Integrated online shop: for business without manual entry and duplicated work
"The NopCommerce platform is the number one choice for the integrated online shop we needed at LAPP, d.o.o. No manual input, with efficient exports and constant price linking. Thanks to their exceptional knowledge of PANTHEON and our way of working, the stroka.si team proved to be fast, efficient and caring, and we came out almost like 'rock stars' with the implementation in three months."
Business development /
Expert Industrial Communications, LAPP, d.o.o.
LAPP, d.o.o. is the Slovenian arm of the global LAPP company, a leading manufacturer of cables and cable systems.
The company's online shop offers a wide range of electrical cables, cable connectors, sockets, switches, lighting, and other electrical accessories. Customers can choose from a range of products according to their needs. The most popular and most used online tool is the cable finder, which helps users find the right cables for their application.
The stroka.si group has already cooperated with LAPP, d.o.o. on the PANTHEON business information system. The company has decided to upgrade the cooperation with web and development solutions and thus achieve the integrity of the cooperation.
Finding integration and additional customers
The staff at LAPP struggled to keep up with the emerging needs of the market, so in 2017 at the LAPP Digital Days, the idea of an online shop was put forward, whereby customers with whom they did not have such an active relationship would also be able to check prices with 24-hour availability and, for example, stock levels.
This is why LAPP has implemented My LAPP, an integrated online solution including an online shop, on a global scale. The solution is based on the SAP ERP system. The single solution should have been implemented in all the company's offices including Slovenia, but this was unfeasible in LAPP Slovenia, as they use the PANTHEON business software.
LAPP, Ltd. started by searching locally for a comparable solution.
Partnering with the stroka.si Group In Slovenia, with their help they developed an integrated webshop solution, which went live a few months ago. "The condition and goal was to choose a platform that was as friendly as possible for us," says Simon Vrbnjak, Business development / Expert Industrial Communications, LAPP, d.o.o.
Because of the aforementioned staffing issue, manually entering prices, importing images, and adding descriptions would become a specific problem. "We couldn't afford a lot of manual work: we would have had to employ — in our jargon — '1.6 times' a man."
According to Vrbnjak, the most appropriate competitive solution from the umbrella company had certain drawbacks.
Therefore the final choice was NopCommerce, as it was considered to be the most optimal and cost-effective solution, the most attractive in terms of price/quality ratio and the most convincing overall compared to the competition. The company points to an additional challenge it encountered: the volatility of material prices. It was therefore extremely important that the system was integrated with the accounting software. The sales programme was to comprise some 40,000 items. By synchronising with the Pantheon ERP and an external data source (in CSV or XML format), a complete sales programme was achieved. The final results are up-to-date prices and stock levels from the Pantheon ERP, as well as up-to-date pictorial and descriptive material from https://www.lapp.com/en/de/.
"In our business, copper is traded on the stock exchange, so the price changes daily. As an integral part of our solutions, we have to factor this into the final price of the product on a daily basis. Imagine: daily price adjustments? No way. That's why we have made it clear that we can achieve the same result with 0.1 times a human and implement it in three months. We managed to do both and became rock stars with the help of the stroka.si Group and all its colleagues."
Free From Manual Input
Based on past experience and future needs, LAPP, d.o.o. had already identified the key requirements for the solution before selecting the provider, from which they did not want to deviate:
- No manual work
- XML import from internal channels
- Constant price link to Pantheon ERP
The project has three specificities:
- Integration of the complete sales programme with the supplier: all data from the supplier (guides, examples, characteristics, descriptions, photos); wholesale prices, stock and order transfer — in PANTHEON.
- Item calculator: calculation of the price of an item according to quantity, offer of bundles of items; price per cable (running metre) — in the online shop bundles (100 m, 50 m).
- Integrated supplier stocks: visible stock at the supplier or at LAPP, d.o.o.
Key benefit: NopCommerce
With the aim of having the integration of the online shop done by someone who already manages their ERP system, which in their opinion also brings better conditions, after careful consideration they once more decided to go with the stroka.si Group. Why? "The great advantage of the stroka.si Group is that they already know our business and the additions to the PANTHEON software, so the process goes faster than with someone who doesn't know us."
The company is also satisfied with the cost-benefit ratio, as Mr. Vrbnjak estimates that it has achieved the best value for money in terms of price and execution. This is especially so as they stress the quick and careful response of the team involved in the ERP system so far. The company had anticipated certain challenges when implementing the integration of the online shop. One of the main challenges was the implementation of the ERP to webshop connection to synchronise price lists to the webshop, synchronise customers, and transfer orders from the webshop to the ERP. However, this was quickly resolved by the team, as the error occurred on the first purchase.
Proud of the quality content
One of the conditions of the umbrella company was to be as comparable as possible with the My LAPP flagship store, which makes the Slovenian company all the more prouder; as Mr Vrbnjak says, it is difficult to find a difference between the two stores. At the same time, they can boast of exceptionally high-quality content. "If someone buys a product from us, they immediately have all the support they need with information and links. The worst is when you buy something but you can't put it in your world because you don't have the data to do so. We had to prove that everything can be done efficiently and with quality. And we did. Together, we have shown again not only that where there is a will, there is a way, but also that if we work together with mutual trust, there is no fear of any challenge."
Among the achievements of the webshop integration is the new option to integrate product inventories. Until now, customers could only access stock data from the local warehouse, which, in the company's opinion, was not enough. They wanted customers to also see the global (German) stock. As a result, with the foreign warehouse stock included the possibility of subsequent delivery dates from abroad is now offered.
They have worked under considerable constraints in setting up the item calculator but have nevertheless maintained high expectations. "Since we couldn't know how the experts at the Stroka Business Group would perform, we had to trust each other. We have a very clean, usable and friendly website."
Expectations and wishes for the future?
LAPP, d.o.o. expects constant upgrades of the integrated webshop in the future. One of the objectives is to make the printout of the customer registration export even more transparent, as at the moment all employees are not able to view the printout they receive. "There will be a lot of upgrades in the future. We also have a maintenance contract with the stroka.si Group, which allows us to have more direct contact with the experts. But we know: when we set up an online shop, the work is just beginning. If there is no editing of the site, there is a problem with hits. But we will overcome any challenges."
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