How a Wholesale Distributor of Plumbing and HVAC Supplies – Marks Supply – Joined the E-Commerce World
Two years ago, Marks Supply – a privately owned wholesale distributor of Plumbing, P.V.F., Hydronics and HVAC products – began creating an eCommerce presence. Primarily a brick-and-mortar operation, the company was starting to get pressure from its sales representatives and branch managers in the field, who saw an urgent need to expand its business to the web.
With only a static, homegrown website in place at that time, the company knew little about what to look for in an eCommerce partner. What it did know is that, with whatever partner Marks Supply chose, the platform would need to be compatible with its current Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. By random chance, an email from a purchasing manager about Unilog’s eCommerce platform, CIMM2, came at the perfect time, sparking Marks Supply’s interest.
“I investigated Unilog further and found that the complete package it offered was superior to what the other competitors were selling us,” said Marks Supply’s Manager of Systems/ IT Grant Movold.
While looking at other e-commerce platforms, Marks Supply noticed the other providers shared a major weakness. Movold observed that, though the other solutions had a large customer base, they didn’t offer integrated content management or product management systems – both of which are included with CIMM2. They also realized Unilog provided a unique offering with their years of experience in data enrichment.
The most beneficial aspect of CIMM2 for Marks Supply has been its ability to integrate with its ERP system. CIMM2’s integration, coupled with a powerful site search, provided Marks Supply with exactly what it needed to succeed with e-commerce. Marks Supply is able to show the availability of a product online in real-time as well as add users to the system.
“They told us they were good at data enrichment and a differentiator and, in fact, it was exactly as advertised – even better than we had hoped,” explained Movold. “The quality and quantity of their work exceeded our expectations. This made us very happy with our choice to go with Unilog.”
“Our site hasn’t even been live a year,” said Movold. “We are in a growth stage, so all of our numbers are increasing across the board.” Even though the site is still new, Marks Supply’s sales show that the rate of growth in its brick-andmortar locations is increasing, and its e-commerce sales are climbing at an even higher rate. The average e-commerce order value is 25 percent higher than other orders. Numbers like this in the growth stage were unexpected, leaving Marks Supply smiling and very satisfied with its decision to choose CIMM2.
About Marks Supply
Marks Supply has been wholesaling top-quality Plumbing, P.V.F., Hydronics and HVAC products since 1962. They have seven wholesale branches and three luxury showrooms located throughout southwestern Ontario. www.markssupply.ca
Unilog is a global technology and services company that specializes in eCommerce solutions and enriched product catalogs for the B2B marketplace. Unilog’s flagship product, CIMM2, is a fully integrated eCommerce platform designed to fit the unique requirements of the wholesale distribution industry. www.unilogcorp.com