IST Supplies launch eCommerce site with 350 price lists
and future proof their business online!
IST Supplies launch eCommerce site with 350 price lists
We were pleased to catch up with Jeff Ivey, Managing Director at IST Supplies to find out how they are getting on with their new eCommerce site.
Jeff drove the commercial decision to future proof IST Supplies by bringing them into the online marketplace to meet some of their current and importantly future customers’ expectations.
We were delighted to help Jeff and his team with their first fully integrated eCommerce project.
IST Supplies are a leading distributor of fire and safety products throughout the world with over 45 years of experience in the industry.
Health & Safety
B2B – all suppliers of fire and safety equipment in commercial environments.
IST Supplies are well aware online selling & buying is the future for many businesses but with their niche product, conventional selling success and a customer base driven by loyalty and recommendations not Google searches, why would they choose to launch an eCommerce website?
“An eCommerce site has long-term goals for us, it’s all about future proofing the business. We’re selling life safety products which generally people are, rightly, conservative about their purchases choosing to speak to us either face to face or on the phone before buying.
We know buying will move and is moving to online ordering and at some point the next generation will become our customers who will make all other purchases online so expectations will be that fire and safety products can also be purchased in this way too and we want to be ready for this change.”
A shorter-term goal for IST Supplies is to improve their back office functions so the ordering process through to delivery can become more automated with less need for the customer services team.
“We have complex pricing with over 350 different price lists in our Sage 200 accounting, and we’ve never found someone before who could integrate all of these successfully into an eCommerce platform. The GOb2b teams’ knowledge of Sage far outweighed everyone else we spoke to, they are very clear on how Sage works, how their system works and how the two together could provide us with what we required.”
GOb2b provides a b2b focussed SaaS (software as a service) platform designed to specifically address the concerns of b2b businesses. This subscription software, with no start-up costs, includes hosting, live integration, all features, all software updates and ongoing support.
“As for many businesses the financials was a factor in our decision, GOb2b ticked all our boxes plus offered lots of additional features on top such as delivery time & discount options, promotional options and features to support our customers support and sales team.”
The ability to sell online and improve back-office functions for sales order processing
were key drivers for the new eCommerce website.
GOb2b’s unique eCommerce platform, provided a feature
rich website and higher personalised customer experience. GOb2b is fully integrated with IST Supplies Sage 200 accounting software to sync orders, stock information, product data, customer records and pricing.
All of IST Supplies existing customers login through a trade portal which allows them to see their individual negotiated price plans from the 350 price lists currently in their Sage 200 accounting system.
IST Supplies have full control over their pricing structure and can update the details in Sage 200 which through the LIVE integrated connection will update the eCommerce site for the customer.
The LIVE integration connection enables IST Supplies to have
up-to-the-moment data to both the front-end customer view, trade portal, back-office functions, and warehouse.
GOb2b provided full training for the team at IST Supplies as part of their onboarding process to ensure they get most from their new eCommerce site. It also ensures IST Supplies were fully involved with the design and build process of their site.
“The training worked well. Our first meeting with our onboarding manager Ben gave us a high-level overview of the on boarding plan and how the software works. We were given a step-by-step process as to where to begin and how we would get to a live eCommerce site.
More training sessions were then in depth of the different functionality of the site. We found the software easy to use and very intuitive. Some of the functionality we were able to work out for ourselves which is a compliment to the useability of the software and how logical it is to navigate.”
IST Supplies integrated eCommerce website is now live and is giving them the ability to grow their business and provide better customer service.
“It’s a big change for some of our customers as until recently they still liked to fax over their orders.”
The site has been popular with customers accounting teams as they are able to login and see all purchasing history as well as download invoices for payments.
“This has given our customer service team more time to spend on supporting our customers. We’ve also seen an increase in ordering now customers aren’t restricted to our opening hours, they can login and order at midnight if they choose to do so which is great.
We’ve had great feedback from our customers who use the site and say they love it. In particular the search facility on the site is phenomenal.”
“We’ve been in contact with GOb2b’s customer service team recently about a change we thought would be good for the SaaS platform. It was really nice to have GOb2b listen to what we said, come up with a solution and see value in the change for not only us but all their customers.
It gives me a high level of confidence in the product knowing that it is continiously developed and the team at GOb2b are happy to have a conversation about new ideas.”
“I would 100 percent recommend GOb2b to other businesses. They understand Sage and they understand eCommerce.”