With a brand-new e-commerce platform that provides technical information on its products, the supplier of interconnect solutions Amphenol Air LB increases customers’ satisfaction as well as the value of the average basket.
Amphenol Air LB, French subsidiary of the American group Amphenol, is a supplier of connectors and fixing accessories for Commercial Aerospace, Defence, Rail Transit and Nuclear Energy. The products of this medium-sized enterprise with its 280 employees follow the advanced specifications and industrial standards of its target sectors. Every product comes with a mass of documentation that is used by the design teams of the Carignan-based company’s clients.
Up till now, engineers had to rely on unstructured documentation (catalogues and data sheets on paper or PDF, 3D files on request…) to choose which solutions to integrate in their equipment and systems that would be used in the design of airplanes, helicopters, drones, radars, etc. But nowadays, “the new generation of engineers want to go faster and get structured, relevant information in a few clicks without having to search through tonnes of catalogues,” says Pierre Krawtchenko, head of Marketing at Amphenol Air LB.
All the technical information available online
This was the demand that pushed the company to overhaul its website and provide customers with technical and marketing information on each product. “The idea is to have a technical platform that will make it much easier to provide customers with information without having to use catalogues, phone calls, emails, etc.”, our contact explains. The existing website, which till now was limited to general information on product categories, has been upgraded with a search engine and content related to each product. “This change in information level is precisely what makes our project so complex,” Pierre Krawtchenko adds.
Unsure of the best way to conduct this sizeable project, Amphenol Air LB approached Inetum in 2017 (Gfi at the time) to do an audit and preliminary scoping. The need to set up a product information management solution (PIM) became clear. Some 25,000 product references had to be managed, each with about 150 attributes, whether data, text or files. It was also vital for Amphenol Air LB to be able to integrate the new system in their Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP and PTC Windchill PDMLink product design software. “The fact that Inetum had experience in these two environments was an important reason for choosing them as a service provider,” our contact tells us.
Magento plus Akeneo to combine e-commerce and PIM
During the audit phase, Inetum suggested various possibilities for a web-PIM platform. Amphenol Air LB opted for the duo Adobe-Magento for its e-commerce site, and Akeneo for its PIM. “While all the solutions matched our criteria, the demonstrations guided our final choice,” Pierre Krawtchenko points out.
Satisfied with the outcome of the first phase, the Ardennes-based company continued to rely on Inetum for the rollout of its web platform. The project ran parallel to the updating and formatting of the interconnect supplier’s databases and technical documentation. A massive amount of in-house work that took time. The new site was delivered in September 2020 with 5,000 product references. “If we had to wait until we had all the technical information on all 25,000 products before launching the site, it would have taken years. We therefore decided to do it in stages,” he explains. The entire catalogue should be online in two years.
Increasing the value of the average basket
But it’s already paying off. “Many customers have remarked on the user-friendliness of the site and on its wealth of information,” the marketing manager assures us. The site also has a feature for finding compatible products, which is very handy for customers as well as salespeople. “It’s a great tool for increasing the average basket and soliciting customers,” the Amphenol Air LB spokesperson affirms. “The advantages become clear when you see Sales using it on a daily basis.”
Although the qualitative benefits are real, the health crisis and its dramatic impact on the aerospace industry does not make it easy to calculate ROI. “The slump in the aerospace business has curbed the results we expected,” Pierre Krawtchenko admits. “But we’ll be there when the sector picks up again, as it is sure to do.” Independently of the current situation, he salutes the skills of the Inetum teams, in particular their ability to translate the company’s specificities into technological solutions and to explain these in an understandable way. “This is as important as technical skills, and it has contributed to the project’s success,” he concludes. A sign of trust is the fact that Amphenol Air LB has now chosen Inetum to continue with the application maintenance of its platform.