Fastparts Web

Fastparts

Discover how an e-commerce platform made specifically for B2B prepared the Fastparts team for an influx of business and helped the company thrive despite 2020 disruption.

  • Distributor of spare parts for tractors and other agricultural machinery
  • Founded by the Scrivener and Krone families in 1962
  • Dublin-based, servicing Ireland and Northern Ireland
  • Works with a network of 350 dealers nationwide

2.5 times

more online orders since 2018

Migrated to 

Sana Commerce Cloud

Over 4 years

with Sana Commerce

The challenge

Tackling the peak periods and out-of-date paper product catalogs

Fastparts first began their e-commerce journey back in 2012. This small and midsized business in the farming and agricultural industry realized it needed to continue innovating in order to stay ahead of the competition and, most importantly, meet customer needs.

Fastparts faced two challenges prior to implementing an e-commerce solution:

  • Tackling peak periods: Fastparts used to operate their order process predominantly by phone, with dealers calling the head office directly or sales representatives manually processing orders. Parts Director Sinead Scrivener explains, “Due to the seasonal nature of agriculture, we encounter our busiest periods between May and September. During this time we were inundated with calls. Customers couldn’t always get through to place orders and we were unable to dispatch products the same day.”
  • Outdated paper product catalogs: Like many B2B companies, Fastparts used to rely on print catalogs to relay product information to customers. However, the tipping point for Fastparts was when the company printed its last catalog in 2012 and it was immediately out-of-date.
Fastparts

Adopting an e-commerce solution was a natural progression. Up until this point we were quite an old-fashioned company, but we realized we needed to move on fairly quickly to protect our future growth.

Fastparts Sinead Scrivener | Parts Director at Fastparts

Challenges with past e-commerce platforms

Fastparts had previously trialed two different web store platforms, but did not get the results it was looking for due to the following reasons:

  • Fastparts had to manually update its web store’s prices, stock data and discounts every 24 hours.
  • The e-commerce platforms the company tested were created specifically for B2C companies. As a result, B2B functionalities didn’t work or fit the web store.

Due to these discouraging trials, Fastparts quickly realized that selecting the right e-commerce provider would be crucial to its online success.

The solution

E-commerce built with the ERP and for B2B

Ultimately, Fastparts chose Sana Commerce’s solution because:

  • The web store could be integrated with its existing ERP platform. Instead of manually updating stock data and pricing every 24 hours as Fastparts had done when trialing previous web stores, Sana Commerce integrates seamlessly with the company’s Microsoft Dynamics NAV platform and replicates changes instantly. This provides a reliable and accurate representation of stock, based on the real-time data from Fastparts’ ERP.
  • The e-commerce platform fits perfectly with its business model and CRM solution. Sana Commerce’s e-commerce platform is specifically tailored to the B2B industry, making its features and functionalities fit perfectly with Fastparts’ business model.

More than just a solution: Partnering with Sana Commerce

Sinead Scrivener has worked with Fastparts since 2014. Alongside her team, she has overseen Fastparts’ e-commerce project since its inception. While she and her team were new to e-commerce, as most B2B companies were 4 years ago, they were able to learn everything along the way.

While at times it was difficult learning a new system, Sinead acknowledged that, “with these kinds of projects, as long as you know your business, you can learn everything else, like e-commerce. Whereas the other way around, you can know e-commerce, but it can be quite difficult to train someone on your business.”

What made working with Sana Commerce valuable to Sinead and her team? Sana Commerce was able to help them with their e-commerce journey by providing quality customer support and making numerous resources and support channels available.

We felt really supported and there was a lot of help there when we needed it. Every day presents new challenges that we have to get over, but we’ve learned so much and can now solve issues more easily than we could back when we first started.

Fastparts Sinead Scrivener | Parts Director at Fastparts

The results

Fastparts: The clear winner over disruption

After its web store went live, Fastparts quickly saw results: Within a few months, around 30% of orders were already being processed online, and now three years later, that percentage has nearly tripled.

Three years post-implementation with Sana Commerce, Fastparts has also:

  • Geared up for an influx of new business throughout Brexit disruption: The last three years have been wild and unpredictable. Brexit disrupted traditional supply chains throughout Ireland and the UK. However, despite all this, Fastparts thrived. Brexit positively impact Ireland-based Fastparts because many of the company’s competitors were based in the UK. Because of this, extra business poured into Fastparts as agricultural parts buyers looked for reliable distributors who wouldn’t be bogged down by Brexit complexities.
  • Stayed ahead of COVID-19 uncertainty: As if Brexit wasn’t enough change, COVID-19 hit and cast waves of doubt, insecurity and uncertainty around the world. Like many companies, Fastparts’ employees were suddenly forced to work from home. While dramatic, business ran as usual. Armed with their laptops and home offices, sales representatives could function normally because product information, stocks, pricing, customer data and order details were all available to them from their Sana Commerce store. Nice, right?
  • Improved product and pricing visibility: Sana Commerce offers sophisticated features for web store administrators to have greater visibility of key information and processes. Using the data already present in the ERP, managers can view product images, create bills of materials and sort products by physical dimension.
  • Built a solid partnership: Having learned from previous false starts with web stores that the right partner is key, it was important for Fastparts to choose an e-commerce provider who understood their requirements. “Sana Commerce just seemed to understand our business model straight away and this was really important to us. We were really happy with the support and the communication; it was very clear who we needed to approach with different queries.”
  • Received positive customer feedback: Customer feedback has also been largely positive, especially around the platform’s functionality and ease of use. “Sana Commerce has enabled customers and our sales representatives to be more productive and independent. They can access everything they need more quickly and spend less time waiting in phone queues,” says Sinead.

Our sales representatives were initially dubious of the new system, especially after the previous false starts, but the feedback has been very positive. They have access to more information including stocks, pricing, pictures and recommendations so they have a better understanding of the products.

Fastparts Sinead Scrivener | Parts Director at Fastparts

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