Customer Journey - navigation for digital transformation

What we do today is inspired with who we intend to be tomorrow. That’s why transformation should focus primarily on growth areas in the future, not just on that what is stable and mature today. Śnieżka, one of the biggest European paint and varnish producers, made effective use of the knowledge about its customers to focus on solving most important issues first and moving on into perfecting the system.

Workshop defining transformation goals

In a production company, the transformation that ensures the highest quality of customer experience is particularly complex. The client's experience is mostly influenced by many underlying factors which aren’t only the company's responsiblity, but are also affected by close partners who participate in the product distribution. This approach based on the Customer Journey, Agile design and the delivery methodology allowed to adjust the implementations of the digital transformation framework for  Śnieżka S.A. (a paint and varnish factory)  into real customer needs and priorities in need of change.

New technologies have changed the behavior of our customers who nowadays carry smartphones around and willingly prefer using digital channels for any interaction with us – Ranging from reading content to carrying out transactions, the construction of a system built to ensure the highest quality and experience in relation to our brand is very elaborate.
Our clients’ experience is influenced by many factors dependant on us, and equally influenced by our partners in the field of wholesale and retail. We must look at this process as a whole.

Marek Niziołek

Director of Digital Transformation

Preparing to transform

The launch of the Śnieżka digital transformation had been preceded by a project aimed at identifying the measurable goals that this transformation should bring by identifying the main areas on which to focus so as to achieve this goal. Hycom has conducted a series of workshops using various tools and methods of Design Thinking, resulting in the development of transformation and a company business model with designated critical areas of change.

This approach had many positive effects which set out a clear and understandable transformation goal for the entire management group whose project required great effort and cooperation from the many departments of the organization.
Moreover, building a business model allowed us to identify the critical areas where attention should be focused keeping in mind all the necessary alterations and the proper assessment of priorities - this was the core princinpal for creating a high-level roadmap of activities. At last, customer segmentation developed during the workshops became the starting point for mapping the paths of particular groups.

Setting up the transformation in such a manner led to reduced costs and efforts for the sake of the Śnieżka company team and increased the chances of a positive impact on our business. We wanted to properly identify the goals of digital transformation with our key managers. The workshop conducted by Hycom using the design thinking methods pushed for a strategic view of the program and key decision-making to guide the transformation.

Marek Niziołek

Director of Digital Transformation in Śnieżka

Customer Journey as an integral part of CX transformation

The results of the workshop became the basis for the initial analysis phase, as a result of which both the client and supplier could define project areas in order to build the schedule and functional areas of the solution while reducing the risk resulting from a different understanding of the scope by both parties. During this phase, the roles and scope of contractor activities in the Śnieżka digital transformation project were also defined. Hycom is responsible for designing and building the sales and service solutions on the SAP Commerce platform supporting the entire transformation of the business consulting program in the CX area, and SAP Polska which is the main contractor for the digital transformation of Śnieżka.

Preparing digital transformation roadmap based on customer journey map

The scope of the transformation
Śnieżka's digital transformation is focused especially on customer-related processes such as sales, marketing, distribution, relationships and logistics. Since the quality of customer experiences is influenced by the entire sales chain, it was not only important to understand the needs of the end customer, but also all the major actors in the sales process.
In the B2B sector, during the Customer Journey study of various process, the activities of distributors, wholesalers and retailers were mapped. Both the behaviors of decision-makers and operational figures were taken into account. The Customer Journey survey showed which areas of the relationship need improvement, and indicated the chances for potential innovation that the digital transformation could bring. The conclusions drawn from mapping the journey of Śnieżka's partners and final clients became the starting point for redesigning and digitizing their paths. The Identified initiatives have been prioritized in terms of user relevance, organizational values and feasibility, and then included in the transformation program or projects placed on the roadmap. This approach allowed to tailor activities according to the customer’s needs and to build an innovative roadmap based on their priorities.

The design
The results of the Customer Journey survey have also become the basis for designing the first functional systems that are at the core of the transformation. The design phase was a series of parallel, synchronized activities. The functional design was carried out in parallel with compositional experiments. Both the functional design and customer experience project were implemented in the context of SAP C / 4HANA technology, which offer a specific set of functions available on demand. Thanks to the inclusion of the technological team into the design process, the final functional design, as well as the functional layer and user interface, fully used the native elements of the platform. Thanks to this, we managed to save as many elements as possible without the need to modify them, while ensuring the highest quality of customer experience. The experiments began with designing a series of prototypes focused around purchasing processes, which were then verified with users.

Further development of the project took place in iterations and subsequent projects were tested each time with users. This provided the opportunity to capture the most important problems with the handling and usability of the application before the start of software development, and above all gave the opportunity to create the highest quality user experience.

The implementation process of the first phase in the area of B2B sales covering key business processes and IT systems of the largest Polish paint and varnish producer was record-breaking and lasted four months.

The IT system project used the SAP Activate methodology, recommended for implementing the latest versions of SAP solutions. The implementation began with the introduction of new IT tools, data migration from existing systems, monitoring and the analysis of behaviors within the newly shared sales and self-service channels.Further development of the project took place in iterations and subsequent projects were tested each time with users. This provided the opportunity to capture the most important problems with the handling and usability of the application before the start of software development, and above all gave the opportunity to create the highest quality user experience.

The first implementation, including B2B Commerce, was completed within the next four months and included the introduction of a key sales channel for B2B customers (distributors and wholesalers) from the ground up. The transformation program is carried out incrementally and will ultimately cover all customer segments in all markets where Śnieżka currently is and will be in the future, with each of its brands.

Zdzisław Czerwiec

Sales Director of CEE, Customer Service and Logistics Śnieżka, Leader of the IT Change program in the area of B2B eCommerce as well as production, sales and logistics.

The first implementation was well received by users in the pilot group. Based on their opinions, the system modifications have been introduced to increase ergonomics in everyday work. The improved system has been directed to the majority of clients. Additionally, one month after the implementation, a survey was conducted with users to enrich further system modifications with feedback. Such a controlled manner engages users in the creation process ensuring system development, business values and cost-effective implementations relying on top priorities while providing value to the user.

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