What is our primary use case?
We use the general B2B functionality, such as presenting things. For example, we create a link to our product database from our other system that contains images, which means that we do not have to manually load pictures into the shop. It is done automatically.
How has it helped my organization?
Using Sana means that we can support customer-specific prices. One of the things that are special about the company is that we use a lot of natural ingredients, which means that the colors differ a little bit from batch to batch. Consequently, the way we do the stock check is very specific.
We do not tell the customer, "We have so many square meters available." We actually turn it around and ask the customer how many square meters or square yards they need. Then, we ask when they need to have it delivered to their premises. Based on the answers, we can tell them if it's possible. In cases where it is not possible to meet the deadline, we tell them when it can be completed by. This is a slightly different principle but a big functional change.
Another one of the things that we do is provide materials to our customers for construction, including floor coverings, adhesive, and these kinds of things, especially for large projects. We have everything linked to our ERP system but also, the interface can be used to access quotations.
We have a closed shop, so we know all of our customers. When one of them is entering an order, and they input material, the system will recognize whether there are open quotations for this combination of materials. A popup is raised to the customer to notify them that the order matches one of their current quotations, and a list of the relevant ones will be shown. At that point, the customer can click on the quotation and the order will be referenced to it. All of the terms and conditions, prices, et cetera, from the quotation will be taken and not the standard pricing.
We have further customized the product to include information for the customer, like track and trace. When we receive information from our full orders, we update it in the system so that customers can see their track and trace information on the webshop, when they go into the "My order" section.
Sana Commerce has been very good when it comes to harmonizing our processes. When it became clear to us that in order to roll this shop out in several countries, we had to think seriously about the first store. We needed to develop a blueprint that started with basics, and then we had to determine where changes to our internal processes were required. We wanted our efforts to affect not only the one shop but everything. As a result of this effort, the sales process is much more fluent and consistent among the different organizations. This has been a big benefit.
From our customers' perspective, the system is very user-friendly. We have a lot of customers that are smaller building companies, and when they're on the construction site, they can use the shop on the phone and they can check dynamically to see if they've missed something. For example, they can check to see if a product is available because it is needed quickly. They can use the stock check and if it is available, we can tell them how fast they can get it. From a customer perspective, it's a big win. This is to our benefit as well, because it secures and strengthens the relationship with the customer.
Using Sana Commerce has helped to increase customer engagement online. Our previous solution had been rolled out in five countries. But actually, it was outdated and only used in the Netherlands by a larger group of customers. We introduced the Sana shop and it not only looks much better, but it also functions much better. The search functionality and the workings of the sales flow, as well as the ease of navigation, are all things that are improved. We have had very positive feedback and we do see an increase in usage in all of the countries.
I don't have exact numbers for the increase in customer engagement online but we do see an increase in the number of digital orders that are coming in every month. That is something that we do measure, and the percentage of digital orders is increasing constantly. Our goal is to reach 50% of orders entered digitally and in some countries, they already have that, more or less.
We also provide samples for flooring material so that a customer can decide whether they would like to install it. This is a service that we offer for free. With these samples, we reach even higher levels of digitalization, as we call it. However, we see a big difference depending on the country. Some countries are far more traditional and they just want to contact the customer service department by phone. We see a constant increase but we also see that in some countries, no matter what the marketing department does, it doesn't grow. That is not something that depends on the Sana system.
It is very difficult to say whether Sana has helped to increase our sales. With the Corona situation this year, everything changed dramatically. We have increased the introduction of the shops and we do see that it's used quite a bit. It's very handy, of course, to have your digital channels up and running in times like this. What I can say at this point is that we are very healthy and our customers are using it more because the last two years were so strange. Whether our sales increased because of the shop is difficult to say but certainly, it is helpful that we had a working storefront in countries where people were working from home.
Using this solution has definitely reduced the risk of order errors. The customers now have better visibility of the order and relevant quotations, and they are able to link them. If we have a special price agreement then that pops up and in the past, this is something that often went wrong. The customer would order something that they had a quotation for, and somebody in the customer service department missed it. Rather than the quoted price, they were charged the normal price, resulting in the customer having to call. We have a lot of quotations so in that area, in particular, the number of errors has decreased considerably.
Sana has helped to decrease the amount of manual work that we do. Trivially, the more order data that is entered by the customer, the less we have to do on our end. There is an increase in the work required in order to maintain your master data because the demand for it increases. However, there is a net decrease in the amount of work overall.
What is most valuable?
This product is highly customizable. We use the standard system but we have extended it quite a bit. For example, we have built automatic cross-selling algorithms that provide as much reliable and relevant cross-selling information as possible to the customer.
We have a customer-specific assortment, which relies on what we call the visibility rule. In this scenario, the customer can see only what they should see. For example, we produce several types of products and some of our dealers can only deal with one type, whereas others may deal with all types or another subset. We had to come up with a solution that controls visibility such that if a particular customer enters the shop, he or she will only see what he or she is allowed to purchase.
The interface for e-commerce administration is very user-friendly, in general. You have a lot of flexibility in Sana Admin, which is very good.
The integration between Sana and SAP ERP is very good, and the cost is excellent. There are competing solutions available from SAP so that you have SAP with SAP but again, the cost-quality ratio when using Sana is very good.
With respect to the integration, we have our own competence center, so we did the integration on our side. We have our own programmers and SAP functional consultants and in this context, it was very handy that we can speak directly to the Sana implementation teams. That has worked really well.
Sana Commerce has helped us to streamline our processes for bridging ERP and eCommerce systems, and it is something that our SAP competency center worked on. Our internal SAP knowledge is quite high and Sana was a very serious partner that was able to assist us. SAP was also an equal partner but I'm very satisfied with the level of knowledge that the Sana consultants have.
What needs improvement?
One problem that we encounter is that it's difficult to upgrade as a result of making a large number of customer-specific adaptations. This is a problem that would affect other solutions, as well, and is not specific to Sana.
In our version, the graphics flexibility that you see as an admin is something that can be improved. The feature allows you to modify what the shop looks like, such as being able to choose whether you want to show three or four images on the row. In the newer version, they have improved it quite a bit, but in our version, it needs improvement.
For how long have I used the solution?
I started using Sana Commerce at the beginning of 2018.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This is a very stable solution. We have monitors to measure it, and even as our usage has increased, our measurements show that it has remained stable.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
The scalability is very good. Until now, scalability was one of our concerns. We were afraid that over time, as the usage and the volume of data increases, that the stability or performance would decrease. This is why we built the monitors. However, all that we have seen so far is that it's remained stable as usage increased.
We now have one shop, per country, in 15 countries other than our initial deployment in the Netherlands. In total, we are now live with 16 countries in the world for B2B.
Our plan is to continue to increase usage. We have an internal rollout plan that includes continuing to roll out new deployments. Also, we would like to increase usage in countries that are already using the new shop. For some reason, certain shops are behind in their scores.
When we started in 2018, we built the shop as well as we could at the time. This year, we launched a shop improvement project. The reason is that it was good when we built it but now, we want to improve it a little bit. Part of the improvement has been from the technical side, which allows us to serve our customers even better.
How are customer service and support?
We have our own contact person for service requests or errors, as well as our own project manager for the bigger projects such as a rollout or the shop improvement that we do. All of them relate to the technical departments at Sana and both teams work really well. If there is a small issue then it's picked up very quickly. So, both technically and the way that things are processed are very clear and straightforward. In terms of the projects, there are different teams, but the same level of satisfaction.
The support staff is very experienced. For example, we have fixed contact people. It's not only that their technical knowledge of the product itself is sufficient, but you also always get people on the line who know your situation. I don't have to explain that there are some tailor-made components as part of our solution because they already know. It's very handy.
In terms of responsiveness, I'm really satisfied. We use the ticket system that they have in place, and it allows us to indicate a priority. We did have a few showstoppers where something went wrong, and if you raise a showstopper then you get served immediately. If the priority is a little lower then the response times are slower. It is all very quick and in balance.
Technical support also assisted us when it came to out-of-the-box thinking. They have their functional concept designer, who we used for the setup of the pilot phase. Also, now that we are doing the improvement project, we speak with the team and they have very good people on board to talk with and puzzle out what can be done. The vendor has special people for this and they are very good.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
Prior to Sana Commerce, we used an old version of an SAP commerce solution. It is not the same as the new SAP Commerce Cloud, but an old one. We phased this product out because the version was outdated.
The graphical design of that product was really bad and the fundamentals were not good. For example, the basic setup of how we display things to the customer had issues. The problems were not entirely because of that system but also, it was implemented with the version we had at the time.
When it was time to upgrade, we wanted something totally new, and that's why we decided to open up for different products. We did not want to automatically return to the same vendor, which is why we just started the whole vendor selection process.
In the pilot phase, we did a very intensive requirement study. This included what is available by default in the Sana solution, and what is not. The goal was to customize Sana to best fit our needs.
At the same time, we had a recommended landscape in relation to processes. Each country did things their own way, so we said, "Okay, we should harmonize the SAP process."
We looked at the formal processes that the company was using on the sales side, and that was a huge document. We then started the development phase, where we built the changes to both Sana and SAP in sprints.
We have customer figures internally, and these are included in our reports, but I do not have the information readily available. What I can say for sure is that our customers are far more satisfied with Sana Commerce than they were with our previous solution. We often ask our customers whether they like it, along with other questions, and the feedback has been positive. The usage is increasing.
How was the initial setup?
The standard setup and implementation are very much straightforward. We had a number of tailor-made changes, which added to our implementation time. But, when you want to change something, the procedures for doing so are also straightforward.
In 2016, we started to investigate replacing our B2B workshop. We selected six countries to join in the pilot phase, and they would determine what the standards should be in place for the new solution. We selected the Netherlands as the first pilot shop, which is where we went live in January 2018. In the period after that, we introduced new shops.
The length of time for our first deployment was approximately one year. Overall, the process is not easy, but it's acceptable for what you get. Once we completed the pilot, it was easier for the remaining countries.
In each new deployment, we have a team of four people who participate. This is not a full-time task but I think that they need to be available two days per week for between three and four months. That's the average. Once it's up and running, we need one marketing and one salesperson to stay involved and do regular maintenance. Again, these are not full-time jobs. It's approximately half a day per week for each country.
What about the implementation team?
We did not use external consultants to assist us with the deployment. Our in-house team of consultants completed it with help from Sana.
What was our ROI?
We have not measured our ROI. Of course, we know how much the store costs, as well as the development. It's easy to measure how much you spend but it's not so easy to measure what you save. My feeling, however, is that it's a very healthy ratio.
Our total cost of ownership is approximately the same. The idea was not to use this tool as a way of reducing costs but rather, to improve service for our customers.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
The balance between cost and quality is extremely good.
There are no costs in addition to the setup and licensing fees.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We had a list of several candidates. We considered a Swiss company that is hosting our web page, but they were too small. We considered a German company, and of course, we considered SAP because the rest of the company runs on their products. In the end, we were most happy with Sana.
One of the reasons that we selected Sana was the price. Both the initial cost and the cost of the licenses were better. It needed to have standard integration with SAP because we didn't want to have a company that is very good on the front end but where we had to develop the connection with SAP.
One of the prerequisites was that we wanted it to have an out-of-the-box shop. We did the proof of concept and before we signed the contract with Sana, we ordered them to build a shop that just contains all of the standard options. Nothing special; we just wanted to see it working. They were successful and proved that it works, which was very important.
It not only proved the technical capabilities but showed us that if there was something happening or that something needed to be changed, that they have good internal processes in place to handle projects and changes.
We had a whole matrix of different technical topics where we judge them, but these are the general, or main reasons.
SAP was also very good but they were three times as expensive.
We had limited the list of vendors to five and then looked at them in really great detail. There were two on the list after this, SAP and Sana, which scored more or less the same, but one was three times more expensive, so it was easy to choose.
What other advice do I have?
I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?
If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.