frechverlag creates an improved shopping experience via new end-customer logistics
By using the eF|CommerceEngine, the company has optimised its processes and ensured increased customer satisfaction
Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart — for many companies, the outsourcing of end-customer logistics is the solution to a problem, since in-house processing often poses an almost insurmountable challenge. However, outsourcing often results in a new set of problems, as the publishing company frechverlag also discovered when its logistical processes became the subject of an increasing number of customer complaints. However, frechverlag was unable to trace the problematic processes in individual cases. In order to actively counteract this problem, the publisher decided to take logistics back into its own hands and instead chose to rely on software provided by eFulfilment Transaction Services GmbH. As an innovation driver for eBusiness, eFulfilment has developed the basis for efficient eCommerce structures and a closed value chain in the form of its proprietary process software, the eF|CommerceEngine. For frechverlag, eFulfilment created custom solutions for the representation and integration of authors and also for the management of free and review copies. However, by using the eF|CommerceEngine, frechverlag was not only able to successfully manage its end-customer logistics. The resulting system optimisations also led to improved performance, the development of new sales channels and, last but not least, increased customer satisfaction.
Optimise more than purchasing with the eF|CommerceEngine
In order to be able to supply customers faster and trace logistical process within the company, frechverlag opted for a solution that included system optimisation. To cope with the complex requirements of end-customer logistics, a control centre for all processes related to modern commerce was required — a task perfectly suited to the eF|CommerceEngine’s order management functionality, which can be used to resolve all existing problems, open up additional sales channels and improve customer service. The company plans to connect the software to other marketplaces in the future. In addition, a new packaging option was created that allows customers to choose gift wrapping.
One control centre for all processes
The eF|CommerceEngine’s real-time interface controls the data exchange between the process engine and the Pondus online publishing software. The eF|CommerceEngine interprets the information from Pondus and makes it available to the customer in an appropriate form. This allows the online shop to obtain article master data, stocks, shipping information and other important data from the eF|CommerceEngine without any delay. frechverlag’s staff therefore only have to enter the product data, including the author information, at one central location.
“We were looking for software that acts as a central interface and combines the online shop, logistics, resource planning system and payment service provider,” says Saskia Templin, head of online services at frechverlag. “With the eF|CommerceEngine, we’ve found a solution that adapts to our specific needs as if it were tailor-made for us.”
For frechverlag, the detail lies in the various product types — besides the inventory-managed items, the company also needs to manage pre-orders for new releases, bundles and digital goods. Additionally, the online shop often has to make use of other processes depending on the product type.
Authors and free copies were a particular challenge
Publishers today are faced with a variety of new requirements. For example, author information needs be included as an additional factor and associated with the respective items. Thanks to its open technology and versatile interfaces, a solution was created that allows the eF|CommerceEngine to also process the author details. Furthermore, frechverlag’s sales process for digital goods and its shipping service are now running more smoothly.
Beyond this, eFulfilment also developed tailor-made approaches for other aspects of the business, including processes to manage free copies and provide review copies. Despite the fact that the items removed from the in-house inventory for marketing purposes must not appear in the company’s sales figures, they nevertheless need to be traceable — the experts at eFulfilment therefore created a targeted solution based on an additional distribution channel.
In addition, suppliers’ repeat orders are now being processed by the new platform. And, because it is fully scalable, the eF|CommerceEngine also ensures that frechverlag is optimally equipped to face the challenges of the future.
frechverlag was founded in 1955 and is the market leader in guidebooks for creative pursuits. The company relies on its keen sense of the current trends and offers a range of expert information for DIY fans of all kinds. Whether for crafting, baking, needlework or creative activities for children, this innovative publisher has the matching literature available. Creative types who devote themselves to painting and drawing or designing their personal living space will also find inspiring reading material among the market leader’s offerings. In addition, the publisher from Stuttgart offers a variety of creative sets, including its “book plus material” range on popular topics. For the sake of clarity, the product range is subdivided into the TOPP and BusseSeewald brands. Some 1,500 items are offered for sale via the publisher’s online shops at www.topp-kreativ.de and www.busse-seewald.de.
frechverlag is a subsidiary of WEKA Holding, a German media group for specialist and special interest information. The publishing group is the eighth largest specialist publisher of German-language literature and comprises nineteen media companies in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and France. The headquarters of WEKA Holding is located in Kissing near Augsburg. Since its founding in 1973, the group has been owned by its founders, the Mützel family.