Kramp Groep uses IBM Omni-channel commerce strategy to boost annual growth by 12 percent

IBM WebSphere Commerce with integrated order management reduces cost per order and improves customer service and support

Published on 08 Oct 2013

"Our evolution toward a service-oriented company that focuses on the customer started with IBM WebSphere Commerce." - Gerben Peet, e-business manager, Kramp Groep

Customer:
Kramp

Industry:
Retail, Industrial Products, Wholesale Distribution & Services

Deployment country:
Netherlands

Solution:
Smarter Commerce

IBM Business partner:
CDC Software, Piazza Blue

Overview

Based in the Netherlands, Kramp Groep is one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing spare parts wholesalers for the agricultural and forestry industries. Kramp Groep offers more than 500,000 items online and takes more than 50,000 customer orders every day. As a one-stop supplier, Kramp Groep differentiates itself from competitors by offering quality products and technical advice to customers.

Business need:
Kramp Groep’s original online store was based on an inflexible proprietary solution that was difficult for the in-house IT team to maintain and update.

Solution:
The IT team began looking for a more flexible e-commerce solution, and it was immediately impressed with IBM WebSphere Commerce. The team implemented it quickly and new online stores were up and running nine months later — well within the company’s deadline.

Benefits:
IBM WebSphere Commerce provides Kramp Groep with features that make ordering spare parts online easier for customers, such as detailed product information and customers’ order histories. Eighty-five percent of all order lines are placed online, up from 57 percent. The call center staff and sales representatives in the field are no longer serving as order-takers. Instead, they’re helping customers solve technical problems and identifying what parts they need. The average cost per transaction has decreased, and productivity of commercial employees has increased considerably.

Case Study

Based in the Netherlands, Kramp Groep is one of Europe’s largest and fastest growing spare parts wholesalers for the agricultural and forestry industries. Kramp Groep offers more than 500,000 items online and takes more than 50,000 customer orders every day. As a one-stop supplier, Kramp Groep differentiates itself from competitors by offering quality products and technical advice to customers.

Kramp’s quality concept goes well beyond spare parts. The company’s entire approach to business transitioned from sales-centric to customer-centric, and it began with the transformation of its online store.

“Our evolution toward a service-oriented company that focuses on the customer started with IBM WebSphere Commerce,” said Gerben Peet, e-business manager, Kramp Groep. “We knew we had to deliver a smarter and more personalized ordering experience, and that effort led to a multi-national, multi-language e-commerce solution that puts our customers at the center of everything.”

More flexible e-commerce solution needed
Kramp Groep’s original online store was based on an inflexible proprietary solution that was difficult for the in-house IT team to maintain and update.

“Our highly skilled team is more than capable of managing an e-commerce solution,” Peet said. “But with the previous platform, every time we wanted to launch a new store or introduce new features, we had to rely on external consultants to make the required changes. We decided to implement a new solution that would be easy for us to develop and integrate with our order management and logistics system. Our back-end system is based on the CDC Supply Chain Global Order Management solution, and we’re very happy with it.”

Single solution creates multiple stores
The IT team began looking for a more flexible e-commerce solution, and it was immediately impressed with IBM WebSphere Commerce. The team implemented it quickly and new online stores were up and running nine months later — well within the company’s deadline. CDC Software handled the integration between IBM WebSphere Commerce and the CDC Supply Chain Global Order Management solution with a standard integration module to interface with IBM WebSphere Commerce. In doing so, Kramp Groep created an omni-channel commerce environment that provides complete inventory visibility and customer order history across channels.

“The genius of IBM WebSphere Commerce is that it provides a single yet flexible e-commerce platform, enabling us to operate 50+ online sites in 11 languages, and they all link to the same backend,” Peet said. “As a result, if a customer in Austria needs a part that is only available at a warehouse in Germany, that’s no problem. We will ship it the same day.”

Think globally, communicate locally
With the multi-site, multi-language capability that IBM WebSphere Commerce provides, there is no need for the IT team to develop different sites for different countries. The team simply translates site content into the appropriate language. However, while the company’s spare parts are the same on each site, the marketing messages can be quite different. IBM WebSphere Commerce lets Kramp Groep deliver contextually relevant marketing and promotions for each store.

“We think globally, yet we communicate locally because the marketing challenges and opportunities in each country are diverse,” Peet said. “For example, in the Czech Republic we’re working to get more customers to order online. The marketing and messaging on that site is very different from the marketing and messaging on the Netherlands’ site, where 95 percent of our customers in that country order online.

Kramp Groep also uses social media to communicate locally. When the company detects shifts in online behavior, it refines marketing, sales, customer-service and supply chain efforts accordingly.

“Social media provides qualitative and quantitative feedback from customers,” Peet said. “We use social media to inform others of our products and services, but more importantly we want to hear what customers think of them.”

Ordering made easier
IBM WebSphere Commerce provides Kramp Groep with features that make ordering spare parts online easier for customers, such as detailed product information and customers’ order histories.

Eighty-five percent of all order lines are placed online, up from 57 percent. The call center staff and sales representatives in the field are no longer serving as order-takers. Instead, they’re helping customers solve technical problems and identifying what parts they need. The average cost per transaction has decreased, and productivity of commercial employees has increased considerably.

“Improved customer service and lower operational costs are helping Kramp Groep achieve approximately 12 percent annual growth,” Peet said. “The solutions provided by IBM and CDC are making a real contribution to the success of our business.”

Users can check product availability, calculate net prices and read detailed, up-to-date product information.

“Dealers use a Kramp scanner to scan our products’ barcodes in their warehouses,” Peet explained. “They transfer that data to their computers and place their orders. Since some dealers rely on mobile computing, they connect their scanners to an iPad for example. Scanning barcodes speeds the order process and reduces human error. We also work with business partners who rebrand our products to sell as their own.”

Components

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Commerce Enterprise

Legal Information

To learn more about IBM WebSphere Commerce, please contact your IBM marketing representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/services To learn more about product, services and solutions from CDC Software, visit www.cdcsoftware.com © Copyright IBM Corporation 2013 IBM CorporationSoftware GroupRoute 100Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States of AmericaJune 2013