Fabory hooks webshop customers with advanced assortment management
When it comes to fastening, no one does it better than Dutch company Fabory. Part of Torqx Capital, the company has a catalog of over 430,000 items: from nuts and bolts of all imaginable types to machine parts. To help customers find their way through the webshop more easily, Fabory implemented delaware’s CX Assortment Management extension to its SAP Commerce platform.
“The start of this story dates back to the go-live of our renewed webshop in May 2018,” explains Sven de Bie, who has been closely involved in the project, first as e-commerce project manager and now as enterprise architect. “For a long time, our old and new webshops coexisted, and clients were divided among both – a very costly situation in terms of maintenance and general efficiency. In addition, only customers with access to the new webshop could take advantage of the new features and improvements we were developing.”
Finding a rivet in a haystack
- Sven de Bie, Enterprise architect at Fabory
Phasing out the old webshop wasn’t a matter of ‘pulling the plug’, however. “There were still a lot of functionalities from the old shop that needed to be transitioned over to the new one,” Sven explains. “Among the most important ones was CustomCatalogs, a feature that allows us to manage the products and assortments of specific clients. With a product catalog as enormous and complex as ours, this is an absolute must to allow customers and procurement teams to quickly find the right product.”
Instead of just copy-pasting the existing feature onto the new webshop, however, Sven and his team wanted to take the opportunity to further improve it. “Apart from finetuning the assortment management features for our customer service employees, we also wanted to give our customers the ability to manage their curated assortments of our products and navigate the shop and place orders more efficiently. At the same time, we wanted to add the necessary security and governance to help procurement teams with multiple members and roles to navigate that complexity and minimize the potential for error.”
The nuts and bolts of MyCatalogs
Armed with the above list of requirements, Sven and his team scoured the market for existing solutions that could help them out. Since planning was tight, purchasing something that already existed made more sense than developing a solution from scratch. A simple Google search brought them to CX Assortment Management, an extension to the SAP CX Commerce platform developed by delaware. “I watched the video, and I realized this came very close to what we’ve been looking for. That’s when we contacted delaware and met the team of Robin Schreurs, team lead for SAP Commerce Cloud at delaware.”
From December 2018 to June 2019, Sven and Robin and their corresponding teams worked closely together to ensure the smooth implementation of the assortment management functionality, renamed as MyCatalogs, in the new webshop. “We tackled the project in multiple phases,” explains Robin. “In phase one, we performed a standard implementation, which was then extensively tested and finetuned in phase two. In phase three, we collected customer feedback for further finetuning and optimization. The go-live took place in May 2019, and we organized the final migration and knowledge transfer to allow the Fabory team to take the reins completely.” In July 2019, Fabory closed the door on its old webshop forever.
Keeping a tight grip at all times
Looking back, Sven and Robin agree that the project involved a lot of complexities. “On one level, there were all these little customizations in terms of brand identity, process flow and governance,” says Robin. “But the biggest challenge was to make sure that the delaware and Fabory development teams, who were working in parallel on different aspects of the project, were aligned at all times. That’s why we decided early on in the project to meet regularly, via Teams and face-to-face, and continuously update each other about our progress.”
Sven agrees: “Communication was definitely key to the success of this project, and delaware delivered on all fronts. I think Robin and I met at least once per week. In addition, we tried to make our requirements and expectations as clear as possible at the start of the project and during the implementation phase. Robin and his team delivered on every level.”
So, what’s the result? “Our main goal was to decommission the old webshop and avoid the associated maintenance costs and give our customers a unified experience. But there have been some important additional effects as well. One of our clients let us know that they have saved up to 150 hours in maintenance thanks to the MyCatalogs feature, and the feature has definitely been a decisive factor in numerous tenders over the last couple of months,” Sven concludes.