Electronics Distributor Differentiates Itself as a European Market Leader (MC Distribution Case Study)
MC Distribution is an Electronics Distribution company headquartered in Riga, Latvia, that supplies mobile phones, computer components, digital cameras, mobile accessories and home electronics from leading manufacturers to its customers.
In 2008, the company sought out Trex Pi, now an Advantage Pricefx partner, to develop a bookkeeping solution for them. And while the implementation went very well, the company quickly outgrew the solution due to desire to push the boundaries. By 2020, MC distribution needed a more sophisticated tool that would help them navigate the extremely competitive electronics distribution market and lean into their innovative approach.
Short-lived participants have routinely pushed margins down, using cheap workforces based in developing countries to produce electronics of sub-par quality.
MC Distribution wanted to differentiate itself as a European market leader in electronics distribution that valued quality at competitive prices. They wanted to significantly boost supplier, product assortment, customer and revenue growth. To do this, they needed to ensure that they provided quality goods, while controlling costs and keeping prices down. They were adamant that by placing their focus on customer and employee satisfaction and allowing their business values to guide them, they would achieve their goals.
And it is with this approach that they embarked on their digital transformation journey, with Trex Pi at the helm.
Lack of Process and Transparency Lost MC Distribution Customers
MC Distribution’s existing solutions required significant effort from sales and export teams, as information about customers, contacts, delivery, billing, quotes, orders, shipments and invoices were kept in various emails and instant messages before they reached the company’s tracking and accounting systems. The company was looking to provide optimal and transparent pricing to assist in keeping customers updated with their order statuses and to help with customer retention.
While the company’s product catalog management was semi-automated, it did not provide data validation or data accuracy checks, which was necessary as vendors and suppliers supplied information in varying formats and levels of quality, meaning that inaccurate product specifications were a problem. The lack of consistent integration between systems resulted in the danger of duplicate entries that required a lot of manual work to update. There was also a need for collaboration tools that could help with the delegation of work to colleagues and with the sharing and documenting of customer-specific knowledge.
In addition to this, MC Distribution was also dealing with a lot of suppliers and their internal systems needed to be able to handle the volumes their customers wished to work with. Some of their customers were using automated supply-chain-related tools, but the lack of similar tools at MC Distribution was increasing costs on every product line sold.
MC Distribution needed a multichannel sales tool that would give their sales teams more time and flexibility. This allowed them to focus on winning opportunities more efficiently.
The team at Trex Pi was tasked with implementing a modern set of tools and approaches to enable MC Distribution to automate business processes and modernize their IT platforms to prepare for significant supplier, product assortment, customer and revenue growth.
MC Distribution needed to automate supplier product data imports (including product details, purchase prices and stock levels), to build a new pricing engine tool that would allow flexible sales price management capabilities, to enable IT system integration between multiple sources and destinations, and to leverage cloud capabilities for easier adoption and scaling.
A Single Source of Truth with Powerful Out-of-The-Box Capabilities
To solve all of MC Distribution’s challenges and set them on the path to their goals, Trex Pi implemented Pricefx Lightning, a first-of-its-kind, out-of-box pricing solution designed to supercharge implementation, because it was the most complete pricing solution that could fit MC Distribution’s current and future needs. In fact, MC Distribution was the first Lighting project in Europe.
Trex Pi led the project’s scoping and requirements while designing the architecture of the solutions and integrating the Pricefx solution with MC Distribution’s ERP system.
Trex Pi was able to automate and streamline much of MC Distribution’s pricing process needs and calculations with ease, enable tracking of multiple prices of multiple suppliers, and then calculate the best price at the right time for the best product for its customers.
As a result, MC Distribution no longer requires spreadsheets to manage their price lists. They can now easily create and manage price lists for specific countries, dates and vendors within the system, and they can email customer-specific price lists directly to customers.
MC Distribution is also now able to provide the best possible price to its customers thanks to a new cloud-native pricing engine built to hold purchase prices and calculate sales prices based on a set of customized rules. Driving sales right from day one of implementation, the sales team now has access to up-to-date pricing information and is able to communicate the same to the customer.
By integrating MC Distribution’s suppliers’ systems, ERP and webshop using Cloud Integration tools, Trex Pi has streamlined processes, aligned systems, and decreased manual workload. Email integration with sales, service and marketing applications has consolidated the tools required for customer and order management and communication.
Through developing basic APIs and providing access to registered customers, they’ve reduced the number of support calls, allowing sales and export managers to focus on more value-add activities.
Desired Results from Day One of Implementation
- This first phase of the project took just six weeks, after which users were able to experience a wide array of ready-to-go and out-of-the-box pricing functionalities.
- During the entire implementation, downtime was kept to a minimum.
- Trex Pi was able to meet all major goals from day one of Go-Live and continues to work on several minor (but complex) goals for MC Distribution.
- Trex Pi did 100% of the integration work for a seamless, bi-directional flow of data, helping to increase supplier data imports from a handful to a number that MC Distribution felt was appropriate for their needs.
- Pricefx helps to standardize the approach of solving pricing-related business problems, drives overall sales processes and supports MC Distribution’s growth ambitions.
- Pricefx has become MC Distribution’s single source and system of truth. With a team of employees dedicated to the solution, the company trusts Pricefx as its primary system for all pricing.