The Swedol Group is in a historically strong growth journey. Online shopping is an ever-increasing part of sales and Swedol is investing with full force to develop it. After a thorough procurement, C4 stands for the product information and is the link between the Jeeves business system and the Magento publishing platform.
The Group has an ambitious goal ahead of it.
“Our growth agenda was created in 2014, when we set a new strategy for the company and decided to target the expert professionals,” says Håkan Wanselius, Division Manager, Tools & Necessities at Swedol.
Growth is achieved through organic growth and acquisitions. The goal is to reach a turnover of SEK five billion in 2020. The 2017 year-end closing amounted to SEK 3 billion.
“We have certainly set a tough goal; but, development is going as planned. At the moment, we are in our fourth year in a row with a high rate of growth, which shows that our market strategy is right.”
Today, Swedol works with four brands and has 100 traditional stores in four countries and a sharply increasing e-commerce.
“The digital part is incredibly important to us. Today, online shopping is a significant part of our sales and it is increasing all the time,” says Håkan.
Sometime after Swedol bought Grolls in 2016, a large project was initiated that aimed to consolidate and develop the Group’s digital platform. A main objective was to be able to grow in e-commerce.
“The digital platform is based on a functioning PIM system. Without it, we aren’t able to be in the digital arena, in the way we want. Our websites are completely dependent on the PIM solution,” says Håkan.
In 2017, a comprehensive procurement was initiated.
“We conducted a big scan of the market. The investment is big for us and you do not change PIM over the years; but rather, it is a long-term commitment. That is why we needed to be thorough.”
After meticulous work, C4 was chosen.
“We felt safe with C4, as a company and system. They had previously been at Grolls and their experiences were good. We also want to work with a partner and a PIM solution that is at the forefront. C4 is established and modular, which is important to us. “In addition, C4 had good reference projects in our industry, which indicates a basic understanding of our business. If you don’t understand each other, there is a major risk of the project running aground.”
Fred Bertenstam, Project Manager for Swedol agrees.
“We highly value delivery capacity. C4 has good consultants and is solution-oriented. The platform is stable and has the functionality we need,”
Industry knowledge is important
“We are delighted to have gained Swedol’s confidence and that they have chosen us after a rigorous procurement in competition with many others,” explains Ståle R. Moe, Account Manager for C4 Contexture. “It also demonstrates the importance of industry knowledge to meet customer needs. We strive to familiarize ourselves with the customer’s business, because we know that it produces good results and then the solution comes even more into its own.”
Nearly 200,000 articles
Swedol’s PIM solution is extensive and dimensioned for easy scaling. The system currently has about 180,000 articles on all of Swedol’s websites. Each article is enriched with a wealth of information and images.
The structure behind it is based on a directory tree and an arrangement where the right products and prices are shown to the right users depending on the market, segment and customer agreement. It is also possible to create customer-unique price lists with the customer’s negotiated prices and offerings.
“Swedol’s articles should contain a precise and clear range of information to help the customer make their purchasing decision. In addition, the system needs to be prepared to be quickly scaled up if new products, brands or markets are to be added.”
“This is a platform that enables expansion without the need to develop a new infrastructure,” says Fred Bertenstam.
“A couple strengths of our system are that it is open and that the interface can be rescaled for different users’ needs. It has more logic than a standard PIM system and, in many ways, it reminds you of an MDM,” says Ståle R. Moe.
C4 is the link between the Jeeves ERP system and the Magento 2 Commerce web platform. Swedol’s projects also include the implementation of these systems, which makes the work even more complex.
The project is up and running, and is expected to be completed, in its entirety, at year-end 2018/2019. The cooperation is going well.
“Three important factors for a successful cooperation are that the consultants understand our business, that the customer’s project manager is driven and helps us move forward, and that education and surrender are ensured.”
So far, all three of these have worked very well,” says Håkan Wanselius.
“Another success factor is having a clear recipient organization. That’s why we quickly put together a personal PIM team that was able to receive the delivery.”
Ståle R. Moe is also satisfied.
“Everyone works together. We have high ceilings, and have a focus on cooperation, communication and a common view of what is being delivered, at any moment.”
Not just the web
Right now, the focus is on e-commerce; but, more needs to be done, further on.
“The next part we are aiming for is to streamline our catalogue production and support for store communication with printed matter,” says Håkan Wanselius.
Swedol in brief
The Swedol Group is the professional user’s multi-specialist, who offers quality goods and services in the areas of construction, industry and engineering, haulage and transport, agriculture and forestry, and public services. Swedol conducts web commerce and has about 100 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Estonia under the brands Swedol, Grolls, Univer and Nima. The group has approximately 900 employees. Swedol’s B shares are listed on NASDAQ AB, Stockholm’s Mid Cap list.
For more information: swedol.se