By Ryan Sasscer, Director of eCommerce & Digitization, Sonepar USA
Becoming an industry leader in eCommerce is an ongoing journey that requires constantly growing and adapting as we strive to reach our goals. As we continue on our journey at Sonepar USA, our primary focus remains offering the most versatile, customer-centric digital solutions to our customers.
Though our industry has been slow to adopt digital business, the rest of the world has not. We live in a digital world and digital business has become so much more than ordering online. Our websites must function as an extension of our customers’ businesses with the tools they need to manage their projects and day-to-day tasks. Whether it’s tracking material releases, viewing invoices, managing projects and more, our new websites don’t just offer the product they need to do their job – they offer the tools to help them do it more efficiently.
Our digital journey has of course been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Navigating bumps in the road and unforeseen detours requires us to make adjustments to continue serving our customers and their essential businesses. As such, digital capabilities have become more important than ever before. Instead of slowing down, at Sonepar USA we have put our foot on the gas. We have transitioned three of our 13 operating companies onto our new platform to great response and will have transitioned the remaining 10 by October of this year.
This pandemic has pushed our customers to look at how they’re running their businesses and some of the face-to-face processes they have relied on in the past won’t continue on in the future. With the implementation of our new websites, our customers’ needs can be met online in a fully self-service model where they can get the information they need when they need it.
In addition to the technical piece, there’s also a people component that is crucial to our success. Our digital leaders must be connected to every aspect of the business, driving adoption and educating our teams on their role in our journey. Every single department touches and builds on digital, making it everyone’s responsibility to help drive it. We are hyper-focused on delivering the perfect customer experience and are well-positioned to ensure we deliver.
In a digital world, you must always be thinking about what’s next. By the time we’ve reached a destination on our journey, new technology or processes have come along that require us to adapt again. One of the keys to our success at Sonepar USA is our decentralized model. We have 13 business operating independently but all striving to do what’s best for the customer. From that we gain a more comprehensive view of our customers’ needs because of the different voices across our organization bringing feedback and new ideas to the teams, driving more creativity and providing us with the opportunity to learn from and build off of each other.