LTL Woodproducts: Taking Customer Service Optimization in their own hands
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For 115 years, LTL Woodproducts has imported wood from all over the world. The wood is distributed from the headquarters in Vianen, the Netherlands. The company serves a large market of 1,400 regular customers. To continue their successful history and solid market position, LTL needs to continuously develop their processes. Customer research showed that customers desire stock insights and the possibility to order online. LTL Woodproducts took their customer service optimization in their own hands and developed the desired application with WEM.
“The economy is growing and market demands are increasing,” says Bas Bouman, system and application manager at LTL Woodproducts. “With increasing demands and online possibilities, we want to stay ahead with our services.”
When the company investigated the costs of implementation, Bas was not enthused: “The quotes we received from vendors varied between € 10.000 and € 40.000. And then you never know how long it actually takes until launch.”
Instead of relying on an external vendor, Bas took the realization of the application in his own hands with WEM.
A complex and crucial system
Bas has worked at LTL for 38 years and therefore knows exactly what kind of process solution works best for the company, as well as for its customers. In a short period of time, he built a system in WEM that keeps track of LTL’s current stock and allows customers to make online orders. The system is also integrated with the company’s existing application landscape. Managing and keeping the stock status up-to-date is essential for a wholesale business such as LTL Woodproducts.
“We’re working with 150 different wood products that come in different sizes and are differently processed. You can imagine the complexity of such a database. LTL Woodproducts makes use of an internal ERP system to manage products, customers, financial administration and more. The application I built in WEM exposes real-time stock information. Customers can login, see all available products and stock-amounts, and immediately place orders.”
Real-time overview for employees and customers
Information updates are managed in the company’s ERP system and are directly available in the new application. LTL mainly works with regular customers, which is why the company decided to create an environment in which the customer can easily login and be provided with an overview of all available products. With a simple search field and filter options, the desired product can be easily found, along with all necessary product information, specifications and number of stock items. With a one-click order button, the product is put into the shopping cart, and the price quote can be requested by the customer.
Even the sales team switched to using the new system for checking the stock status, instead of the ERP system.
“The required information is now only two clicks away. Previously, there were a lot more clicks required. In addition, when our colleagues are visiting customers, quotes can be offered instantly, on site. They are using tablets for that. No wonder the new system is very popular among the sales team.”
Saving a lot of time and hassle
The new application is not only loved by customers, but also positively affects internal activities of the organization. The application saves sales assistants much time and hassle in trying to coordinate with customers.
Previously, product requests were placed by telephone, e-mail and brochures. Now, the customer is provided with an up-to-date status report, at any time, and can immediately place the order. “No phone calls necessary anymore,” Bas explains.
Developed in house
Bas was able to develop the application completely by himself after a WEM Training.
“This is so fast and easy compared to what I’ve experienced in IT. With WEM I’ve developed the basic system myself within only three weeks, without needing any external help. I enjoyed it so much, I even continued modeling after office hours. It’s been great fun to discover something new again.”
After testing the new system among a selected customer base and processing the adaption requirements, the application went live within four weeks on desktops, tablets, and smartphones.
“Look how fast it is! I click on this product and the stock information is immediately presented to you. You wouldn’t think that this information is being consumed from our ERP system here in Vianen.”
Quick launch in Europe
“Ten percent of our customers actively use the new order process already,” Bas tells us. Soon the system will be launched in the UK and other countries within Europe. “This application is a solid foundation, and there is so much more we can do to expand it. We have more ideas to automate our processes, from which our employees and customers will greatly benefit.”
The internally gained WEM knowledge and experience offers a great start for more innovative solutions. Now that LTL Woodproducts knows the potential of WEM, more applications will be developed.