At Corevist, SAP eCommerce integrations are our bread and butter. We’ve built them for 9 years, and our team has over 300,000 hours of experience in the field. But if there’s one thing we’ve learned over those 9 years, it’s that SAP eCommerce is constantly evolving. Nothing illustrates that point better than our recent integration between Salesforce, SAP, and a manufacturer’s eCommerce store.
The problem: Connecting B2B and B2C
B2B eCommerce comes in many shapes and sizes, and it’s more complex than B2C. There are as many business models as there are businesses doing B2B.
In this case, our client, a manufacturer, contracts with individual “job coaters” (painters who perform custom paint jobs for consumers). The paint job could be anything from a chair, to a closet, to a ’72 Porsche 911. In B2B eCommerce terms, the job coater plays the role of a dealer who buys product from the manufacturer and gets it to its final destination, where it is purchased by a consumer. In this case, the product is paint, and the final purchase includes a service (the paint job, performed by the job coater).
The manufacturer manages all of this in SAP. But how can consumers get their work requests to job coaters? And how can job coaters input those finalized orders into SAP?
The solution: B2-C2-B2B mobile app that talks to SAP and Salesforce
The manufacturer developed a mobile app that’s available for public download. This is the consumer-facing entry point to the sales process. It’s very easy to use, and it’s perfect for the job at hand.
A consumer downloads the app, then takes up to 4 pictures of the object which needs a paint job and uploads the pictures to the app. The customer can select from 30 paint colors, each of which maps 1:1 to an SKU in Salesforce.
Behind the scenes, the app automatically creates an opportunity in Salesforce, which the manufacturer uses for CRM (customer relationship management). The app uploads the pictures to the Salesforce opportunity and selects the Salesforce SKU(s) that match the colors which the customer requested. An algorithm in Salesforce uses mobile phone geolocation to assign the job to the nearest job coater.
The job coater gets a notification about the opportunity and logs into Salesforce. Without seeing the customer’s contact information, the job coater creates a quote for the request, which is sent back to the customer.
Within the app, the customer accepts the quote and pays. Once payment has processed, the order is sent to Corevist, which posts it to SAP (including the SKU data for the paints).
Here’s where it gets interesting. The job coater only gets the customer’s contact information after Corevist has posted the order to SAP. This careful control of information ensures that the job coater can only order paint from the manufacturer, who first registered the opportunity. It keeps the revenue from each opportunity in the manufacturer’s sales funnel.
Three technologies supporting three stages of a complex sales cycle
Consumers have different needs than job coaters, and job coaters have different needs than the Manufacturer. Consumers expect a glossy, seamless experience that reinforces the value of the brand they’re interacting with. The job coaters need a way to receive consumer work requests and input them into the Manufacturer’s back office software. And the Manufacturer needs to see all of that in one place (SAP).
Corevist provides the ability for Salesforce to post its order into SAP. It’s a simple scenario with products that are always available, so there is no need to run order simulations against SAP data (which would complicate the process). It’s an elegant, no frills solution that encapsulates all SAP flaws and complicated return messages into a YES/NO on whether the order has been placed or not.
The B2-C2-B2B mobile app talking to SAP and Salesforce solves each party’s problem. Data integrity is maintained across all 3 platforms, and each user can manipulate the part of the data that is theirs to handle. The consumer gets his Porsche painted; the job coater gets work; and the manufacturer closes the B2B sales opportunity (selling paint) while getting accurate data input into Salesforce and SAP. It’s a win-win situation.
SAP B2B eCommerce has taught us that complexity isn’t going away. It’s here to stay. As B2B companies further diversify their channels, we expect to see more and more integrations across CRMs, ERPs, B2B eCommerce stores, and consumer-facing portals.
As it stands, we’re proud to have built an integration between Salesforce, eCommerce, and SAP. If you want to know more about the possibilities for integrations to support complex business models, get in touch with us today. We would love to hear from you.