Connected customers and partners
Liebherr is one of the largest construction machinery manufacturers in the world. Founder Hans Liebherr established the company in Germany in 1949, when he built the first mobile tower crane. By 2015, the company had grown to over 41,500 employees, with total annual sales of 9.2 billion Euros.
Liebherr required an advanced B2B e-commerce platform for spare parts, for all eight of their divisions: concrete technology, earthmoving, mining, pipeline equipment, cranes, mobile crawler cranes, maritime cranes and tower cranes. It needed to allow the company’s construction clients to easily buy machinery parts from sites all over the world, from major cities to the deepest jungles. With a significant revenue coming from service partners, Liebherr also needed to easily integrate partners into the platform, while engaging directly with customers and service partners.
The objective was three-fold:
1. Improve the customer experience.
2. Speed up the order process.
3. Reduce costs by offering customers and service partners an easy way to order spare parts.
To do this, the company need to create a tailored B2B e-commerce ordering system to provide customers with consistently transparent tracking. The back end also needed to maintain complex user roles and rights, because most of Liebherr customers have different contracts and discounts. And finally, the B2B e-commerce solution needed to be seamlessly incorporated into the Liebherr ERP system, Baan. After teaming up with netz98 GmbH, Liebherr chose a future-proof B2B e-commerce platform that offered unparalleled performance and could sustain the company’s growth plans — Magento Commerce.
Team Leader Portals/ECM and Project Manager, Liebherr
Firstly, Liebherr used Magento Commerce to make product selection easier for their B2B customer. To make sure they offered the right parts to match their customer’s assets, they created a new purchase flow that starts with the customer entering their machine or “asset” details. The correct spare parts are then offered for purchase, limiting the risk of incorrect orders. A dynamic product “search and selection” function now allows B2B customers to enter a part number or select one from a schematic drawing. An on-site mechanic can now order a replacement part while standing in front of the broken machine, reducing erroneous orders, especially when many machines include customised modifications.
Next, the specialists from netz98 developed a unique B2B e-commerce solution based on a complex rights and roles concept for the Liebherr customers and service partners. They were able to create roles for relevant industries with customised store views. This clear structure ensures the highest quality of service, customer loyalty and significantly reduces the risk of incorrect orders. With a smart price logic that maps customer-specific terms and conditions and by using “negotiable quotes,” netz98 also optimised a dynamic offer workflow according to individual client terms and conditions. Service partners can log in to Magento and see orders for their customers, prepare and approve quotes and more. The system supports multiple buyers from a single company or service partner, delivering transparency while serving all customers from the same B2B e-commerce platform.
After six months of development time, Liebherr launched their new B2B e-commerce store with time to spare. Like the very first mobile tower crane built by Hans Liebherr, it was a triumph of engineering. Today, more than 1,600 customer companies and service partners all access the B2B system That means thousands of people touch the Liebherr e-commerce site, each of them served different prices and products and each of them getting a unique shopping experience. All of this made possible by the integrated B2B e-commerce functionality in Magento Commerce.