How Vink VTS Revolutionized their B2B Plastics Business

The European plastics giant needed help.

The plastics company Vink VTS sources and delivers a wide range of plastic materials from the best suppliers in the world, to create illuminated advertising, self-adhesive signage, full-color images, plastic car wraps, and even wraps for entire buildings. The company is part of Vink Holdings, a federation of more than 100 independent businesses in 16 European countries, established in 1954. Vink Holdings has many brick-and-mortar outlets and supplies more than 120,000 customers from industries including graphics and signage, construction, chemical and storage, manufacturing, automotive, public transport, and medicine.

In 2016 Vink Holdings made the strategic decision to standardize their European eCommerce operations on the Magento Commerce platform. At the same moment Vink VTS decided that their online operation needed re-working. Both Vink Holdings and Vink VTS eCommerce aligned on the idea of an ambitious pilot project, including an integration with their EU-standard ERP solution.

Vink VTS was moving from a tailor-made solution, which had become costly and ineffective. They needed to upgrade their eCommerce operations to become more agile. Their business model is unique: Vink Holdings is a highly decentralized organization, with scores of independent subsidiaries and business units operating throughout Europe and beyond. So their new platform would need to be compatible with multi-domains and multi-stores. It would also need to manage the complex price structures of each individual company.

"Magento, in collaboration with YouWe, helps us achieve our goal to stay ahead and go beyond."

Arthur van Koetsveld

European Head of eCommerce, Vink Holdings

Magento Commerce 2 made a complex problem easy.

Together with their solution partner, YouWe, Vink VTS became the first company within Vink Holdings to move directly to Magento Commerce 2. YouWe crafted a custom solution that augmented the core Magento platform with YouWe’s unique B2B and ERP integration suites.

The Vink Holdings head office runs a central Microsoft Dynamics AX ERP solution for the entire organization. All other decisions are made locally due to different buyer personas and cultures. In this decentralized structure, every country, business unit, and company can make its own choices regarding their eCommerce solution.

To fit their organization, the new Magento Commerce solution was designed to be run from central repository by the Vink VTS corporate team, but also used and overwritten by local subsidiaries working with local partners. “The brilliant thing was that although a local Magento partner can overwrite any single component or feature, it has not been overwritten due to its success,” said Arthur van Koetsveld, European Head of eCommerce for Vink Holding. “This made the choice for Magento very easy.”

Phenomenal results, and a future-proof solution.

The new Vink VTS platform, with a full Microsoft Dynamics web-service based integration, went live in May of 2017 after a development period of eight months. For the first time since the company started, Vink VTS was able to take a digital order by eCommerce alone. “We get positive reactions,” said van Koetsveld. “The customers say the site works very well. We also see that the shop converts well and generates additional sales.” The new platform allows customers to see all deliveries, orders, and invoices online – and that’s all orders, not just online ones. They can also see the real-time delivery date of their order, price, handling, and transport costs.

The increase of digital orders and reduction of costs were “enormous,” said van Koetsveld. In 2017, after a period of seven months, the new platform was generating 20 percent of the company’s total sales. Magento Commerce 2 allows Vink VTS to show real-time information on dynamic pages in under two seconds. With their B2B operations easily accessible online, Vink VTS reduced the load of calls to their internal sales team, while improving online sales and stock inventory turnover.

The success of the Vink VTS webshop was witnessed by other parts of the business, who are now choosing Magento Commerce as their platform too. The concept is futureproof, said van Koetsveld. “The webshop has been built in a scalable way, so we can easily roll out the features and the template if other profit centers in any European country want a webshop.”

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