Next level digital customer experience

Wacker Chemie AG relies on SAP Commerce Cloud

CX
SAP Gold Partner Logo, Valantic CX

The project

For WACKER, it is crucial to focus on its customers and optimize all contact points at all times. Therefore, it is clear what this German chemical company aims to do to its online presence in the future: Move from a shop that works to a platform that users love. To realize this vision, the existing system environment must be transformed – and become a modern digital experience. But how can this transformation succeed? Thanks to efficient cooperation with valantic and using the technological basis of SAP Commerce Cloud.

Photo of two Wacker employees

The results at a glance

WACKER has been a valantic customer for more than 10 years. The large digital commerce project, which not only connects the two companies today, but will also do so in the future, was launched with onboarding in 2019.
What began with a support call by WACKER in 2019 – namely to stabilize the existing Hybris Commerce system and fix bugs – quickly developed into an intensive cooperation:

A close partnership has emerged from this one project.

  • A close partnership has emerged from this one project.
  • From implementation to digital partner: valantic is helping WACKER along the path to the digital experience.
  • Due to Wacker’s great satisfaction with valantic’s services, the next steps toward the modern digital experience will be taken together.
  • Main components of the project: Customer portal, content, and shop on wacker.com and PIM
  • Immediately after the project was taken over, performance increased significantly.

The challenge

WACKER's customer portal and web shop were based on ideas and technologies that were in the process of becoming obsolete and required state-of-the-art modernization. WACKER decided to focus more on individual customer needs – and thus create a new and improved customer experience.

Screenshot of the WACKER website

What is really important to WACKER’s customers in terms of the buying experience? This was what the company wanted to find out in a customer survey. The answers provided key aspects for a smooth ordering process:

  • Quick ordering
  • Transparent order processing
  • Flexible order adjustments
  • Compatibility with proprietary systems
Thorsten Rahf

IT Process Manager Sales & Marketing, Wacker Chemie AG

"In valantic, we have found an implementation partner on whom we can rely for our digital commerce topics. Both when designing our IT system environment and expanding our SAP Commerce platform, we always have the right experts on our side. A perfect match for the consistent implementation of a digital customer experience for WACKER customers."

Facts, figures, data

14,300

employees

3,200

products for all key global industries

Business areas: Silicones, Polymers, Biosolutions, and Polysilicon

Industry focus: Chemical industry

Industry focus: Chemical industry The solution: Next level customer experience

Based on the findings of the customer survey, WACKER decided to step up its approach to digital commerce. The goal was to take the customer experience to the next level. Customers on the platform expect the following:

  • Both past and open orders and status updates are visible
  • The current location of the delivery can be called up 24/7 via Track and Trace
  • Relevant documents concerning orders or material are just one click away
  • All invoices and documents are clearly arranged
100% customer orientation, 100% performance: A next level e-commerce experience is all ready to go.

WACKER and valantic: What has happened so far

After the go-live of a market companion, valantic took over the WACKER digital project in 2019. The takeover was an already established and structured (“onboarding”) process. The careful and parallel review of the strategy, processes, and technology – also called due diligence – was followed by the so-called transition phase, i.e. the gradual transition to the new platform.

At the start of the project in 2019, valantic’s comprehensive strategy consulting helped set up the new system architecture. In a workshop, WACKER worked with valantic to develop the big technological picture in the digital commerce sector, and valantic also made specific technical recommendations for the target architecture.

In the transition phase, the main goal was to stabilize and optimize the existing Hybris Commerce system, fix bugs, and close processes. This is how immediate added value was created at the start, which was reflected in a significant performance improvement. Soon afterwards, the first major topics started moving toward an optimized CX – in addition to the continuous development of the commerce system.

"We at WACKER were very pleased with the smooth transition phase from our former implementation partner to valantic. We find the proactive consultation and discussions as equal partners very pleasant. In daily business too, our collaboration is characterized by sound analyses and proposals, which are often thought out beyond the box and thus bring real added value for future processes at WACKER." – Andreas Mühlbauer, Solution Owner SAP Commerce, Wacker Chemie AG

Good to know:

The safety data sheets for chemical substances – SDS data for short – are a core element for WACKER. However, they had not yet been imported into SAP Commerce (Hybris). Prior to valantic’s optimization, the run time for a full import was approximately 40,320 minutes. After that, the load time decreased to 300 minutes, which was significantly less than the target value of 1,440 minutes. So the data is always up-to-date in the system.

Building a global digital commerce solution in the B2B environment

Product content & catalog management (PCM) on the one hand and B2B-commerce on the other: WACKER’s new website had to take these two focal topics into account in the best possible way. For this purpose, the e-commerce product platform SAP Commerce (formerly Hybris) was introduced as a central component.

 

Because all the good things come in threes, the three major areas in which valantic is assisting WACKER are explained below.

wacker.com

The company's website offers an open forum to inform users who are not logged in about products, data sheets, and brochures. In the course of 2021, "My Account" will also be launched – initially in the Benelux countries and in the first step only for registered, selected customers. This closed forum will provide a number of additional features in the future, including: Real-time information about order status Reach the customer advisor (CSR) in a few clicks Deliveries with Track & Trace Overview of open and past invoices Role-based access for the logistics, accounting, and sales departments Intuitive search 24/7 accessibility anywhere and via the preferred end user devices

Screenshot of the WACKER website presented on a smartphone.

Internal Product Portal (IPP)

IPP is a portal available exclusively on the WACKER internal network with special features for employees. These include the product search, which is structured in the same way as the corresponding feature on the website, but the search here also includes products that are only accessible internally. The material search provides access to material detail pages that contain SAP material data and packaging information.

Screenshot of the WACKER Product Finder presented on a smartphone.

PIM

Simply put, product information management (PIM) serves as a central data repository. It includes all relevant information about products, materials, and chemical substances. This information is obtained partly from SAP. Various functionalities for product data display have been specially configured – for example for the search, the product recommendation table and product comparisons. In addition, PIM includes the order and customer data replicated from the ERP for the "My Account."

Screenshot of the WACKER website presented on a smartphone.
Screenshot of the WACKER website presented on a smartphone.
Hans Müller

Product Owner wacker.com, Wacker Chemie AG

"valantic has been helping us implement our ideas in a flexible, mature, and pragmatic process for a year and a half now. The results have won over both our employees and the customers who use our services every day."

The special feature: Migration to the SAP Commerce Cloud

“Move 2 Cloud,” the shift from SAP Commerce on-premise to SAP Commerce Cloud with complex infrastructure, was completed in 2020. The company’s chemical environment brought with it special requirements, such as special regulations regarding imports and exports, pricing, product lists, and quantities. Overall, valantic and WACKER have mastered these challenges with flying colors.

WACKER benefits from migrating to the cloud:

Scalability: Especially when it comes to licensing issues, increasing complexity, and required capacity

Cloud: Always up-to-date with the latest technology (updates or similar) and faster roll-out of new features

Reduction of infrastructure costs: Server integrated into licenses

Monitoring and visibility: Analyses of the database, log management, and performance

Standardization: Standardized SAP environment that provides more and better support. The desire for "out-of-the-box" thinking is more likely to be met

Conclusion

valantic has succeeded in creating a digital customer experience for WACKER that is unrivaled. The result is a customer-centric platform that is fully integrated with the site – an advanced solution that is technologically based on SAP Commerce Cloud.

Bastian Pfaff

E-Business Manager, Wacker Chemie AG

"The cooperation with valantic is a partnership of equals and is characterized by mutual trust and great understanding of the needs of our customers, partners, and employees."

Technology used at a glance: SAP Commerce Cloud

  • SAP Commerce on-premise, migration to SAP Commerce Cloud (Move 2 Cloud)
  • Establishment of a front-end architecture (based on Vue JS) that is fit for the future
  • Optimization of the PIM and PCM
  • Product content & catalog management (PCM)

Next-level customer experience with valantic

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