Niehues launches a B2B e-commerce platform for Dynamics AX
As a full-liner for hydraulic and electric drive/control technology, we offer our customers a comprehensive portfolio of technical products. In addition to opening up a new sales channel, the development of our web store focused on providing "round-the-clock" information on technical data, price and availability. Only the integration of our leading ERP system AX made it possible to provide our customers with this information in real time. With silver.solutions, we have gained a partner that implements our requirements in an unbureaucratic and professional manner. We are looking forward to the joint further development of our web store.Guido Scharf, Management Controlling & IT
Modern B2B platform for Niehues
Niehues enters the world of e-commerce with a B2B store project and commissions the Berlin-based service provider silver.solutions to implement it. The core of the project is the silver.eShop as the basis for a future-proof e-commerce strategy. The project also includes the close ERP integration of the store system with Microsoft Dynamics AX using the web.connector as well as special extensions to the online store.
Focus on product information and search functions
With the e-commerce platform, Th. Niehues GmbH increases the visibility of its product range on the Web and taps into another sales channel. In the new B2B online store, Niehues intends to sell its hydraulics and automation products to its business customers from the mobile and stationary mechanical and plant engineering industries, among others.
The wholesaler's product range comprises around 60,000 items from the hydraulics and automation sector. The aim is to guide customers quickly and directly to the products they are looking for and to provide them with the necessary specifications at a glance. For this reason, Niehues attaches great importance to clear product information and a powerful search function, which silver.solutions has adapted and improved especially for Niehues. The data for this powerful search in the B2B store is provided by the wholesaler's ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics AX.
Content tools and e-commerce in one platform
The optimal presentation of technical products in the online store is an important project requirement for Niehues. After all, the store should also serve as a central source of information for the B2B dealer's products, some of which require explanation, and supplement and expand the current presentation of the products on the company's website.
The silver.eShop online store integrates the Enterprise Content Management System (ECMS) eZ Platform and is therefore ideally suited for content-driven e-commerce platforms. Content of various kinds such as FAQs, how-tos, images and technical descriptions, videos or data sheets can be easily integrated into product pages.
Vice versa, blog articles or guides can also be supplemented with suitable products. A landing page tool allows store managers to quickly create new product areas via drag & drop and to fill them with compelling content and products.
Tight store integration with Microsoft Dynamics AX
The integration of Microsoft Dynamics AX into the online store is a business-critical requirement. In Niehues' e-commerce project, the web store had to be especially closely connected with Dynamics AX in order to seamlessly use as much existing data and processes from the ERP online as possible.
The silver.eShop is well prepared for the connection to Niehues' ERP system and can thus display product data, customer data, status and customer-specific conditions from MS Dynamics AX in real time.
Niehues manages a total of around 60,000 items in its ERP, of which approximately 20,000 are in stock. The availability of products must be visible to the customer in the web store at all times. AX also provides more than 350 detailed technical characteristics, which are used as filters in the search function.
With the web.connector for Microsoft Dynamics AX, silver.solutions offers a sophisticated interface for intelligent ERP integration that meets these requirements. As a result, in addition to stock levels that are accurate to the second, the online store also provides current customer data and individual prices, graduated prices and discounts from Dynamics AX at any time.
Adaptations and additional functions for Niehues' B2B customers
Niehues' B2B online store uses many of the comfort functions especially for B2B buyers that silver.eShop provides, including saved shopping carts, quick orders and product comparisons. In addition, the store shows the customer individual discounts for each item in the shopping cart and during the ordering process.
Niehues also has the option of setting the price information "on request" for selected items that require explanation. In this way, the customer can also receive advice during the contact process. Customers who are not logged in do not see any prices, but can query the stock of products from the ERP.
Following the launch of the B2B online store, Niehues plans to gradually expand its e-commerce platform and introduce new convenient functionalities for its customers.
How Th. Niehues benefits from it’s e-commerce platform
By entering the online business, Niehues secures its further growth, increases its profile and can reach new customer groups. With the modern e-commerce platform from silver.solutions, the retailer covers all requirements of its e-commerce strategy and can add further modules and functions to the store in the next step.