Bygghemma.se grew out of their old system and introduced a new modern platform for article management and e-commerce. The results showed the very first weekend after the launch: "We beat the old sales record by 25 percent," says Patrick Rees, CEO at Bygghemma.se.
More and more people are renovating their homes. This is reflected in the demand for doors, windows and building materials. Since the DIY store Bygghemma.se opened its doors to the web three years ago, sales have more than doubled each year. The original ERP and business system quickly became obsolete and the simple e-commerce platform was not sufficient for the large traffic volumes.
"The visitors often experienced technical errors on the site, and that's not good at all", says Johan Uddh, IT manager at Bygghemma.se. "But we have very loyal customers who really want to come back, so we've still been lucky", adds his colleague Marcus Ishagen who is responsible for the logistics.
Together, Marcus and Johan pushed the project to build a new platform for article management and e-commerce.
"The goal was to have a system where we could administer both the web and the business logic", explains Marcus Ishagen.
Att uppdatera priserna för en stor leverantör, som Hafa med flera tusen produkter, kunde exempelvis ta 180 timmar.
Price updates took time
The systems used to be separated, leading to much duplication of work. Orders and economy were managed in the ERP system, while the entire web with article structures was managed in the e-commerce platform.
"We had to enter data in both systems and it was not efficient. A great amount of hours were spent on price updates, since they occur quite often in our world", says Marcus Ishagen.
To update the prices for a large provider, for example Hafa with thousands of products, could take 180 hours.
"Now all the information is in the new ERP and business system. The updates are made in one single place and transmitted automatically to the web, which has made the process incredibly more efficient", says Johan Uddh.
The solution that has made this possible has been developed together with partner companies Mercator, which accounts for the business system, and Avensia, responsible for e-commerce platform and web interface. The joint product is called the AX Commerce because it is based on Microsoft Dynamics AX combined with Microsoft Commerce Server.
"The point of the solution is that it is the ERP and business system that is the engine. There is business logic with rules for article structure and workflows. E-commerce functionality from Avensia handle customer flows, layout and campaigns with response time in milliseconds, says Ewald Forsberg", marketing manager at Mercator.
He points out that the web configurator plays an important role in the solution. It manages the connection between the business system and what is shown on the client screen. Depending on the product, size, flavor, color and so on the customer chooses various options that can be done are automatically presented. Previously, online visitors had to search for all things on their own.
"The user friendliness in the new system is much better. It provides the opportunity for additional sales and customer service to focus on answering questions from customers who really need help with special orders", says Patrick Rees, CEO Bygghemma.se.
The system also includes features to engage visitors with blogs and forums where customers can ask questions, share their own experiences and rate the products.
Better cost control
Another gain with the new platform, Patrick Rees highlights, is the increased cost control.
"Traditional e-commerce systems are managing retail prices to the customer, but not the costs of goods sold. Since we have the business system as the master, we can ensure that the costs will be entered automatically when it is billed. This means that we get cost per product and not just on the entire order - an order may well be divided into multiple vendors", Patrick Rees points out.
And expectations are high. The goal is that today's around 40,000 articles in the system will grow to 150,000 by 2012. The same year, Bygghemma.se, according to their own forecast, will have a turnover of 500 million in the Swedish market alone.