Client: US industrial products manufacturer
Our role: the PwC team focused on the client’s requirements and specific use cases and extended the standard B2B Commerce platform to provide the company with a custom solution, involving 12 integrations.
Industry: Industrial products
Services: CommerceNext, Salesforce, Digital
How do you leverage a digital transformation to enable a new sales channel and dramatically improve customer experience?
Our client is an iconic manufacturer of industrial products based in the US. The company generates over $4 billion in revenue, and sells its products by the truckload (literally). The company prides itself on its quality, innovation and customer-centricity. Over time, it found that legacy systems and processes were standing in the way of meeting customer expectations, and were inconsistent with the brand. First, the backend system was running on an aging mainframe that needed to be replaced. Second, front-end sales and service-related applications and processes were woefully inadequate and negatively impacting customer experience.
For example, most incoming orders came in over the phone or via email. This required human intervention on over 85% of all orders, which was error-prone and led to delays in order processing. The company’s legacy portal was view-only and did not allow customers to place an order or track a shipment. Further, the information in the portal was often out of date and inaccurate, causing customer confusion around pricing, inventory availability and order status. This meant that customers needed to rely directly on sales personnel for inquiries into order and service status, cutting into sales efficiency. Finally, multiple siloed legacy systems meant that the sales and service teams did not have a 360-degree view of the customer, leading to disconnected and ineffective customer interactions.
To address these issues, the company’s Chief Customer Officer and CIO jointly embarked on an Order-to-Cash transformation with PwC, beginning with the modernization of their back-end capabilities. This was highly complex and involved the migration of functionality from the mainframe and other systems over to Oracle EBS. As this activity was nearing completion, the company turned its focus to replacing its legacy customer portal, and brought in another team from PwC to help implement a new customer self-service platform from Salesforce that could handle full-spectrum ordering and customer service.
Making it happen: How PwC innovated with Salesforce B2B Commerce to deliver a custom solution for the client
Although PwC had been working on the Oracle EBS migration for some time, the front-end implementation team of professionals was new to the engagement. The team came into the engagement fresh, with no preconceived notions. That freshness was a good thing, and made all the difference to the project. PwC focused initially on developing the client’s use cases and requirements, and on assessing the functionality of the legacy portal to establish a baseline. The team wanted to make sure they were completely aligned with what the client was looking for in the next generation portal.
A no-compromise, fully customized solution
One of the strengths of Safesforce’s Commerce B2B platform is that it is highly customizable. PwC worked with the client to help establish a customized and finely tuned foundational eCommerce site (enabled by B2B Commerce and the Salesforce Service Cloud) to provide a seamless ordering and information-rich buying and self-service experience for the customer. The portal capabilities we helped to implement included:
Modular homepage components that render a customer-specific price catalog, featured products and news and transactional information based on enhanced, custom “effective account” assignment band price list and account group associations.
Real-time product pricing and availability information (enabled through Oracle EBS integration) aggregated at the cart, the product detail page (PDP) and wishlist to provide accurate lead time tracking while navigating through the checkout experience.
Visual order delivery tracking using a web mapping service and real-time transportation information (enabled through integration with the client's transportation management provider).
Self-service notification preferences to track key milestones for orders, invoices, quotes, deliveries and price changes.
Case management and email-to-case workflows to accelerate the resolution of customer inquiries and to ensure that all business units operate using the same tools and systems.
Integrations with ancillary systems (Oracle, PIM, transportation management, etc.) to facilitate accurate pricing and product availability information, as well as a holistic view of invoices, credit and debit, product price book, quote usage and product complaints cases.
Consolidation of two or more shipments with a similar delivery location into a single truck.
Creation of a seamless shopping cart experience by reducing the number of standard checkout steps from five down to two.
Each of these capabilities represented extensive innovation by PwC to extend the B2B Commerce platform. None of this had been done before by anyone in the industry.
“Working with the client, our team was the first to tailor this solution for a variety of B2B use cases. We were able to help implement what the client needed, differentiating the client from its competitors in the process, and ultimately resulting in a successful customer-centric transformation.”
Getting it done: award-winning innovation and customer experience
They say that necessity is the mother of invention, and it was certainly true here. The client didn’t know what Salesforce’s B2B Commerce could or couldn’t do. The company only knew what it needed to do for its customers. The PwC team focused on the client’s requirements and specific use cases and extended the standard B2B Commerce platform to provide the company with a custom solution, involving 12 integrations (such as Oracle, PIM and Transplace). When combined with our back-end modernization work, the results have been impressive:
Within the first 30 days the portal produced over 7,000 logins, driving $17 million in revenue; the client had expected 200 logins and $200,000 in revenue
A significant rise in customer satisfaction
The work our team did to extend and customize Salesforce’s B2B Commerce solution for our client enabled PwC to develop our CommerceNext accelerator for use with other clients with similar challenges, and resulted in PwC being presented with the 2019 Salesforce Partner Innovation award.
Partner, PwC US
Director, Advisory, PwC US