Wholesalers are seeing their role in the supply chain change rapidly. On the one hand, their position is under pressure because more and more brands and manufacturers are selling directly to consumers (D2C). On the other hand, they also urgently need to work on optimizing their (logistical) processes, because of the decreasing margins and increasing business risks. How do wholesalers cope with these rapid developments and what value added services do they offer to continue to distinguish themselves?
PGZ International is a major player in the do-it-yourself market. They are a shining example of a wholesaler that understands the importance of developing new eCommerce services with which they can offer more added value for their suppliers (brands/producers) and their customers (retailers). PGZ International focuses on the international DIY market and has ambitions to expand the company on a European scale. PGZ International has:
approximately 150 million euros turnover in the Benelux
230 employees in service
distribution centers in Roden (16,000 m2) and Wommelgem Belgium (23,000 m2) and the head office is located in Houten
Responding to market changes in retail, PGZ International has transformed from a traditional wholesaler to a full-service service provider. An important step to unburden their customers (retailers) and to be able to offer new services, was that eCommerce became a strategic spearhead within the organization. Before that, a good technical foundation and the right commercial tools were still missing.
With the focus on value added services, setting up a new eCommerce platform turned out to be a crucial step for PGZ International. On the one hand for automating and digitizing the B2B sales process and on the other hand for creating a platform with which new B2B and B2C propositions can be developed. The old Magento platform no longer met the technical requirements to achieve those ambitions. PGZ International therefore chose NextChapter to realize those ambitions.
NextChapter built a complete, stable and scalable new eCommerce platform. A B2B webshop has been realized in the new platform in which retailers can easily place orders and a mobile ordering tool for representatives and retailers that can also be used offline. An important foundation is the NextChapter PIM with which the article data of the large and complex range is enriched and managed. The platform provides all new eCommerce propositions to the various parties with which PGZ International does business. In addition, PGZ International enables a growing share of retailers' orders to be fulfilled online and automatically, saving costs and increasing turnover. In addition, new eCommerce opportunities are emerging for new target groups.
In addition to the technical expertise, NextChapter is also a committed partner for realizing an e-commerce strategy.
Mauwrijn de Bruyn: “Companies that knock on the door of a technical party underestimate what they still have to do themselves. They expect that they know how the business works or that they will solve bottlenecks. Practice often teaches: what you see is what you get, you have to guide the process yourself. NextChapter was an indispensable sparring partner for us in setting out our technical roadmap with new features that are becoming available in the SaaS platform.”
An advanced eCommerce platform with one central backbone for data and processes
A B2B webshop aimed at hardware store entrepreneurs in Belgium and the Netherlands
A Mobile ordering tool with scanner via PWA technology that works both online and offline for representatives as well as for retailers (BE and NL)
The NextChapter PIM for a growing range of >50,000 items based on GS1 standard
An extensive integration with the ERP system of PGZ International
With this central multichannel platform, PGZ International is able to handle a growing share of the turnover digitally and automatically. On the one hand, this provides PGZ International with efficiency benefits in the central processes and effectiveness in the various digital sales channels. On the other hand, this leads to satisfied retailers, who can order more easily and have better information, so that they order more often and more. The platform is unlimitedly scalable in technology and can be expanded step by step with new propositions and sales channels.
Mauwrijn de Bruyn: “Our complex online and offline processes are now integrated from one central system, which means that we not only save (personnel) costs, but have also created a new basis for growth and focus on the business.”
A good example of this integration of complex processes is the addition of the NextChapter mobile ordering tool, which is built as a progressive web app. This custom solution helps representatives who are on the road at retailers to easily place orders, even if there is no or poor internet coverage, this solution works locally.
Mauwrijn de Bruyn: “Previously, all orders were processed manually by our own office staff. Orders were incomplete due to malfunctions. This resulted in (high) personnel costs and pressure on customer service. Now retailers can order products in-store at the touch of a button. Retailers now use this for over 85% of purchases.”
A stable and scalable SaaS platform, in which continuous further development and innovation is automatically secured
Multichannel eCommerce platform with more sales channels and possibility to expand
Integrated and error-free processes from one central backbone
Better online and offline performance
Reduced (personnel) costs
Increased customer satisfaction
Central and easy management of a large assortment and large volumes of article data
A collaboration with an experienced eCommerce partner who thinks along, challenges PGZ International and helps forward
Mauwrijn de Bruyn: “In less than a year, we achieved a fourfold increase in turnover compared to our old Magento webshop. Every retailer has an account and we are already seeing a tenfold increase in retailers actively using our platform. These figures strengthen our belief that we are on the right track”
The eCommerce platform that NextChapter built not only delivers directly measurable results in sales, but also offers plenty of opportunities for new growth strategies for PGZ International.
Mauwrijn de Bruyn: “We make ourselves even more interesting as a service provider when we find new ways to collaborate with our local retailers. Think of offering a longtail solution or taking care of fulfillment in the form of drop shipment, so that retailers do not have to keep stock themselves. With the NextChapter eCommerce platform, we can continue to expand our sales channels and new business models.”