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franprix Case Study

How franprix digitized communications with their suppliers in 3 months

Feedback from franprix

“It quickly became clear that this solution addressed the need for both accessible and high-quality data, via a user-friendly solution that makes day-to-day operations easier.”

Coline Burland

Product Marketing Director, franprix

franprix logo distributeur collecte données fournisseurs e-commerce application onboarding

Key benefits:

1 200 suppliers onboarded in 3 months

Ensuring reliable product data

Data is uploaded to the product catalogue automatically

Replacing the previous manual data upload process

A company-wide project involving various different teams

From category managers to purchasing managers

How franprix digitized communications with their suppliers in 3 months

Franprix set out to integrate products from 1 200 national brands into their product catalogue, managed using the Alkemics platform, in only 3 months. This initiative was designed to enable the company to easily display product data on their mobile app, as well as to optimize data quality throughout their product catalogue. They achieved their goal, showing exceptional technical and organizational agility.

Easily accessible and high-quality data

Following the June 2017 launch of their mobile commerce app, as well as the integration of a Product Information Management (PIM) solution, the teams at franprix were looking for a way to streamline and optimize their product data. “Working on our mobile app and PIM led us to reflect on the best way to connect to our data sources.” Explained Coline Burland, Product Marketing Director. “We had been collecting product data manually, but we soon had a variety of different data sources, meaning different formats and a lack of consistency. Not to mention that collecting data manually was not exactly a fast process… ”

The brand’s teams concluded: “To improve data quality and speed up the data entry process, the best solution was to implement a catalogue that suppliers could upload their data to directly.” Summarized Coline Burland. “It quickly became clear that this solution addressed the need for both accessible and high-quality data, via a user-friendly solution that makes day-to-day operations easier. But in order to take full advantage of these benefits, we also needed to ensure the agility of our workflow before launching the project, allowing us to address our main challenge: onboarding all of our suppliers.”

Large-scale supplier onboarding

This was a significant challenge for a large company such as franprix, as they needed to present the solution to nearly 1 200 suppliers, companies of all sizes. With assistance from Alkemics, franprix designed a roadmap to accomplish this large-scale onboarding in 3 months. “The first step was holding a launch meeting with all stakeholders: not just the team in charge of the project, but also the teams who would be working with the suppliers every day.” This meeting brought these various different teams together, involving them in the process and ensuring the most efficient possible project launch.”

When the project was officially launched with suppliers, an e-mail was sent out, co-authored by the brand’s executive management and that of the purchasing group. “This email, sent out by company executives, caught everybody’s attention, making the next steps of the project significantly easier.” Sending this email also enabled the company to begin connecting with their suppliers’ contacts in advance. “We knew that this would be a major task,” explained Coline Burland, “so we began the process at the launch meeting.” Another key task was developing the catalogue’s data model: for their first version, franprix focused on what they would need for their m-commerce app (especially for the logistics involved in preparing orders) as well as regulatory requirements.

To ensure project security, a dedicated staff member was hired to keep track of each step of the supplier onboarding process and contact the suppliers if necessary, either by email, telephone, or directly from the platform via its call-to-action button and integrated chat feature. The onboarding process could also be monitored directly via the platform’s progress reporting feature.

In case of difficulties with a supplier, purchasers were called in to help. This approach enabled the brand to open their catalogue in mid-July, though the launch meeting had only taken place three months earlier!
 “The onboarding process was very simple for suppliers who were already on Alkemics: to send us data, they simply needed to connect to our catalogue via their account, without needing to re-enter any data at all. Other suppliers were registered during the training sessions that we held, with assistance from Alkemics, to guide suppliers step-by-step through the process of entering product data. By assisting our suppliers and providing continued follow-up support, the onboarding process was accomplished quickly.”

Once product data has been centralized — what’s next?

In three months, franprix went from using a manual, non-standardized data entry process for their product catalogue to using an automated, consistent procedure, with each supplier update immediately available in their catalogue. They currently have more than 14 851 product references managed on the Alkemics platform. Centralizing this data has offered them ideas for their next steps: “At the moment, data is deployed after the product listing process has taken place.” Explained Coline Burland. “In the future, we would like to work with Alkemics to implement a deployment process that takes place at the same time as the product listing process. The goal is to be able to access the product data as soon as the product listing is active, heading towards real-time listings.” These next steps are a great way to take advantage of the agility gained by digitizing communications with suppliers.

franprix application collecte données fournisseurs onboarding centralisation

Key benefits for franprix:

  • Improved responsiveness and technical and organizational agility

  • Automated and centralized data management

  • Company-wide project

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