Updating a Kiwi Classic: Streamlining B2B Sales with Solutionists

Canterbury of New Zealand is one of the country’s oldest and best-known sports brands. Established in 1904, Canterbury of New Zealand quickly built a reputation for quality and an indelible association with the All Blacks. It’s a company rooted in tradition and the very soil of New Zealand.

These days, Canterbury sells a wide range of sportswear, supplying gear for everyone from casual weekend players to elite international rugby teams. Their business is primarily B2B, selling direct to sporting stores and team management.

After relying on an ad hoc system and manual processing for too long, Canterbury approached Solutionists for help in 2019. They needed a website to better serve their customers and support their sales reps across New Zealand and Australia.

The Challenge: Taking Operations to the Next Level

Manual sales and data processing were slowing things down at the Canterbury office. They desperately needed the ability to order online - for sales reps and customers.

The ideal solution would let Canterbury customers browse products and purchase online, and give sales reps a simple way to find stock information, process orders and place sales online.

The team needed a streamlined solution that could merge all their sales and ordering processes.

A Better Browsing Experience

Because most people – B2B buyers included – are familiar with traditional e-commerce sites, Solutionists used elements of B2C e-commerce to create Canterbury’s new B2B solution with a streamlined checkout process. Using the MaxCommerce platform, two sites were created, one for New Zealand and another for Australian customers – each with best-practice e-commerce in mind.

B2B customers can log in using their business credentials, browse through product categories, and order through a streamlined checkout process. The product pages were specifically designed for B2B bulk ordering to ensure that customers can easily add products to cart in bulk.

Customers can choose to add purchases to their account and get an invoice at the end of the month. Customers need to have a login with a valid credit limit to be able to place orders, which is an important feature for Canterbury to manage their different customer accounts.

The new sites are designed to be as simple and intuitive as possible, so B2B customers can manage their orders independently, freeing up Canterbury staff who were previously bogged down with manual order entries.

Different Users, Different Access

Canterbury’s new system isn’t just a straightforward e-commerce site – it also acts as a portal for sales reps, giving them access to stock data, customer details, and order information.

To make this happen, the websites were created with a tiered access system. Customers can log in to browse, purchase, and check on their orders, while reps have access to their list of customers, enabling them to look up customer details and orders.

Reps can also use the site in the office or when they’re out and about to process cash sales, place orders (on behalf of those customers who prefer to work directly with a salesperson), and check on past orders and stock levels.

Behind the scenes, orders placed online are automatically integrated with Fabrix – Canterbury’s production management software – making the order fulfilment process effortless.

Seamless Stock Updates

Automating back-office functions was another must-have for the Canterbury team.

With the help of Azure Storage, a scalable cloud storage solution, the process of uploading product images now involves minimal input. Once images are dropped into Azure, they are processed and mapped automatically to the products on the website. In terms of product data, this is extracted from Fabrix, loaded into an FTP location, and then populated to the relevant category on the website automatically, along with any associated photos and product details.

On the site, products are divided into different categories, each with their own sales rules set by the Canterbury team. Some ranges can be ordered for delivery in advance, while others cannot be ordered until stock is available. When a product goes on sale, it is automatically moved into the Clearance section, making it easy for customers to find.

Automating new product listings and categories doesn’t just save time – it also prevents errors and speeds up the time between production and sale. Customers get up-to-date listings and stock information, and staff get to skip some of the most tedious and manual parts of the job.

“We have recently launched our new Canterbury B2B site for New Zealand and Australia. A big thanks to the team at Solutionists who were very helpful during the testing and go live stage. New websites are always complicated when integrating with ERP systems. Solutionists worked alongside us through every stage to achieve the business outcomes we required," said Barry Kirkley, I.T. and Operations Manager at Canterbury of New Zealand.

Need a streamlined B2B solution like Canterbury of New Zealand? Visit www.solutionists.co.nz or email info@solutionists.co.nz for more information.