To improve its global customer service, Covestro decided to replace the SAP ECO 5.0 platform its B2B online shop ran on with SAP Commerce Cloud. Thanks to the new system, Covestro can now offer its customers a radically improved order and service experience in over 100 countries around the world. The Sycor experts advised the Leverkusen-based firm to use an agile method for such a large project. A good decision: in the end, the Sycor team converted the entire shop landscape to the new system in about one year.
Covestro AG is based in Leverkusen, Germany and supplies various industries with coatings, adhesives, polyurethanes and polycarbonates. Covestro products are often customer-specific and produced in one of the 30 Covestro plants around the world. Due to this complexity on the product as well as the corporate level, offering state-of-the-art customer service is a particularly demanding task.
Up until now, Covestro customers were able to place orders via an online shop based on SAP ECO 5.0. However, it no longer met the expectations of both the customers and the Covestro customer service representatives: its user interface was not responsive and the platform could hardly be upgraded. Furthermore, the manufacturer support had expired and the solution lacked standardized back office functionalities. “It was clear that we needed a new platform for our online shop,” says Jan Prigge, Global Webshop IT Project Lead at Covestro, and continues: "But the question was: which platform is best adapted to our level of complexity and which partner can we entrust with such a crucial project? The presentation of Sycor impressed us. Their expertise in the area of complex B2B online shops was – and still is – absolutely convincing."
Focus on customer experience
“The implementation of the new online shop affected Covestro’s core processes: order entry and logistic processes as well as customer support. To develop the best possible application and system design, we analyzed the needs and gateways to the smallest detail,” recalls Philipp Stickling, project lead at Sycor. The new SAP Commerce Cloud solution is seamlessly integrated into the SAP landscape and offers different functionalities according to the region it is accessed from, or the region manually selected. “Of course, the security and performance of the new solution were crucial points for us. But beyond that, we aimed to create a customer-centered solution. Sycor perfectly understood and fulfilled this need,” adds Prigge.
The new Covestro online shop supports numerous customer-specific product catalogues with up to 50,000 changes per day. It can be personalized in 13 languages as well as different date, unit and decimal formats. Furthermore, customers can activate push notifications on various channels to get real-time information about their order. These push notifications are based on over 10,000 daily events along the supply chain. Further features that customers particularly appreciate are the possibility to combine products from various sales organization and different currencies in a single order, to change an order after it has been placed, and to access detailed order information via their personalized landing page.
Better servicing made easy
Covestro employees benefit from the new SAP Commere Cloud online shop as well. To allow them to see the online shop from a customer perspective, the Sycor team implemented a masquerading function. It helps customer service representatives quickly find and solve the problem a customer has. Furthermore, both the backend and the shop frontend are now entirely responsive and can be accessed from any device. “Our team is very pleased with the new solution. It allows us to provide much better service. We also carried out several customer satisfaction surveys. They show that the whole setup meets the needs of our customers” Charles Nie, Global Webshop Project Lead at Covestro, adds. To ensure lasting customer satisfaction, Sycor streamlined the technical architecture, thereby making it possible to upgrade the solution according to new customer needs anytime.
Agile for three go-lives on schedule
Thanks to the agile method, numerous changes were implemented during the project instead of at the end – which lead to a better understanding of the key users for their new solution. “The agile setup clearly benefitted the project. We were better prepared for the go-lives. They went on smoothly in all three release areas, which were NAFTA, EMEA and APAC. In fact, Sycor managed three on schedule go-lives within three months. This is outstanding given the complexity of the project,” analyzes Prigge. The collaboration with Sycor did not end with the last go-live. The Sycor team still provides application managed services and keeps expanding the scope of the solution. Prigge adds: “We are glad we found such a trustworthy partner. The Sycor experts understand our needs and always find a good solution to implement them – no matter how complicated our requests are.”
About the project