A brand new B2B store in weeks
“Time was our greatest challenge but also our number one motivator,” said Butters. Together with their solution partner Tata Consultancy Services Ltd (TCS), they planned to launch a first MVP in just twelve weeks. “From a technology or customisation perspective, our first big challenge was building our site to support a true marketplace of individual shop fronts for our sellers, like Etsy, for example,” she said. Magento Commerce already had a robust marketplace extension that Honeywell customised quickly to suit their needs. It saved them a fortune compared to building their own.
One of their largest shop fronts, Honeywell Aerospace Trading, runs on SAP’s ERP system. They quickly built APIs that connect Magento Commerce to SAP, so orders and inventory are automatically synchronised. Additional APIs interface to their Blockchain platform, built on Hyperledger Fabric. This allows various events to be captured and written to the ledger via APIs. For example, when a shop front lists a part for sale, it adds information to a part. Or if a repair centre serviced or repaired a part or if the part was sold — all of these “events” are written from Magento Commerce to the Blockchain, creating a single source of truth. Thanks to Blockchain technology, potential buyers can view the entire lifecycle of everything they buy, from the number of hours in service, to repairs made and the names of operators who have used the individual part.
Honeywell leaned on a number of third-party extensions from the Magento Commerce ecosystem to fully customise their user experience. Webkul’s Marketplace includes B2B features that enable users to interact with the shop as both a potential buyer and seller, just like the listing site Mercari.com. This extension enabled the customised shop front infrastructure that is essential to the marketplace. They also selected the Rokan Outstock theme to define the layout and add UI features, while Fastly CDN enables caching to improve overall site performance.
Honeywell allows customers to check out with the older, antiquated ways still preferred by the industry, like purchase orders. Naturally, they offer modern payment types too, like credit cards, but Magento Commerce gives Honeywell the ability to accept all types of payment. (Purchase orders are why the aerospace industry is one of the few not to migrate to Amazon.)
Finally, Honeywell developed a service called Trust Trace to provide part pedigree data on serialised components. It’s similar to how CarFax delivers information about a used car. Now, when a customer is searching for parts on GoDirect Trade, Trust Trace improves user confidence and increases the chance of a purchase. Users can see reviews and ratings of third-party sellers and buyers and sellers can contact one another directly via the platform, streamlining the process to ensure both parties are satisfied with the exchange.
Previously, buyers looking for aviation parts such as avionics and auxiliary power units would need to call numerous companies, wait days or even wait weeks to price a part. They might risk buying from a company that hadn't got the inventory in stock. With every part on GoDirect Trade immediately available for sale and delivery, there’s no need to wait days or even weeks for the seller to confirm availability. And as with similar websites in other industries, online reviews of both buyers and sellers are encouraged.