How to launch a B2B eCommerce webstore the easy way ….(it’s not rocket science)
It is often the case where you sit in meetings with someone’s glass half empty stating “it’s not possible” and “it’s far more complicated than that.” It is fair to assume that you wouldn’t expect a rocket scientist to deliver a baby, nor would you expect a midwife to launch a rocket into space so I often ask myself how do IT departments and marketing teams converge to work so collaboratively when their brains are wired differently?
Online platforms increase company growth…
We all recognise the major changes caused by smart phones and the rise of social media – it is top of the agenda in the B2B world and we see that marketing teams can be the key drivers for the IT department, after all they are the ones liaising with the key accounts who are in turn trying to keep up with the constant tide of fast paced change. Perhaps it is those marketing teams who appreciate the online experience is not just about sales, they put value on an ecommerce platform as another means to which they actively cross sell products, run promotions and enable customers to manage their accounts online – the smarter ones know that an efficient platform incorporating the customer at its heart will drive cost efficiencies across the group. This vision exists within Greene King plc, located in Bury St. Edmunds in the East of Anglia, where you think the world may have ended (it hasn’t – you can just see it from there). A two hundred year old business, listed on the London Stock Exchange and a constituent member of the FTSE 250 index; they have evolved rapidly where in 1938, history shows them servicing the demands of WW2’s Allied Service Men and less than 100 years later faced with an urgent business case to re-platform and better serve the drinks sector.
60 Day projects are possible
It would be fair to assume from the outside looking in, that people working in this sector, with drinks and social events to organise are having the most fun during office hours surrounded by as much beer, spirits and champagne as one could ever imagine. Not this team, they had been handed an unenviable task and one that a stiff drink wasn’t going to solve. The UK’s largest pub retailer, what’s complicated? They just sell beer right? It’s far more sophisticated than that (I challenge you that next time you day dream on any stretch of the motorway you will overtake a Kuehne and Nagel truck – a mere snapshot of the logistics involved in ensuring your local pub can serve you your favourite tipple) – here we are dealing with complex business requirements from multiple catalogues, regional and pub specific product restrictions, your local village pub to all the Wacky Warehouses or Fayre and Squares in the UK placing orders, customer specific pricing, varied delivery schedules, real time stock levels coupled with a constantly increasing customer base to serve – oh! and a business requirement to go live within sixty days, that’s right you heard me, sixty days, 6-0 (not the nine months’ you get to plan the midwife’s arrival).
Engage with your provider and outline your business goals from the outset….
Here the rocket scientists joined forces with the midwives to concoct the perfect mix of marketing and IT, fermenting the ingredients, filtering the key requirements and adding some TrueCommerce Netalogue magic to deliver a leading B2B platform strong enough to ensure no one was left holding the baby – Greene King plc went live with its B2B eCommerce webstore on time and within budget. From two demonstrations showcasing the functionality, four technical scoping and integration sessions and sheer effort from all parties Russell Danks, Partnership Director at Greene King identified a team that delivered results (and a cause for celebration). He can now look back after launching on an August bank holiday and reflect, “TrueCommerce Netalogue was chosen as our e-commerce partner due to their experience in the industry coupled with their flexibility in delivering to our tight timescales. The working partnership has been a positive example of how TrueCommerce Netalogue engage with customers from the onset to share long term strategic goals & ensure there is a viable digital roadmap. I look forward to delivering the next phase of our digital strategy with TrueCommerce Netalogue and growing into the functionality that is now available to us.”
If this is what the current team at the helm can deliver in 60 days, imagine how much richer they will make Greene King’s history in the next 60 years – we’ll drink to that.
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