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Humanizing eCommerce to Build Better Experiences


Humanizing eCommerce to Build Better Experiences

Named the 2018 AD Commerce Plumbing Member of the Year

18 months after InsiteCommerce implementation, Consolidated saw a 157% increase in online registered users

After hiring Digital Engagement Specialists, Active Ordering customers increased by 146%

Doing Ordinary Things Extraordinarily Well

At Consolidated Supply Co. service goes far beyond the ordinary. From the moment the company opened its doors over 90 years ago, to this day, Consolidated Supply has been committed to delivering extraordinary customer service and the highest quality plumbing, heating and water works solutions to professional plumbers and utility contractors.

Consolidated strives for excellence in everything they do and recognizes that it takes continuous improvement to do so. And it’s not just talk. Consolidated guarantees service beyond the ordinary with their commitment to deliver on their five company promises. Consolidated Supply is willing to put their money where their mouth is. Anytime one of their Five Service Guarantee promises isn’t fulfilled, the Company issues a $25 Service Guarantee credit and initiates an internal discovery process to determine why they missed the mark.

Delivering the Promise isn’t just a mission statement or a company standard. It’s engrained in Consolidated Supply’s culture. It guides their processes and their commitment to their customers. In an effort to continue delivering extraordinary service in an ever-evolving industry, Consolidated Supply is transforming their business with eCommerce, and Josh Schoonmaker, Consolidated’s Director of Digital Solutions, is leading the charge.

Consolidated’s Promise Statements

We will never be out of stock on our published Service Guarantee products

Will call orders will be ready for pickup at the mutually agreed upon time

Resalable stock product returns will be credited by the close of the next business day

You will receive exactly what you ordered

We will deliver your order to you at the mutually agreed upon time

Serving Customers in the 21st Century (And Competing with National Players)

Consolidated Supply Co. is a company ahead of their time. As other players in the industry struggle to keep up with the pace, Consolidated Supply is transforming their business to accommodate the changing wants and needs of their customers. What does that look like? A seamless digital experience that enables customers to self-serve anytime, anywhere.

“At Consolidated our commitment has always been to making it easier for our customers to do their jobs. To deliver on that promise, we have to leverage technologies that are becoming an interwoven reality to modern work life.”

– Josh Schoonmaker, Director of Digital Solutions

“At Consolidated our commitment has always been to making it easier for our customers to do their jobs. To deliver on that promise, we have to leverage technologies that are becoming an interwoven reality to modern work life.”

– Josh Schoonmaker, Director of Digital Solutions

“At Consolidated our commitment has always been to making it easier for our customers to do their jobs. To deliver on that promise, we have to leverage technologies that are becoming an interwoven reality to modern work life.”

– Josh Schoonmaker, Director of Digital Solutions

In addition to building a better experience for their customers, Consolidated Supply knew they needed to deploy a digital branch or risk losing customers to national competitors.

“We recognized that without offering eCommerce we weren’t going to be competitive at all. It was a strategic initiative in staying relevant for the next 5, 10, 20 years,” said Schoonmaker.

In August 2017, Schoonmaker was hired to manage eCommerce. In his first two weeks in the role, he was tasked with analyzing the best solution for the company. Schoonmaker created a decision matrix with 30 different criteria to measure potential eCommerce providers against. He also valued analyst reports by leading research firms like Forrester and Gartner. Ultimately he chose Insite for a few key reasons:

  • Customer success model rather than support agent
  • Admin Console built with the business user in mind
  • Rich B2B features built-in
  • Fully functional mobile app
  • Fully managed SaaS based solution
  • Customizable to meet the design needs of Consolidated
  • Easily integrated with Consolidated’s Eclipse ERP
  • Robust content management system
  • Custom pricing and catalog capabilities
  • Enhanced search capabilities
  • Focus on complexities of B2B

“Many eCommerce vendors are starting to wake up and recognize the needs of B2B and that they are distinct. Insite is already a step ahead of them and has always been focused on B2B. They have robust features built-in. They aren’t just checking the boxes,” said Schoonmaker.

A Commitment to Change

At Consolidated, it was never just about a website. It was about changing the way the company did business for the better.

“Since before I started in my role, Consolidated has been dedicated to doing whatever it takes to best serve the customer. Even if that means making significant changes. At Consoldiated we figure out how to do things differently and we put resources behind it to get it done,” said Schoonmaker.

Insite was able to meet 85% of Consolidated Supply’s core B2B requirements right out-of-the-box. After launching the website, Consolidated saw an increase in registration, self-service activities and productivity of their team members. Customers now have 24/7 access to pricing and availability of Consolidated’s products.

“Insite makes it easy to get in and actually leverage all the different parts of the eCommerce system. We are able to manage the promotion system, tweak the search engine to make sure customers are finding what they are looking for, and adjust settings overnight without having to change any code. We can manage pretty much everything right through the admin console,” said Schoonmaker.

Since implementing InsiteCommerce, Consolidated Supply has seen an increase in customer satisfaction, online ordering and team efficiencies. Less than one year after implementing InsiteCommerce, the amount of online registered users doubled. Moreover, 18 months from launch, online registered users increased by 157%.

A Dedicated Team

Consolidated recognized that eCommerce wasn’t just a project. It wasn’t something they would deploy then move away from. After the initial launch, Consolidated was receiving feedback from customers about certain struggles and questions with the website.

Three months after launch, the company set out to hire two Digital Engagement Specialists solely dedicated to building a better eCommerce website.

The Digital Engagement Specialists (DES) interact directly with customers, utilizing feedback from employees and customers to improve the website and create a user-friendly experience that promotes efficiency and growth with Consolidated’s customers. The DES are focused on managing and assisting users with Consolidated’s website and mobile app.

“The Digital Engagement Specialists are yet another example of our continued focus on delivering extraordinary service. We didn’t just deploy a website and move on. We have dedicated individuals fielding questions and concerns and working to improve the site, every single day. It’s the change our customers needed,” said Schoonmaker.

The team implemented weekly “Engagement Metrics” tracking that produces an Engagement Rank for every customer. Ranks include: Super, High, Standard, Low and Not Yet Digital. Since hiring the Digital Engagement Specialists, Consolidated has seen more than 10 times growth of super users. In addition, Active Ordering customers (those that have ordered multiple times in the last 90 days) has increased by 146% since the Digital Engagement Specialists began.

Consolidated Supply is delivering on the promise of extraordinary service with a fully functional eCommerce solution, and a dedicated team focused on continuous improvement of the site. It’s a technology-meets-human solution. And it’s setting up Consolidated Supply to serve their customers for the next 90 years.

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