New England BioLabs
The B2B E-Commerce Revolution is Here
- Transformation Consulting
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Get to Know New England BioLabs
Founded in the mid-1970s as a collective of scientists committed to developing innovative products for the life sciences industry, New England Biolabs is now a recognized world leader in the discovery and production of enzymes for molecular biology applications. NEB is renowned for consistently providing exceptional product quality and unsurpassed technical support. For over four decades, NEB has been shaping the landscape of bioscience research by discovering, developing and supporting superior research reagents.
For a company like NEB, digital transformation was crucial to prolonged success. NEB was ahead of the curve when it came to digital transformation. They had shifted their processes to digital before partnering with Valtech. However, Digital Transformation is a continuing process rather than a one-time exercise. As such, NEB found themselves with a technology ecosystem that had evolved over time, and in the absence of a cohesive foundational strategy, it became cumbersome to sustain, especially when access to real-time data is essential for creating a truly transformative B2B experience.
NEB’s original setup utilized SAP ERP, Sitecore and Insite for their e-commerce offering. While this selection of different pieces to create the whole of their technology stack functioned to meet NEB’s needs, the different pieces often had trouble sharing data efficiently. Because of this, data would often take anywhere from 30 minutes to a few hours to get from one place to another. For instance, if a customer placed an order with NEB, it could take upwards of an hour before that order was even acknowledged or confirmed. This poor data integration also led to complications for NEB’s sales and customer service personnel.
Choosing the right partner
Sometimes, companies think that Digital Transformation is something to complete as a one-time exercise. The truth is that Digital Transformation, for many companies, is an ongoing process. As a company with a deep understanding of their end users, NEB embarked on the beginning of their digital transformation long ago.
When Insite was acquired by Episerver, it was clear that their chosen e-commerce offering would no longer be supported, and they needed to make a change. Given Valtech’s history with Data Integration, as well as our status as a Global SAP partner with Recognized Expertise as a Commerce provider, and our mature e-commerce consulting practice, we were well positioned to help with this end-to-end migration and to set the foundation for the continuation of NEB’s next wave of transformation.
The Importance of Data Integration in B2B Commerce
B2B has been transforming for a while. Everything from the way B2B companies have viewed their customers to the UI/UX of B2B platforms has undergone a shift that mirrors the contemporary B2C landscape. One way for B2B companies to continue the journey of their digital transformation is to improve data integration.
For NEB, the tech stack they built out of necessity created problems in the flow of data. Moving between data warehouses and without the ability to simply edit an order in one system and have those changes show up across other platforms caused a lot of headaches for sales and customer service employees.
One of the primary services Valtech was able to provide for NEB was to better provide them with a true wholistic understanding of how to leverage the power of the technologies they have and how it relates to creating better business processes to create truly transformative digital commerce experiences for their customers. With Valtech’s proven ability to perform in all of these areas, our partnership was a natural fit.
Short term goals
- Create a tech stack with SAP in the center of the ecosystem
- Cut down time for order process and confirmation
- Free up time spent managing different platforms and allow business users to focus on high level function
- Keep data consistent across all systems and ensure data transparency
Long term goals
- Create a scalable architecture to accommodate future growth
- Leverage benefits of a cohesive tech stack like real time information across all platforms
- Rationalize complicated business process and develop a release roadmap aligned with business goals
New England BioLabs
We switched NEB over to a service offering that better suits their needs, but that’s not the end of the story. As a result, NEB has been able to cut order response time tremendously as their ERP and e-commerce offering communicate immediately in real time, freeing up sales and customer service employees to perform higher level functions and provide more in-depth service to customers.
In addition to the immediate benefits of the integrated tech stack, NEB’s ability to scale and upgrade with ease into the future, as well as trust that they won’t run into a similar problem with one piece of their stack no longer being supported are equally important results.
It’s not enough to simply choose individual pieces that perform specific tasks on their own, it’s equally crucial that those pieces communicate in a clear and efficient fashion with one another. The importance of this kind of data integration is sure to be a factor for many B2B companies in the future, and should be addressed sooner rather than later. It’s important to note, however, that NEB’s case is not in opposition to composable architecture. Instead, it’s about the importance of exercising care when choosing pieces to fit into your final tech stack.