given the opportunity to sit at the drawing board, the portal has broad support. Inside and outside the organization."
Ralf Becker, group general manager at Recticel Insulation
Ralf asserts that the same involvement was extended to Recticel Insulation employees as well. “Our customer service team was there from the beginning. Skepticism is human and expected, but because customers and employees had the opportunity to sit at the drawing board, the portal has broad support, both inside and outside our organization. Even more, continuous feedback from our customers enables us to keep improving the tool.”
Before you start with your own digitization initiative…
“It’s important to keep a number of important things in mind,” says Simon Depuydt, solution owner of SAP Customer Experience at delaware, and one of the experts involved in the rollout at Recticel. “For example, before even considering digitizing a process, think carefully about the following points.”
- Your data and procedures must be clear for a smooth translation into digital.
- Client needs should always be at the center of your efforts – which requires plenty of listening, involvement and following up.
- Critically examine your entire ERP system before implementing a self-service portal for optimal results.
- Involve your people – after all, the future will require a mix of digital and human.
In search of expert guidance as you embark on your own digitalization journey? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team.