April 9, 2020

B2B E-Commerce Case Study: Magento vs Sana – Moto Direct | Sana Commerce


I would just like to talk to you briefly
today. Tell you a little bit about myself, about Moto Direct, and our project to
replace our ERP system and website. I’m going to keep it as brief as I can. I think it’s really nice for people ask questions at the end so get as many
questions in as you can. Just tell you a little bit about myself before we start. I’m the Supply Chain Manager at Moto Direct. I know that’s a little bit of a strange job title. What I do really is I work with every department
within the business on any projects, any systems, any processes that crossover
between lots of departments. Particularly for the B2B website I worked with the IT department and the Marketing department to make sure we implemented a great solution that kept everyone happy. What we really want at Moto Direct is that we really focus on providing what we call ‘celebrity service’ to our customers. Our customers are our lifeblood. If my customers aren’t happy we’re not happy. It’s really important to be a great service.
Today I’d like I said want to talk a little
bit about Moto Direct. Why we changed our system and what our goals were. We had some challenges along the way so I thought I’d touch on those briefly. How we were able to overcome those challenges and finally what we learnt at the end of the project. I hope you’ll find your really interesting. Just to start a little bit about Moto Direct for any of you guys who don’t know us. We’re actually one of the leading motorcycle clothing accessory manufacturers and distributors based in
the UK. We’re really fortunate we’ve got a great range of brands including RST, Wolf and Trip Moto which are owned and
developed by RST in the UK. Actually manufactured overseas by our own production facilities. We also distribute some world-class motorcycle brands such as our AGV Danaisy and Moto. I don’t know if any of you guys out there ride a bike but I’m sure if you do, a lot of those brands will be familiar to you. Over the past five, six years Moto Direct has seen some tremendous growth yield mainly by RST. The business of change from being quite simple, you know buy and sell distribution business, into a much more complex business involved in
manufacturing, marketing our brands, developing our brands etc. At the time we were working with a quite basic quite old-school ERP system and it was really starting to hold the business back. It was great for the warehouse but rest the rest of the business was really struggling. We made the decision, about two years ago now, to move away from our ERP and replace it with Microsoft Dynamics NAV with the pebble stone fashion add-on. Like I say a little bit of background about Moto Direct. As well as replacing the ERP system we had a lot of feedback from our customers that our B2B website wasn’t really up to standard and was lagging behind that of our competitors. We made the decision to replace the B2B website at the same time. We sat down and we came up with a couple of goals to make sure that our new website was market leading and kind of beat out our competitors. First of all the platform we were using was quite an old platform. It was quite a small company that developed it. It was the same company that developed our ERP system and it really hadn’t been improved over the past four or five years. Which is obviously a lifetime in web design, web engineering. It was really important to us that we had a much faster site. Sometimes on our legacy B2B website page loads could take 30 seconds, 60 seconds. When you’re a B2B customer you just want to place your order as quickly as possible. You don’t want to have to wait around. The site design was really basic. It was quite clunky. There wasn’t much we could do to customize it and obviously we wanted the site to reflect Moto Direct. The customer goes on the site and it’s ugly, it’s hard to use. That reflects poorly on Moto Direct. Finally the kind of ordering the checkout process again was very very basic. It really frustrated our customers and our salespeople as well. They also use the website so it was really key that we improved the performance and the usability of the website. As you can imagine dealing with motorcycle clothing we often deal with a lots of different colors and sizes. On our legacy B2B platform it
would treat every color and size as an individual item. You can imagine if you’re a customer wanting to place a large order covering lots of different colors and sizes having to click into every single page, every single color and size is incredibly frustrating and that was one of the biggest complaints we had. Our customers just wouldn’t use the site to place large orders and we’d end up having to process those orders manually at ourselves admin desk. Finally we found we were getting a lot of phone calls from our customers which in a way is great we love to speak to our customers. We look to interact with them but it tended to be the same question over and over again. Can you tell me the status of my order? Can you tell me the tracking information for my shipment? Can I download an invoice? Can I get a copy of a statement? Like I say sometimes we appreciate it. As a customer you just want a quick answer. It’s great to talk to people but if you want a copy of your
invoice you don’t have to pick up the phone and download it. It’s really important that we provided a lot more account information for our customers online. We had a few challenges along the project but just to
set things up a little bit. After setting our goals from the B2B website we looked at a lot of different platforms out there and we really
narrowed it down to Sana and Magento. It would be a like a Magento community build with a lot of custom development to support our kind of B2B functionality. As a growing business, we thought that flexibility was key. We really cared about it. We wanted to be able to develop the product we want to
spend as much time making the product work in the Moto Direct way because
we think we’re Moto Direct we’re special. We want to do it our way. We we really focused heavily on customization and we also have some kind of Magento experience in-house. Don’t hold it against me but around two years ago we actually made the decision to go in Magento community instead of Sana. I’m sorry but don’t worry it all
gets better so yeah it will be fine. Obviously like I said we faced a few challenges so I just wanted to talk quickly about the kind of problems you had. If you want to put yourselves in my shoes for a moment. We signed off on the NAV project and things are going really well. Implementations wen’t pretty smooth, most of the custom developments done. We’re about kind of nine twelve months into the project at this point only. This is probably the biggest project the Moto Direct has ever taken on as a business. It affects every single department in the business so it’s huge because it’s got a make and break project Moto Direct. So far NAV was going really well. The same couldn’t be said for the Magento website. It was behind schedule and the feedback from my users was really poor. Users were quite frustrated. It wasn’t going according the plan. I just thought I’d touch on some of the issues we faced with Magento. First of all and this is partly on Moto Direct I would say and partly on our Magento partner. That for me I realize now that that initial specification of
the system is so important. It can’t be stressed enough and as a business and like I said I think we were we slightly led poorly by our Magento partner. All we really focused on was what was wrong with our existing system. In reality there was actually quite a lot of good stuff in there as well but we totally forgot about it. We were like ‘oh we want something new’. We don’t like the old system so all we focus on is new features. As we started to develop the Magento site we start to use the kind of beta site. We started to find all these little issues where Magento isn’t quite as strong here not being a pure kind of B2B platform. We needed some extra development. Obviously that adds time, it has costs, it has complexity and that was really holding the project back. Secondly we as a business really underestimated how difficult a bespoke integration between Magento and
Microsoft Dynamics was going to be. Obviously Moto Direct is a business who’s great at designing, manufacturing and selling motorcycle clothing. Magento integration was completely new to us as a business and you know we realized it’s incredibly difficult. We found that we were having to build our business logic, our business processes in two different systems and it’s really difficult. You’ve got two systems that work totally differently. To get those processes to be exactly the same is incredibly challenging and a couple of specific issues are pricing for example. We deal with customers in the UK and all around the world. We have some very complex pricing rules that were very easy to set up in NAV. We didn’t really need many changes totally now but trying to recreate those pricing rules in Magento was incredibly difficult. Stock accuracy is really important for our dealers. Often they’ll be on our B2B website well they’ve got their customer in store checking oh yeah ok well I haven’t got the size 42 here but Moto Direct have got it in stock in the warehouse so it will be with you tomorrow. Live stock information is really important and again we struggled with this on Magento. Finally we found that unfortunately not all Magento partners are created equally. Magento is a good product. There are some good Magento partners out there but again being a growing business, We were really focusing on flexibility. We chose a smaller Magento partner because we thought they’ll get Moto Direct. They understand us, they’re a
small growing Magento partner but it just wasn’t the case. They really didn’t have a kind of strong project management team. You forget when you when you’re looking at software you tend to focus on features. You forget about how important it is to have a great team of project managers to make sure your project is on track, it’s on time, and it’s on budget. I think our partner took on pretty more than they could handle and because of that they were really struggling to implement the site. That’s the bad news out of the way as I say you know we’re we’re you’re 500th customer so things worked out in the wash. How we’re able to turn things
around it’s just something I like to touch on now. Again put yourselves in my shoes for a moment as a project manager. This huge project for Moto Direct, it’s the most you ever spent on a single project and that you definitely feeling the stress. Fast forward another kind of three or
four months and again things are still going really well with NAV There are now implementations finished. Users are testing and the feedback for my users was really positive. Everybody was really good or couldn’t wait till NAV went live. They could now start to use and test the system they could really see the benefits but without a B2B website we just couldn’t go live. It’s such a key part of our business. The B2B website was holding up this huge investment in NAV and users were really starting to get frustrated. We had to understand what was going on
and addressed some of the issues. I think I found going through the project it was really important to have a very open very good relationship with all of our kind of key users and kind of external partners. These projects are difficult but you’re implementing a full ERP system with little complexes or you know just a B2B website. As a company like Moto Direct, this isn’t
something we do every single day like I say. Our specialty is selling motorcycle
clothing. We aren’t experts at implementing systems you know. We really rely on our partners so we made some mistakes as we went through. I think because we had a really kind of open a really kind of frank discussion around Magento we were able to resolve some of the issues. We didn’t kind of it would have been quite easy for us to just kind of put our blinkers on and you know proceed with Magento anyway even though we knew where there were problems. I think like I said this works both ways. I think it’s important that you guys as a partner again a really open and a frank partner for your customers. We saw this without with our Magento partner, they were just hired. They wouldn’t answer emails and they wouldn’t give us the full story. It’s better that people talk and that they’re open and honest. Then you really understand where the issues are. Like I say these projects are really difficult. It’s not something businesses like Moto Direct does every single week. We make make mistakes and sometimes you have to make really difficult decisions. After speaking to all of our key users and getting everyone together we came to the realization that whilst we probably could get the Magento
site to work we could probably get to go live. There was a lot of issues and it really wasn’t that much of an improvement over our existing B2B website. Which again you know Moto Direct we’re all about customer service that’s
just not acceptable for us. We want to give the customer a great experience. We don’t want to just roll out our website that’s boogy, when the design isn’t great, and frustrates our customers. We had to sit down as a business and
make a difficult decision. Obviously we did invest a lot of time and a lot of money in Magento so this wasn’t initially a very popular decision within the business. It was really hard. We looked at it and we looked at some of the ongoing challenges with Magento; the potential of additional development. like I said earlier some of the integration challenges were very difficult and we knew we’d be in a position where we have to do a lot of manual work to synchronize data between NAV and Magento. We realized the ongoing cost just made it
and the kind of poor functionality just made it untenable to continue with Magento. At this point I picked up the phone and I
called Eleanor wherever you are do you remember me? it’s Sean from Moto Direct! Help, we’ve got a problem. We need a new B2B website and we need it
really quickly. I think for me I’ve realized now we were up against a really tight deadline. There was a lot of pressure on from the wider business to get the ERP system and get the website live as quickly as possible. I think if we’d rushed it we would have faced a lot of the same issues in Magento so again I think guys from Sana we’re really good. I said earlier about being open being realistic. They sat down, we worked a project plan together and we set a realistic goal that day. Allowing enough time for the development for our testing and we met that date and I think again if we’d set an unrealistic date we would have struggled, we rushed, we would have make
mistakes, would look frustrating more people at business. So yeah because opening up most relationships and setting those realistic deadlines is key. In October of last year we went live with our ERP system and a new website. I think itwas really successful. The feedback from all of our customers is great which I’ll touch on later. from our ERP partners and from Sana the feedback has been been really strong so whilst we got there in the end it was challenging. I thought I’d just touch on a couple of lessons we learned along the way and maybe other people can
avoid making these mistakes in the future. As I mentioned earlier we were a growing business and we really felt flexibility and custom development was key. In hindsight this was a massive mistake. Custom development is hard, it’s expensive, its time-consuming not only for the consultant but for the business internally. We realized probably for every day that Sana would spend working or our ERP partner spend working. We would have to work three or four days within the business. I could say leave these projects. They are
huge for the businesses that are involved. It’s very difficult for us to scale up you know for that extra resource so you’ve got to be really careful how much custom development you do. In addition, sometimes a theory and reality don’t match up. I think we found that it’s much better to
go live with a system that’s got a small amount of customization. I think every business is going to need some customization but if you can keep it to a minimum, go live with a project. You will suddenly get much better feedback. Once you’re live, once you’ve got all of your customers using it, you’ve got all of your customers using it every single day the feedback you get is so much more useful. It’s much better to go live, then continue to develop the system. I think otherwise you will really struggle. It’s important again especially for a business like Moto Direct that’s just made a huge investment in the ERP; leverage the strengths of your ERP system. Integration is really hard. Obviously there’s there’s a lot of very smart people in this room. I’m sure it’s a doddle for you, but as a company like Moto Direct it’s not something we do every day. It’s really difficult having that kind of out-of-the-box integration where we didn’t need to replicate all of our business processes. We didn’t have anything to replicate our pricing rules on the website because it was just there. Out of the box was a massive time saver for Moto Direct. Not only in terms of getting the project live but in terms of the day-to-day management of the site. You know Sana product we really love it because it’s very hands-off in a way. We worry about making sure products have got images, making self specifications all right. We don’t worry about managing data and tedious tasks like that and finally and perhaps most importantly we realize well that while software is really important Equally if not more important is the
partner that you’re working with. I can’t stress that enough. I work with a lot of companies not just in the UK but all around the world. I’m consistently blown away whenever I work with Sana every single person I speak to is helpful, friendly and just goes out of their way to work for Moto Direct. It’s been incredible! I think that’s a huge part of why our project has been so successful. We had great advice from Sana, the guys in Sri Lanka the guys in Ukraine did an amazing job. Super friendly super easy to work with. It makes a huge difference as a customer we don’t do this every single day. We really rely on you guys for advice for help and say it makes a huge difference. It’s like you guys deserve you know a massive amount of thanks not just from me but from a whole amount of Moto Direct. You did an incredible job! Just a couple of slides. This is
the kind of final site design. We use your modern theme which i think is great. At the moment it’s primarily a B2B website and so we keep the design nice and simple nice and clean. For my customers is it so much easier to
find information on the new site. As I mentioned earlier having all of the
colors and sizes in one place is incredible. This is you know the number one feature that was requested by customers and they absolutely love it. It’s really great. As I mentioned we went live in October, really successful great feedback. I thought I’d look at a couple of specific areas just so you’re aware. First of all the customer feedback has been great. Like I said Moto Direct we’re all about celebrity service. We live and die in our customers and what they think of Moto Direct. Our customers demand a lot
of Moto Direct as they should. Again, put yourself in my shoes. We do a dealer presentation every year to show our dealers the new 2019 products and the new range of products. We invite every dealer in the UK and around the world to our offices in the middle of October to view all the products. Last year we made the decision because obviously we changed our B2B site. We were going to sit with every single dealer that came through the door. Understand what they thought about the site, answer any questions, give him a little bit of training if they needed it and I was dreading it. Let me tell you with two weeks into a brand new ERP system brand new website I was like oh no I’m gonna get so much hassle, so much grief I’m not looking forward to this at all but the customers were great. We had one or two customers that weren’t very happy with you. Our customers are account managers, they love the site. They find it so much easier to use than
the old site. We followed this up with a survey for some of our customers just get real understanding of anything that we missed when developing the site and their feedback. Sixty percent of our customers say they absolutely love the site. I think there’s another 20% of customers that say it’s great but there’s a little bit of room for improvement. I think less than 5% of customers say they hate it. I mean that’s incredible. It’s a testament to you guys for the building the great product. One of the things that’s really amazed
me we because deal with a lot of export customers. Obviously export business is quite complex. The customer tends to be a bit larger. The typical order tends to be a lot a bit larger a bit more complex. Our export department were pretty skeptical going into this about whether their customers would order online or
not. We tried for a long time to get our export customers to order on the old B2B system and almost without fail they’d use the system for a few weeks and go:”
guys this is rubbish. We’re not interested in using this. Here’s our purchase order. You deal with that. We’re not using your website. The uptake from our export customers on sign has been incredible. Orders are up 70 percent but we continue to add more and more customers. We’ve got more and more export customers coming onto the site. So I think that numbers is only gonna get higher and higher over the next couple of months. Again the feedback is incredible. We deal
with customs we’re you know it’s one one man one woman working in a small motorcycle store. They’re maybe not very tech savvy. You have a lot of customers that had just discovered email: “I think I got this remarkable new thing it’s called email” Yeah okay great. We’ve got customers like that all the way up to large distribution export customers and they all really like the site. I think that’s very difficult to do. You could build a complex site that meets all the needs of your export customers but you don’t set your smaller customers. You could build a more simple site for your smaller customers but it wouldn’t quite be fit for purpose on the export customers. So again we’re impressed with that and finally and perhaps most importantly our marketing department and our IT department are finally friends again. There was a bit of friction with the older system but I think you guys do a great job designing the system that keeps the IT
guys happy. It’s easy to manage there’s not too much administration and keeping the marketing guys happy as well so yeah that’s really really impressive. As I said a lot of our customers they’re very demanding so we’ve got a lot of great feedback. This is just one quote but we must have had 50, 60, 70 emails from customers in this first few weeks saying wow thanks guys! We really love the new site!

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