How Digital Transformation Accelerated Expansion in the International Ceramic Tile Market
The dynamic growth in sales and expansion into foreign markets presented operational challenges to Cerrad, especially in the IT area.
There was a need to optimize tools supporting sales and customer service in digital channels of the B2B commerce platform and integration with existing systems. Limited scalability posed a barrier to rapid development, particularly in markets where demanding customers expected an excellent experience and high-quality services.
Challenges Related to Development and Foreign Expansion
The rapid increase in sales in Poland, Central and Eastern European countries, other EU states, and the USA led to a critical point - the existing IT infrastructure was no longer able to meet the growing operational demands. Furthermore, the visions of expanding into new markets were jeopardized by the current system limitations and customer dissatisfaction resulting from a lack of adaptation to their expectations.
The company faced a key challenge: how to scale its operations while maintaining a high level of customer service quality?
Challenges with the customer experience using the existing system.
Cerrad also identified that customer experiences are a key element in building a competitive advantage. The existing B2B e-commerce platform did not meet customer expectations in the face of the new market situation, and the accompanying service capabilities significantly impeded the company's development.
One of the most severe and vexing problems turned out to be lack of data consistency between existing systems, leading to the unavailability of current sales information - so crucial for customers wanting to plan and fulfill orders.
The key to the success of the project was in-depth research conducted before its initiation. The analysis confirmed the pivotal role of an intuitive and efficient B2B customer order system as a competitive differentiator. This involved not only understanding the customer's needs but also precisely defining the functionalities that would place the customer at the center of the process, without neglecting the business objectives of the initiative. During the implementation of changes, the primary goal was to implement key functionalities that would have a direct impact on business success. Initially, Cerrad planned to simultaneously introduce a new ERP system and change systems in the Customer Experience area. However, the decision to split the program into two streams proved to be appropriate, focusing on the customer area as a priority.
The entire project was carried out using a variety of customer-oriented tools and methods.
Customer Experience Mapping represented the phase of understanding the customer. During this phase, in-depth interviews with B2B customers (IDI), analysis of existing data, and workshops with employees took place.
Additionally, a Service Blueprint was prepared, a tool that seamlessly combines business and technology and serves as the foundation for determining business, technical directions, and solution-building priorities
The Design Sprint was employed to design a new experience and select the form of the new solution.
UX/UI prototyping allowed the materialization of new experiences and journeys, which is an immensely important step in establishing a shared understanding of the new concept.
The prototype was subjected to usability testing to validate the designed solution with customers.
Implementation of the B2B Commerce Platform using Prosperer Accelerator
Cerrad, aiming to expedite the implementation of their new B2B e-commerce platform, chose SAP Commerce Cloud technology - one of the most advanced and scalable solutions in the e-commerce market. A key factor that enabled a swift implementation was the Prosperer accelerator provided by Hycom.
Prosperer, operating directly in conjunction with SAP Commerce Cloud, extends its functionalities with important components crucial for manufacturing companies, such as multi-warehouse support, rapid bulk price import and product variant handling.
Powered by Prosperer
The use of Prosperer allowed the project to be completed in a shortened timeframe, in less than 6 months. Furthermore, through integration with the existing ERP and CRM systems in the initial project phase, the platform became not only a tool for placing orders but also for product browsing, checking availability, and gathering product information. For Cerrad, a priority was to ensure user-friendliness and easy access to information.The B2B commerce system we introduced was designed with easy scalability to additional markets in mind. This enabled Cerrad to expand rapidly and efficiently into areas that had not previously utilized B2B e-commerce. A great example of this is the entry into the Slovakian market in just 7 days - a process that previously could have taken up to six months!One of the key elements of the success of our joint venture with Cerrad was the excellent collaboration between the client's business and IT departments. As Hycom, we placed special emphasis on ensuring that both sides not only worked effectively together but also understood each other. We believe that it's only through such relationships that a digital solution can be created that fully addresses real business needs.
The implementation of the new B2B Commerce system at Cerrad is not just a technical matter but also an adaptive process. At Hycom, we placed great importance on ensuring that the system was intuitive and met the expectations of both Cerrad's customers and their employees.
A crucial stage in this process was conducting a two-day training session for Cerrad team. We trained them in system operation, focusing on how they could effectively support their customers in its use. But our efforts went beyond internal training.
Before the official launch of the e-commerce solution, we provided access to a closed group of Cerrad customers from various countries. Their task was not only to test the system in practice but also to provide us with valuable feedback after going through the entire purchasing process. After a week of such testing, we collected all the survey results and feedback. Based on the gathered data, we derived the most significant insights, which we then presented to the customers during the launch phase. The final improvements made on the system's launch day and in the following month were a response to these specific needs and suggestions.
Thanks to this approach, Cerrad could be confident that the implemented system would not only be technically reliable but, above all, comprehensible and useful to all its users.
Collaborating with Hycom has been the key to our successful digital transformation. I have observed with great satisfaction how our business partner emphasized in-depth research, enabling a precise understanding of our priorities. Thanks to their analytical approach, the implementation of the new IT system was perfectly aligned with our strategic goals. I also want to highlight the role of the Prosperer accelerator working with SAP Commerce Cloud, which has allowed Cerrad to launch sales in new markets in just a few days. Our partnership with Hycom has resulted not only in technological success but also in real growth in our operations.
Through a comprehensive digital transformation, Cerrad has strengthened its position in the rapidly evolving ceramic tile market. The new B2B commerce platform ensures higher service quality, data consistency, and differentiation from competitors.
The success of this transformation was built on a combination of modern technological solutions with a deep understanding of customer needs and their active involvement in the design process. On the launch day, Cerrad decided to make the platform available to both the Polish and foreign markets, such as Slovakia, Ukraine, Germany, and France, preparing it for rapid deployment in additional markets.
The key to success was flexibility in adapting to customer needs and effective collaboration with a technological partner. Now the company is ready to expand into the international ceramic tile market. The entire described process was completed and launched in just six months, underscoring the high business value generated by this project for the client.
The Prosperer accelerator enabled project completion in less than 6 months.
Meeting Customer Expectations
2 in 1
A hybrid eCommerce and Customer Self-Service solution.
100% of customers in the Polish market and a significant majority in export markets are already using the system.
Effective digital sales launch
Within 3 months of the launch, we opened B2B eCommerce in three new markets.
It took just 7 days to launch the solution in Slovakia.
Efficiency Improvement in Customer Service
Increased efficiency of Customer Service department employees by 25%.