Case Study: B2B Ecommerce Platform for 19 Countries for Europe’s Largest Timber Merchant
The JAF Group is the largest timber merchant in Europe and sells 83.000 products at 58 sites in 19 countries all over the continent. The current turnover of the JAF Group is 450M USD. Over the course of six decades, it has become central Europe’s leading wholesaler for wood and wooden materials.
The first challenge at the JAF Group was about the B2B buying process for timber. Their main B2B target groups are carpenters who use the JAF Group as their supplier for timber. But the existing B2B buying process was lengthy and complicated. And, there was neither central a product database nor e-commerce processes within the 19 countries. The JAF Group was missing e-commerce and digital strategies in most countries.
The second challenge for the company was the optimization of the customer experience. Within the industry of the JAF Group, their customers (majorly carpenters) often need to cut timber for pieces of furniture. Timber cutting machines are expensive, and generally, carpenters cannot afford those machines. Because JAF was only offering pieces of wood in one predefined wholesale size, carpenters could not order the timber cut to the size that they exactly need. This meant they had to order it from a different vendor. Besides that, B2B and B2C customers had to spend a lot of time for planning, optimizing, and ordering wooden terraces. They needed to optimize the plank patterns, the substructure, and the optimal use of the timber material.
After analyzing the JAF Group’s exact requirements, a central platform in 12 languages and for 19 countries was set up with Pimcore PIM and Pimcore DAM. The next step was the development of an international B2B e-commerce platform with customer specific pricing and customer specific assortments for 83.000 products where the customer experience is rendered in real-time. Additionally, this platform features popular B2B e-commerce functionalities such as buying permissions and workflows, quotation requests, corporate accounts, and tight ERP integration.
The customized multi-country B2B e-commerce platform based on Pimcore eCommerce provides a multi-tenant shopping cart for price and order comparison as well as B2B features such as product quotation, order dashboards, and various product category specific checkout processes.
Product Configurator: As part of the solution, an online timber cutting service was created. Now, carpenters can individually cut and order their timber including timber edges based on an artificial intelligence powered cutting optimization engine. The source of all data is Pimcore PIM.
Terrace Designer: The terrace designer is a special component of Pimcore eCommerce and is tightly integrated with Pimcore PIM. For B2B customers, the terrace designer calculates the optimal patterns for the desired terrace floor plans and generates the building instructions. In just a few clicks, terraces including substructure, leveling feet, attachment and other accessories can be designed and tested in a wide range of variants - all this with a complete list of materials, including a construction sketch and an online shop linkage. From the configuration, through calculation, material lists, construction plans, sketches, coordinated offers to the direct online shop order, everything is now effortless.
Room Studio: Pimcore PIM, Pimcore DAM and Pimcore eCommerce are seamlessly integrated with a real-time 3D construction and rendering process to provide a rich customer experience during the veneer selection. Within this interface, customers can define different attributes of a room such as colors and patterns.
Printing Automation: Full automation creates print outputs based on templates, data, and rules. No manual setup of content is required like it generally happens with product listings, product detail pages, etc. It comes quite handy for automating the creating of data sheets, price lists, and energy labels.
The overall impact has been tremendous so far. The central product database has accelerated the product management processes and marketing & sales processes. While working with a central database, the company staff saves ample time + resources. Carpenters already created 1000s of additional B2B orders.
The time for configuring and the optimization of terraces has minimized. Overall customer experience has improved. As a result, the conversion rate has dramatically increased in terms of lead generation, and the cost of warehousing & transport has been reduced.
With worldwide access 24/7, the marketplace enables growth (unlimited scalability) and fosters new partnerships. The international B2B e-commerce platform contributes a substantial share to the total revenue.
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