Bona is a family owned company founded in 1919. They have their head office in Malmö with subsidiaries and retailers in 70 countries all over the world. The company offers products for installation, and maintenance and renovation of wooden floors. Their manufacturing is in Germany, Sweden, USA and China and the clientele is primarily tradesmen, individuals and parquetry floor manufacturers. Bona has a turnover of approx.1.5 billion and about 500 employees.
For a long time, Bona has been a successful B2B-company that has received orders in the traditional ways via e-mail, mail, telefax and telephone. As e-commerce has become an increasingly important channel the company saw great opportunities for expanding the business digitally. Since Bona is active on several markets it was important to find a scalable solution that could handle many languages. It was also important that it would be easily integrated with their business system SAP. Bona has previously used Episerver as CMS for their homepage. Therefore the choice of Episerver Commerce as their platform came naturally. Apart from the staff already being used to working with the product, it was also the best suited and adaptable to the company’s business requirements. Avensia was chosen as partner upon recommendation. The motivation was that Bona was looking for something more than an e-commerce supplier. They were looking for a long-term collaboration with an experienced partner with good understanding of Bona’s specific challenges and possibilities. It was also important for the website to be responsive, so that tradesmen could easily place an order via smartphones or tablets when they are out on a construction site.
“Our customers are often out on construction sites or on the move when they are placing their orders. It could be that they initiate an order in the office and then have to complete it on the smartphone. It is therefore important that the customers can keep their shopping carts also when they switch between devices” says Tomas Malmqvist, Corporate IT Manager at Bona.
The challenge with the project was primarily to build a tight integration with SAP that could support Bona’s sales through all channels. With extensive experience from integrating Episerver Commerce with SAP, Avensia managed to cleverly solve this together with Implema. At the same time, the website should be built from a global perspective with possibility for expansion to other markets. Today the website has been launched in Germany where Avensia also has been part of Bona’s internal sales process. The goal is to eventually be able to use the website globally. The entire project from pre-study to finished implementations took 6 months. Due to a close collaboration and a good dialogue between the companies the work fell within the frames for the set budget and planned time.
“The collaboration with Avensia has been very good. They have seen opportunities in how E-commerce can streamline our sales and have contributed with creative solutions for many areas. Their extensive experience within e-commerce has been a great security for us” – says Tomas.
Furthermore, Bona will expand the existing website to also include B2C and the spare parts business.
“The tradesmen business is rather conservative and it often takes long time to adapt to changes. It will take time before the majority of our customers and suppliers have adapted to e-commerce, but there are incredible possibilities here. By always being at the forefront with technology we will be ready when tomorrow’s challenges come knocking at the door” – Tomas explains.
Four questions to Tomas Malmqvist, Corporate IT Manager at Bona
1. How has the customer response been since you launched the website?
Positive but also carefully cautious as there are few suppliers in the industry that offer e-commerce to their customers. The customers who buy from the shop think it works just fine. They get a good overview of the range and see their own net prices.
2. What has been the greatest challenge with the project?
To find an interface that meets the customer’s information need while rendering a fast website. To internally agree on questions like layout. To find a solution for updates of products on the website.
3. How has it been to work with Avensia?
Uncomplicated. Avensia has professionally guided us through our questions but left the decision-making up to us. They have kept the timeframe and the budget.
4. What is the best with the website?
That it provides a clear overview of our products. The SAP-integration that simplifies all price and promotion handling. That it provides Bona with a better service towards our customers. That we now have a new channel with new possibilities on a common platform that all Bona’s subsidiaries can use.