|LOCATION||King of Prussia, PA|
supplyFORCE responds to the renewed interest of its customers to purchase online by providing them with an easy to use e-commerce site powered by CIMM2.
supplyFORCE operates a B2B online portal where manufacturers can buy maintenance, repair and operations products from a network of independent distributors. They realized that the site needed specific technology in order to display products from many different distributors. In addition, some of the major customers used multiple ERP systems, which made it challenging for them to order from the SupplyForce web catalog and integrate those orders with their own systems.
This wasn’t a big problem in the early days and traditional offline ordering and EDI were the main channels used. “Many didn’t have the capabilities of using web catalogs even if they wanted to,” said John Ludlam, Executive Vice President. But, in 2010, attitudes shifted, with increasing interest in purchasing online; supplyFORCE realized they needed to find user-friendly technology to power their online presence.
supplyFORCE settled on Unilog’s CIMM2. It offers multiple capabilities on just one platform: product information management (PIM) for maintaining accurate product data; content management system (CMS) for managing web content; site search; and the e-commerce shopping cart. This cohesive solution meant faster implementation with less integration of third-party software.
supplyFORCE relaunched their e-commerce site in 2011. They saw a upsurge in online sales as well as reduced operating costs as many shoppers placed orders themselves.
“We do the web catalog not just for cost savings; it’s for customer service. It’s how many of our customers want to buy,” said Ludlam.
In the past few years, more and more business buyers are purchasing online as a result of altering demographics. Web sales for supplyFORCE have increased rapidly each year to reach a 15% of total sales.
supplyFORCE is a sister company of Affiliated Distributors Inc., an industry group that provides branding and marketing assistance to more than 500 independent distributors and manufacturers of MRO products. supplyFORCE launched in 1999 as a way to help many of the local and regional distributors among Affiliated Distributors’ members to participate in online national account sales to the likes of Boeing and Kraft.
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