Nationwide sales and franchise partnership in electrotechnical market

Nationwide sales and franchise partnership in electrotechnical market

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Certusoft provides comprehensive IT support for managing cooperation between Grodno and franchisees. The application supports processes ranging from the integration and exchange of information about products available in the central warehouse to the processing of orders from franchisees, to the electronic exchange of documents between partners. The system handles files with more than 9.5 million records on an ongoing basis. It also handles the electronic exchange of more than 76,000 documents per month among all franchisees.

Grodno Franchise Program

The Grodno Franchise Program is comprehensive support for companies operating in the field of electrical engineering. The cooperation ensures each wholesaler access to information and an assortment of almost all manufacturers and distributors: electrical, automation, lighting, photovoltaic, cable, air conditioning, ventilation, and alarm systems.

Permanent access to Grodno's central warehouse gives partners a guarantee of delivery of ordered goods within 24 hours. Grodno provides its franchisees with full marketing and content support, betting on further development and partnership in business relations.

Solution for a network of wholesalers

The Certusoft application supports the business activities of Grodno and its cooperating franchise companies in several areas:

  • It provides a unified catalog of information on several hundred thousand products at a central level with access for each franchisee.
  • It provides constantly updated information on the availability of products in the central warehouse and the possibility to order them.
  • It supports additional product information catalogs that are independent for each franchisee.
  • Supports the fulfillment of orders for goods between partners without the need for paper or e-mail documentation.
  • Transfer of documentation between the company and franchisees at the application level (electronic document exchange).
  • It provides support for wholesale and retail sales with the ability to create any type of sales document.
  • It provides online business-to-business (B2B) sales tools for both Grodno and franchisees.
  • It supports stationery wholesale and retail sales with cash handling (receiving and paying cash, daily cash reports).
  • Provides tools for managing the receipt of goods into warehouses, including handling documentation affecting inventory.
  • It provides tools for controlling the accounting between Grodno, franchisees, and their customers.

Unified product catalog for the company and its partners

Dynamic growth, an increasing number of available products, and the need to ensure consistent management of information about them required a new system. Given the growth of the franchise network in the electrotechnical market, access to this information for Grodno's business partners was vital.

Before the Certusoft application was implemented, each wholesaler had an independent product information management system. The franchisees created the product catalog themselves and took care of its updating and consistency. In the first stage of the implementation, the Certusoft team created a central product information database for Grodno - Certusoft PIM for electrotechnical market. Currently, all franchisees have access to the catalog. They also have their catalogs supported by the solution provided by Certusoft. Most of the product information is provided by Grodno. This solution not only ensures data consistency between the Grodno product catalog and the franchisees but also provides up-to-date information, including additional data such as current inventory information.

Supplementing product information

To ensure efficient completion and updating of the product catalog, the Certusoft application supports the unified product classification system ETIM (European Technical Information Model). For the electrical industry, the Certusoft PIM system provides the ability to import large amounts of data provided by product manufacturers in the standardized BMEcat format.

Continuous exchange of inventory information

Realizing the potential of collaboration would not be possible without exchanging information about owned products. The Certusoft application provides a real-time view of inventory from anywhere. This is an important element because the company's warehouses support sales throughout the country. An important requirement of our partner was the ability to indicate to the franchisee the nearest warehouse, which ensures not only the availability of goods but also their delivery within 24 hours. Each franchisee has a defined Grodno warehouse, which is the central Grodno warehouse for him. The decision on which warehouse to choose for this role is made at the time of configuring the distributor application. Of course, it is possible to change the configuration at any time according to changes in the warehouse structure of the distribution network.

Centralized product availability information

Both Grodno and franchisees have stopped wasting time with help from the Certusoft application. Now they don't have to check the availability of goods by phone or email. All franchisees are provided with their application, including their own configured warehouses. In addition, after selecting a Grodno warehouse, the employee can see the availability of each product. This solution not only increased the speed of obtaining information but also moved the process of ordering goods by franchisees to the application level. All this is possible because of the Certusoft ERP system with automatic data exchange between Grodno and its franchisees.

System integration and documentation exchange

In addition to providing inventory information, the Certusoft system supports documentation related to warehouse turnover. External approvals, receipt of goods into the warehouse, release of goods or warehouse transfers are generated at the application level. Users have access to documentation related to a particular batch of goods. In the case of our partner Grodno, integration with the ERP system is ensured. Ongoing data exchange ensures accuracy in financial settlement of ordered goods and their receipt in individual warehouses.

Supporting warehouse processes with a mobile application

Managing a nationwide distribution network for electrical engineering materials is a major challenge. Efficient delivery is one of the key elements. The Certusoft MWM (warehouse management mobile app) warehouse application was created as part of the previously implemented system to support the delivery of goods from the Grodno warehouses. It completes the entire warehouse management and sales support system. It runs on mobile devices and does not require any installation.

Managing the sales process in a nationwide distribution network

Grodno and its franchisees needed a comprehensive and integrated order fulfillment system. On the one hand, they needed to be closely connected due to business cooperation and the need to share inventory information. On the other hand, each unit still owned and maintained its business in the local market. The Certusoft team faced several challenges. The order processing system had to accommodate orders placed by customers on Grodno's own online sales portals, orders placed through other online channels communicating via API, and orders routed through franchisees. In addition, the Certusoft system had to provide data exchange with other ERP and WMS systems. At the franchisees, the system had to support orders routed to Grodno, orders placed by customers on the franchisee's B2B portal, and orders placed at the franchisee's POS.

Distributor order fulfillment

Sales orders are processed in a unified application, with all items visible in a single web application window. With pre-built filters and additional advanced filters that can be freely configured and saved, employees can see which channel the order came from. Orders are then routed for fulfillment, and each step in the process is marked with the appropriate status.

Order records provide a view of all the goods in the order, along with information on the product's availability with the selected warehouse. Based on the sales order, the goods are distributed, including the use of a mobile warehouse app. The system provides the ability to issue an associated external release document. The system ensures that it is not possible to release the goods in a larger quantity than indicated by the stock, and after issuing the release document, the stock is updated in the correct warehouse.

Once all goods have been released, the system user has the option to issue a sales document based on all or selected external release documents associated with the order. The system supports all types of sales documents, including VAT invoices and receipts, and ensures that they are printed on fiscal printers connected to the Certusoft application.

Placement of orders in the application by the franchisees

Franchisees have a convenient system for placing orders. To do this, the employee simply uses the Certusoft web application dedicated to the franchisee, where they place orders, selecting the Grodno warehouse and their company as the ordering party. After completing the order in its entirety, the user approves it and the document is sent electronically to Grodno at the Certusoft application level, without the need to print paper documentation. The document is visible both to the employees of the franchisee from whom the order was generated and to the employees of Grodno at the location from which the order is to be processed.

Central warehouse dropshipping and order fulfillment

The Certusoft solution supports dropshipping functionality. To speed up the delivery of goods to the customer, franchisees can place orders with delivery to their customer. This functionality is often used by our partners in case the goods have to be ordered from the central warehouse in Grodno anyway. The execution of such an order is similar to the order of a franchisee for goods from the Grodno warehouse to his local warehouse. The undoubted advantages of the implemented functionality are the convenience of order fulfillment, reduced costs and environmental impact due to reduced frequency of shipments, and increased customer satisfaction due to faster fulfillment of orders for goods.

Software for brick-and-mortar and online sales

The nature of our client's business and development plans took into account the growth of the online sales market. Both Grodno and its franchisees needed dedicated online sales solutions for both business-to-business (B2B) and consumer-to-consumer (B2C) customers.

Online sales integrated with the central warehouse

Certusoft provided a dedicated solution that is fully integrated with the warehouse system and order processing. Both Grodno and franchisees can configure their own sales channels. The application allows each channel to be linked to different groups of contractors, product groups, warehouses, or a predetermined pricing policy for the products sold. In addition to online stores adapted to both desktop and mobile devices, Certusoft provides integration with external services and marketplaces such as Allegro Vendor, Magento, IdoSell, Mirakl MArketplace, or Baselinker. Product offer management and order processing for each channel is done from the Certusoft application level. The flow of information is automated, minimizing the need for additional supervision by Grodno employees and franchisees.

Stationary Sales at Partner Stores

Due to the nature of the electrotechnical business, it was extremely important for the distributors to efficiently manage stationary sales. The Certusoft application provides a set of tools for this type of sale. Cash sales support was implemented to meet the needs of the industry. It allows for the issuance of tax receipts with automatic transfer to the accounting department at the application level. All cash and credit card payments are accepted thanks to the cash register module. The receipt of funds can be linked not only to fast sales documents (receipts) but also to orders and invoices (advance payments for purchases). The cashier is provided with a preview of the connection of each payment with the corresponding document.

During the preparation of sales documents (sales invoices), the system provides a current view of the status of customer settlements, and additionally a view of a complete and detailed summary of the total payment settlements of all customers of the store.

The Certusoft system provides up-to-date billing information at every stage of sales. Such a solution helps to prevent losses, which can result from unpaid or overdue payments of customers.

What were the benefits of the implementation?

  • Provide full digital support for key internal company and distributor processes.
  • Increased efficiency of internal organization and cooperation with franchisees.
  • Creating synergies between partners and maintaining effective sales through interoperability of systems related to commodity trading.
  • Scalability of the software as it continues to evolve and add new functionality.
  • Supporting the development of the company and its partners by continuously responding to their needs.

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