Orders flood in with Microsoft Dynamics NAV and nHanced eCommerce, working together with a new website powered by Magento
For a company specialising in equipment to get the adrenaline pumping, its recent race against the clock to be match-fit and ready for the Black Friday Sale gave everyone involved a chance to feel a little of their own adrenaline.
They may not have been somersaulting from a skateboard onto the steep slopes of a skatepark but they were in the back office, rising to the challenge of doing something they’d never done before, with a looming deadline.
Shiner, the UK’s leading distributor of skateboards, was getting to the point of outgrowing its NAV partner. Although that partner had done a fantastic job in providing backbone and infrastructure, it was time for Shiner to get professionals who specialised in NAV to help move the business to the next level.
It was at this time The NAV People’s Ultimate Guide to Dynamics NAV magazine arrived on Shiner’s doorstep. After looking through it, Shiner contacted The NAV People (TNP) and a free Health Check was organised. This involved consultants from TNP spending a full-day at Shiner, looking in-depth at all the operating systems and talking with every member of staff then providing a comprehensive report with recommendations to enable the business to really move forward.
To Shiner’s great surprise, the Health Check report from The NAV People (a Microsoft Gold partner) showed all the functionality it was seeking for its booming business could be delivered from its existing NAV platform, with a few additional modules and tweaks added to the mix.
Contrary to the advice Shiner had received elsewhere, there was no need for an upgrade after all! Needless to say, Shiner changed service providers and the two companies started on the path to a strong working partnership.
It was not long before Shiner decided to turn ‘hits’ on one of its websites into potential online B2C sales, so naturally it turned to its new NAV partner for assistance.
A plan for moving to B2C was soon put in place. Shiner would engage a third-party to help them rebuild the entire website, so transactions could be made online using Magento. The NAV People implemented their nHanced eComm module which integrated Magento into Shiner’s existing NAV 2009 platform - enabling them to keep track of all their data including invoicing, payments, shipping details, warehouse stock, etc, and to have it easily accessible in the one place.
nHanced eComm is a standard, out-of-the-box solution and has been developed by TNP for Dynamics NAV 2015 and more recent versions of NAV and 365 Business Central. With Shiner using NAV 2009, it meant The NAV People’s developers had to engineer and downgrade the nHanced eComm module and reverse some of the programming to make it compatible with this older platform. This was a big task - but it’s what we do!
Another challenge was Shiner’s Dynamics NAV database. Prior to The NAV People coming on board, changes had been made to the way Shiner’s NAV system worked. Programming had been done in the SQL database rather than the NAV application, so it was unclear exactly what all those changes had been. In certain cases, the modified functionality had been internalised in NAV and there were concerns there may have been some code running behind the scenes which couldn’t be found but could affect the outcome.
Fortunately, the previous programming didn’t create any issues when the new website was launched on the Tuesday - or on the Thursday - when the integration went live, only one day before the Black Friday Sale!
The website was launched in five languages, in five different currencies – Sterling, Euros, Swedish krona, Norwegian and Danish krone. Within two hours of turning it on, and without any marketing whatsoever, Shiner had five online orders. By the end of Black Friday (the UK’s most significant shopping day of the year), there were orders from 51 customers from eight different countries! They were ecstatic!
When it came time to process the bundle of orders, a staff member (based on their previous experience) thought it would take all day to enter all the information into the system. After being shown what to do, it ended up taking only 10 minutes! He was one happy person!
If there had been any doubt about adding online B2C sales to Shiner’s repertoire, it was soon squashed, as people could see the interactions and interest in the products.
Since Black Friday, orders have continued to come in, with their B2C business going from strength to strength and exceeding Shiner’s wildest expectations.
From Shiner’s perspective, the integration was seamless – and it came in under budget and on time! It’s made life so much easier for their staff since day one. The B2C modules were now part of NAV, so there was no real learning curve for their salespeople who were already experienced in using NAV.
For The NAV People, the project was a challenge - but nothing our team of experts couldn’t handle!
In reality, it’s very rare that you have to do a full upgrade to solve a handful of key requirements. We are strong believers in not upgrading for upgrading’s sake! Often your money can be better spent solving your current challenges, as in Shiner’s case.
If you’re considering moving to B2C, please call us for a chat and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have. It’s generally quite a smooth, simple process but even if it’s a little more difficult, we’ll do our very best to assist you every step of the way.