B2B: Going Digital
Catch-up. Compete. Outshine.
For too long the B2B sector has played second fiddle to the consumer & retail market when it comes to digital commerce.
Technology firms seem to feel B2B is lagging behind, and yet across most sub-sectors such as Manufacturing, Automotive & Distribution there is a very real concern that digitising the commercial experience entirely will remove the core USP that keeps customers coming back – human interaction and face-to-face customer service.
In short – “One size does NOT fit all”, and because the world is running scared of the dreaded Amazon colossus there needs to be more of a “ground-up” approach towards B2B digital commerce. Not only do you want to catch-up and compete, but you ultimately want to outshine.
The agenda for our morning started at the beginning – with content from leading B2B commerce businesses that have made the journey to take the right parts of their business online whilst retaining their core values. We took in real-world stories and used them to encourage our audience to continue and even start their own digital journeys.
“One of the most important to-dos in a digital transformation is to make sure all relevant digital competences from Marketing to IT are organised in the same department. This removes the silos and increases efficiency and agility.” - Christian Agger
"It is important to create a transformation strategy that aligns to the businesses objectives, which include all the different departments and employees within the business. The strategy then needs to be driven by the board to ensure it is implemented." - Asad Ali
Those in attendance were:-
- Directors of eCommerce, Strategy, Digital & IT
- Heads of eCommerce, Marketing, Strategy & Transformation
- Senior Transformation, Strategy & Business Development leaders
- Chief Technology Officers
- Chief Operating Officers
- Chief Digital Officers
- Founders, CEO's & Owners
Head of eCommerce & Marketing, Saint-Gobain Distribution Denmark (SGDD)
Christian Agger is a true digital pioneer. Since he joined SGDD in 2012, eCommerce sales figures have grown by nearly 40 percent with average conversion rates of 24 percent. Today eCommerce accounts for a fourth of the company’s turnover – an astonishing achievement for a company whose primary customers are plumbers. In 2013 Christian introduced Omnichannel branding in SGDD. Christian’s and SGDD’s digital achievements are widely acknowledged. In 2014 the company won the gold medal at the Danish eCommerce awards and was awarded best provider within Omnichannel. In 2015, Christian was appointed Digital Strategy Lead in Saint-Gobain Distribution Nordic - responsible for the digital strategy and best practices across the region covering Denmark, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Baltics, Poland and Switzerland.
Digital Marketing Manager, Birchwood Price Tools (BPT)
Asad is a passionate advocate for the new principles of bi-modal technology. Now, 2 years into his role as Digital Marketing Manager at Birchwood Price Tools, he has taken a very traditional business gradually and gently into the digital world, building interactive business cases so that investment was made in a very controlled manner. Asad’s passion for digital transformation in big organisations has been fuelled by some time agency-side - meaning that he has a clear view of the final destination, as well as the right steps to take on the journey.
Former Group IT Director, Bunzl UK & Ireland
Formerly, James was Group IT Director of Bunzl UK & Ireland. Bunzl is a B2B focused purchasing and outsourcing organisation with 23 individual businesses turning over £1.1bn. James led the eCommerce team responsible for developing a second-generation website model, based on B2C front-end functionality and a complex commercial contract based backend – the objective being to create a single, comprehensive model that could be customised to suit and fit each of the individual businesses requirements.
James has extensive experience of digital transformation in the entertainment industry (Warner Music Group), and the logistics & business-to-business service (Bunzl Plc) industry. He is now an independent consultant providing guidance on digital strategy and the delivery of major business transformation programmes centred on eCommerce, ERP implementation, digital delivery and outsourcing.
8:20am Registration & Breakfast
8:55am Take Seats & Welcome - Jamie Hancox, Commerce Futures
9:00am The First Steps: from Level 0 to Level 1 of Digital Transformation - Asad Ali, Birchwood Price Tools (BPT)
Asad will be talking through the journey of Birchwood Price Tools (BPT) from no online transacting to 'Level 1' of the digital transformation. He'll take us through from the beginning - the business case that drove BPT to transact online, the challenges and obstacles that were faced and what the early results are. Asad will also give us an insight into what is next for BPT's digital development.
9:25am Making Progress: from Level 1 to Level 2/3 - James Cam, Former Bunzl IT Director
James will present the opportunities and threats to the business that were acknowledged, and how being early to the market with digital meant that Bunzl had to learn from their own experiences in order to become successful. He will explain the lessons learned when being a leader in the digital transformation and which strategies have been implemented as a result. James will also dive into more technical challenges and what he would do differently next time.
9:55am Coffee Break & Networking
10:10am The Four-Year Cycle: from Level 0 to Level 4 - Christian Agger, Saint Gobain
Christian will round up with an insight into Saint Gobain's four-year cycle, competitor analysis and what transacting truly efficiently online actually means to Saint Gobain. He will talk about what's next for Saint Gobain, how they will retain their current B2B customers, and where he expects the business's future growth will come from online.
10:35am Q&A Session with Speakers – Moderated by Nicholas Weber
A short interactive session where you’ll have the chance to ask the speakers any questions you may have about digital transformation within the B2B industry, transitioning aspects of your business online, and find out any further advice & insight.
11:15am Final comments before Tea, Coffee & Networking
11:30am Event Close
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