What we do today is inspired by who we intend to be tomorrow. That’s why transformation should always focus primarily on growth areas, and not just on what is stable and mature today. Śnieżka, one of Europe’s biggest paint and varnish producers, made effective use of its first hand customer knowledge to focus on solving its most important issues first, before moving on to perfecting its offer.
In a production company, any transformation that seeks to ensure the highest quality customer experience will be complex. A client's experience is influenced by many underlying factors that aren’t solely the company's responsibility. The impact of close partners who
participate in product distribution must also be accounted for. By adopting an agile design and delivery model based on the customer journey, Hycom was able to implement a digital transformation framework for Śnieżka S.A. that took into account the real needs and priorities of their customers.
New technologies have changed the behavior of our customers who nowadays carry smartphones around and willingly prefer using digital channels for any interaction with us – Ranging from reading content to carrying out transactions, the construction of a system built to ensure the highest quality and experience in relation to our brand is very elaborate. Our clients’ experience is influenced by many factors dependant on us, and equally influenced by our partners in the field of wholesale and retail. We must look at this process as a whole.
Preparing for transformation
Before Śnieżka’s digital transformation began, we carried out a detailed project analysis and formulated measurable goals. Hycom conducted a series of workshops drawing upon the various tools and principles of Design Thinking. This resulted in a transformation roadmap which identified critical areas in the business model that needed to be changed.
By providing the management group with a clear and understandable transformation goal and plan, Hycom was able to more effectively gain cooperation from departments across the organization.
Moreover, building a high-level roadmap helped in the proper assessment of priorities, enabling a highly effective transformation roll-out. Finally, the customer segmentation developed during the workshops became the starting point for mapping the paths of particular groups.
Setting up the transformation in such a manner led to reduced costs and efforts for the sake of the Śnieżka company team and increased the chances of a positive impact on our business. We wanted to properly identify the goals of digital transformation with our key managers. The workshop conducted by Hycom using the design thinking methods pushed for a strategic view of the program and key decision-making to guide the transformation.
The results of the customer journey survey also became the basis for the first functional systems that formed the nucleus of the transformation. The design phase was a series of aligned and synchronized activities. The functional design was carried out in parallel with compositional experiments. Both the functional design and customer experience project
were implemented in the context of SAP C / 4HANA technology, which offer a specific set of functions available on demand. Thanks to the inclusion of the technological team into the design process, the final functional design, as well as the functional layer and user interface,
fully used the native elements of the platform. Thanks to this, we managed to save as many elements as possible without any need for modification. This ensured the highest quality of customer experience. The experiments began with designing a series of prototypes focused
around purchasing processes, which were then verified with users.
Further development of the project took place in iterations and subsequent projects were tested each time with users. This provided an opportunity for capturing any critical problems with the handling and usability of the application before the start of software development, and most importantly, yielded the highest quality user experience.
Śnieżka's digital transformation was focused especially on customer-related processes such as sales, marketing, distribution, relationships and logistics. Since the quality of customer experiences is influenced by the entire sales chain, it was not only important to understand the needs of the end customer, but also all the major players in the sales process.
The implementation of the first phase lasted four months and dealt with the business processes and IT systems of B2B sales.
The IT system project used the SAP Activate methodology, recommended for implementing the latest versions of SAP solutions. The implementation began by introducing new IT tools, migrating data from existing systems, monitoring and analyzing behaviors within the newly shared sales and self-service channels. Further development of the project took place in iterations and subsequent projects were tested with users. This meant any important problems with the handling and usability of the application could be caught before software development began. Above all, it enabled Hycom to create the highest quality user experience.
The first implementation was well received by users in the pilot group. Based on their responses, system modifications were introduced to increase ergonomics in everyday work. The improved system was directed to the majority of clients. Additionally, one month after the implementation, a survey was conducted with users to offer feedback for any further system modifications. This type of controlled roll-out engaged users in the creation process, ensuring that system development, business values and cost-effective implementations have a solid business foundation while also providing value to the user.
The first implementation, including B2B Commerce, was completed within the next four months and included the introduction of a key sales channel for B2B customers (distributors and wholesalers) from the ground up. The transformation program is carried out incrementally and will ultimately cover all customer segments in all markets where Śnieżka currently is and will be in the future, with each of its brands.
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