“The Sana e-commerce platform has been a great win for us, as far as the flexibility and scalability offered to us. In the new platform, utilizing Sana (and the RSM and Microsoft Dynamics platforms), we have been able to grow our capabilities and offer greater benefits for our customers on the back end.”
– Mike Maloney | VP of Technology at Century Martial Arts
About Century Martial Arts
Century Martial Arts is the world leader in martial arts supplies and services. Founded in 1973, Century Martial Arts has – for years – invested in top-notch customer service, in the research and development (R&D) of their martial arts equipment, and in the technology required to support their organization. This investment has resulted in a customer-centric, technology-driven organization that, today, sells over 11,000 SKUs across wholesale and retail business models.
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“One of the reasons we leaned into a Sana solution is because we needed one that could support —out of the box—the pricing engine that exists in [Dynamics AX]. We have to be able to support a B2C and a B2B scenario, even with a B2B scenario that’s pretty complex.”
– Chris Rooney | Business Analyst for E-commerce at Century Martial Arts
Enabling E-commerce and Technology-Driven Growth
As an organization that leverages technology to grow and evolve their business, Century Martial Arts sought out a new e-commerce experience and platform with Sana Commerce — not as a newcomer in the e-commerce space, but as a business with an existing e-commerce experience that was looking to go a step further.
Due to a slew of challenges and security issues with their initial e-commerce experience, Century Martial Arts chose Sana Commerce (along with Dynamics ERP implementation partner, RSM) to help them move beyond their legacy systems, to get a new web store live quickly, and to enable more B2B functionality that would accelerate business success.
Mike Maloney, VP of Technology at Century Martial Arts, explains why Sana made sense as their e-commerce partner:
“In addition to the benefits the [Dynamics-integrated e-commerce] package offers, we made the decision to choose Sana because of the timeframe within which they were able to develop and produce an e-commerce solution for us. We could get a web store live and an e-commerce platform functioning in a tight, 90-day window.”
With a short project runtime being of the highest priority, Century Martial Arts was primarily focused on being able to get their web store running as soon as possible. But that doesn’t mean they didn’t keep key e-commerce priorities and functionalities on their wish list.
Project requirements included:
- Fast web store implementation (to be live ahead of the holiday season)
- A unified solution that would support both a B2B wholesale and B2C retail solution
- Mobile responsive design (to replace their former, separate mobile site)
- B2B-specific functionality to enable volume- and customer-specific pricing and ordering
“An important aspect of the Sana platform that we take advantage of is the ability to customize what is displayed per customer segment. We need to sell products to subsets of our wholesale customers, in addition to providing content experiences that are targeted to both our retail and wholesale audiences,” says Chris Rooney, Business Analyst for E-commerce at Century Martial Arts.
Custom Price Caching for Fast, Reliable Performance
Sana Commerce delivered all that and more: a flexible solution from which the client could manage both B2B and B2C business processes – all while remaining aligned and integrated with Dynamics AX. In addition, Sana, RSM, and Century Martial Arts worked together to develop a custom solution to a unique pain that Century Martial Arts was challenged with online: initial performance delays caused by the complexity of their pricing structures and product assortments.
“For our single, best-selling product alone, we have 153 SKUs. Together with our complex pricing, our large number of SKUs presents a challenge because we want a strong e-commerce experience that’s also fast and populates accurate data. [So, to ensure good web store performance], we needed to be able to cache pricing information instead of making an ERP call each time,” says Rooney.
“We worked with Sana and RSM to develop a price-caching solution that allows our all of our pricing data to be pulled into the web store with our product import task, which means that our product detail pages (PDP) and product list pages (PLP) only need to make ERP calls to retrieve inventory data and not also to retrieve pricing information,” he adds.
As a result, page load speed on the Century Martial Arts web store was 10x faster, dropping to as low as 2-second load times.
Together with Century Martial Arts and RSM, Sana Commerce was able to launch an e-commerce experience that checked all the right boxes and was delivered on deadline. The resulting Dynamics ERP- integrated e-commerce solution turned out to be mutually beneficial for Century Martial Arts and their customers right off the bat. But the successes continued beyond implementation.
The Wins So Far: Dynamics-AX Powered E-commerce with Sana
Century Martial Arts’ feedback on their web store has been overwhelmingly positive, but it’s the adoption from customers that speaks to the power of the experience most clearly. The benefits of investing in a Sana solution, just a few months post-launch, already include:
- Higher adoption of e-commerce for wholesale buyers (with online orders making up 40% of the wholesale B2B business)
- Slashed resource and staffing shortage issues in Century Martial Arts call centers, thanks to a higher volume of online self-service adoption
- As much as 25-30% of online sales in their B2C retail business
- A more visually engaging and less outdated web store design
- Stronger SEO and online marketing capabilities
- Better inventory accuracy and a reduction in order errors
Even in the face of challenges throughout the project, the strength of the relationship between Century Martial Arts and Sana made resolving matters simple and pain-free.
Of the Century Martial Arts-Sana Commerce relationship, Emily Flowers (Director of E-commerce at Century Martial Arts) says:
“Sana is always quick to take action, and very transparent in how they communicate with us.”
With regard to Sana’s professionalism, and Century Martial Arts’ partnership with RSM, Maloney adds:
“With Sana, the team steps up to resolve any issues that come up in a proactive and direct way. It speaks volumes, and it’s clear that Sana is a partner in our business, not just a vendor, in the same way that [our ERP implementation partner], RSM, is. I’m excited to see that RSM and Sana have joined together; it’s a huge win for us in particular, but also for anyone else that’s utilizing a Dynamics ERP on their back end.”
– Mike Maloney | VP of Technology at Century Martial Arts
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