Pilz GmbH & Co. KG
Further Online Shop Optimization
Together with Sycor, the automation company Pilz used the release change of the SAP online shop to integrate it with the website, while at the same time optimizing it for search engines. In parallel to this, ORBIS AG readied SAP CRM for the future through an upgrade and functional extensions.
"As an international provider of complete solutions in the field of automation technology, with 28 subsidiaries and branch offices around the world, we now offer even more customer service online. The Pilz E-Shop allows for optimal access to the information that is required to accelerate customers' purchasing processes," explains Mirko Dost, project manager at Pilz GmbH & Co. KG. "Thus, on the basis of highly up-to-date catalog data and the online availability check customers can order Pilz products around the clock." Further customer convenience is ensured by for example the download feature for technical information and operating instructions, order tracking, as well as the option to import shopping baskets from the customers' own ERP system. Pilz operates the SAP online shop from the start with an SAP CRM solution as middleware for the ERP system. The contract for the recently implemented release change of the B2B shop from SAP E-Commerce 5.0 to Web Channel 7.0 was awarded to SYCOR GmbH; the CRM upgrade to Version 7.0, which was to be realized in parallel, was awarded to ORBIS AG.
Website Integration and SEO
Side by side with the release change, Sycor integrated the Pilz E-Shop with the website of the technology leader in secure automation technology. "With the E-Shop, we offer customers a central communication and knowledge platform in 16 languages that now takes into account country-specific circumstances, such as different catalog currencies" says Mirko Dost. Since the online shop was embedded as an open catalog, customers can obtain comprehensive information on products without having to log in. After they log in, they are able to access additional information, such as prices and availabilities, as well as the full functionality of the online shop. "The catalog was implemented without frames for the purpose of search-engine optimization (SEO). Frameless pages can navigate around some obstacles encountered in the indexation for search engines and thus facilitating the handling" notes Sycor project manager Markus Kutschker.
By combining the Content Management System (CMS) of the website with the open catalog of the online shop, Sycor achieved two positive effects for Pilz: On the one hand, the Göttingen-based company eliminated the need for duplicate content maintenance. On the other hand, it created further potential for search-engine optimization. Thus, the online shop is now fed with information from the CMS via an interface regarding the title and description tags of the individual pages. With a few adjustments, the team around Markus Kutschker also replaced the standard long and cryptic URL paths generated in SAP E-Commerce with search-engine friendly and user-friendly URLs.
Two Projects in One
The parallel release change project of the SAP CRM system by ORBIS AG created additional development and coordination efforts. "In the environment used by Pilz, workflows are started in SAP CRM for customer registrations and orders that inform the competent staff about impending data checks and approvals. Information about the product availability is reported back to the online shop from the ERP via CRM," explains Dirk Müller, ORBIS project manager at Pilz. Since customer registrations are not standard functions in a B2B scenario, the specialists from Saarbrücken had to make the necessary adjustments to the system. One challenge was the integration of the subsidiaries that are not using SAP ERP yet. "For those companies, we had to provide a catalog in the respective language, without pulling up master and product data from the ERP" adds Müller. The order function for this scenario is currently being provided in an extended version. "We have implemented the solution jointly designed with Sycor in SAP CRM." For the technical upgrade to SAP CRM 7.0, ORBIS checked the existing interfaces with the online shop and the ERP system for the enhanced SAP CRM, and adjusted them as needed. In addition, the ORBIS staff introduced the new web UI of SAP CRM 7.0 at Pilz and instructed the IT project team around Dr. Beate Temberger in the various options of adjustment. The necessary UI settings were put in place jointly. The upgrade allows Pilz to implement further CRM functions quickly in the future.
Mirko Dost gives a positive assessment of the project: "Despite a tight schedule of four months, Sycor and ORBIS performed very well, both in terms of their individual tasks and jointly as a team. The decision to rely on service providers with a clear specialization was the right one for these two projects in one."
More about the company:
Pilz GmbH & Co. KG
Headquarters: Ostfildern, Germany