The Portuguese distributor of automotive replacement parts Create Business has been using the Order Manager for more than 10 years now. For Chief Information Officer Marcelo Lopes, connecting to the B2B platform was a decisive breakthrough that led to significant improvements in all order-related business processes, saving both time and costs and boosting sales.
When Create Business was founded 16 years ago in Portugal, they were focusing on offering added value services to the independent automotive aftermarket, connecting parts manufacturers to the garages. “We wanted to create lots of trust between all the players. And we also wanted to make things different, to make things better”, remembers Marcelo Lopes, CIO at Create Business.
“If a customer calls us or goes directly to our web portal to check the availability of a part, he gets a response in real time.”
Marcelo Lopes, CIO, Create Business AG
Improving business with digitisation
More than ten years ago, Create Business started using the Order Manager platform, integrating all order-related processes into their ERP system. “When we started the company, we realised the lack of connection to our providers in the market. And then there was the emerging trend of digitisation. Therefore, we started to go with that flow. Joining the B2B platform Order Manager was one of our first steps. It was very easy and it allowed us to connect the workshops, our resellers and also the part manufacturers. This was a major move for us because it introduced a lot of changes into our business model and for the people who handled the incoming orders from the customers”, explains Marcelo Lopes.
“Before we started using the Order Manager, we worked like a traditional distributor. We received the order on the phone, then we talked to the supplier to see if the product is available. Afterwards we talked again to the customer, told him that the part is available and will be delivered in one or two days. We got back to the supplier to place the order. The supplier manually entered the order and the goods were delivered to our warehouse. This caused lots of errors and it meant that delivery lasted one day longer compared to now”, adds Marcelo Lopes.
Shorter response times and faster delivery
“The logistic chain of the aftermarket is very demanding. More and more people ask for better service, faster delivery or for a reduction on shipping. Often transportation problems come up”, says Marcelo Lopes. To solve this, Create Business developed an online portal for their customers that integrates a multi-brand spare parts catalogue and allows to check availability of stock and prices or directly place an order. This portal is connected to the Order Manager platform and helps the workshops with a set of added value tools, allowing them to invest more time in the relationship with their customers. The digitised and automated handling of business documents allows the distributor to react quicker to their customers’ requests.
“Today, everything is integrated, from the workshop to the supplier. Thanks to this solution our customer support and sales staff are able to give our customers an accurate answer very fast, without another point of contact at our suppliers’ side. If a customer calls us or goes directly to our web portal to check the availability of a part, he gets a response in real time. And he does not only see if a part is available in our warehouses but also at the parts manufacturer, which is a huge advantage for them”, explains Marcelo Lopes.
Especially the so-called reverse messages, i.e. order confirmations, delivery notifications and electronic invoices are very important for the distributor because they are necessary to improve and automate the process. “Regarding the reverse messages, sometimes suppliers are not very sensible because they think it is not their problem. But in fact, it is their problem. If we don’t have the documentation at the earliest time, the chain of distribution will be behind schedule. There will be problems while receiving the goods, while shipping the goods and the percentage of warranty cases and returns will increase. And it also diminishes the satisfaction of the workshops. This brings customers to look for alternative suppliers on the market. Everything is connected, from checking the availability to delivering the right part to the workshop. And everything will translate on making or losing the business”, he emphasises.
Driving international success
Since the foundation in 2016, the company expanded and is today selling parts also in Angola, Mozambique and Spain. TecAlliance’s international B2B platform helped Create Business to handle all order-to-invoice processes also across borders and fostered the distributor’s international success.
“The Order Manager is a great tool for us to make business. Around 70 percent of our parts procurement goes through Order Manager. Having one single, standardised and fully integrated tool for the great majority of our suppliers makes the daily work so much easier. We would be happy if all parts manufacturers would connect to the platform. And in fact, that would be a win-win situation because in this highly concentrated market you can see that the one who is not connected doesn’t evolve”, explains Marcelo Lopes.
If a parts supplier becomes part of the Order Manager platform, he can tap the entire customer base of more than 25,000 users throughout the world. New tools like Entry Supply Web, the Rollout Tool and the self-management of business relations make it even easier for both suppliers and buyers to integrate all their business partners into the platform.
For Create Business, connectivity is one of the decisive factors for future success in the automotive aftermarket. “Today all our customers have access to our online portal. And the Order Manager is the major tool to connect our customers to the manufacturers. This connecting chain is very important if we want to succeed in the future. If we want to grow, these kinds of tools will become even more important and we won’t be able to do business without them”, Marcelo Lopes sums up.