E-business, that means primarily digital processes, orders, service, etc. Depending on the season, the peaks in orders vary enormously. At Hey Marly, the business model also changed: In addition to the pure end-customer business, business with B2B partners was added. For these reasons, a solid webshop and, in the backend, an efficient ERP system are indispensable. At Hey Marly, ruhr.agency introduced xentral as its central ERP in early 2021. But this only laid the base for the programming of a variety of individual functionalities and interfaces, which were implemented over the course of the next few months.
A summer vacation, a feeling of sand under their feet and sun on their skin – that was all it took for Paula and Philip Neidhart to start their dream of their own fashion label in 2018. What’s special? Their sandals can change their look with different toppings and can be worn for different occasions. The demand for this individuality was and still is great and so the range of Hey Marly now includes other customizable products such as bags, hats, scarves, accessories and much more. The high-fashion trend is so well received by customers that Hey Marly has grown enormously in a very short time. Meanwhile, the Kapten Group has also taken a stake in Hey Marly. At its headquarters in Cologne, Hey Marly currently employs 36 people, with business taking place entirely online except for its own store in Cologne. Here, Hey Marly serves its customers both via its own online store and via selected external online retailers such as Breuninger.
In the first step, the main objective was to introduce a suitable, central ERP system for Hey Marly’s online store. The choice was made for xentral and we at ruhr.agency were assigned with the implementation and customization. In xentral, the basic setup such as document templates, basic settings, e-mails, etc. should be carried out first and then the Shopify store system should be connected. The import of orders from Shopify and the playout of stock numbers, tracking codes and shipping notifications to Shopify were particularly important here.
Probably the most important thing for an onlineshop: product master data. Hey Marly liked to create new items via xentral and export them to Shopify. This task was likewise part of the first phase of the project. Last but not least, a fulfillment service provider had to be connected to xentral. The main focus was to ensure that orders can be passed to the fulfillment service provider after pre-processing in xentral, and that the fulfillment provider’s inventory numbers can be played out to xentral and then to Shopify, so that Hey Marly can always work with the exact inventory levels. Of course, it should also be possible to import tracking information and shipping notifications from the fulfillment service provider, as well as forward product data from xentral to the fulfiller.
The first step was to set up a variety of system and basic settings to ensure communication with the Fulfiller. With the help of xentral’s transfer module, it was possible to create an interface to the fulfillers’ dispatch. This enabled the exchange of data between Hey Marly and the Fulfiller, for example, to track shipments or migrate master data. Finally, for the end of 2021, Hey Marly had a new requirement for xentral, which we at ruhr.agency had to implement: A tool to automate credits and refunds via xentral API and Shopify API. This tool should contain the following functions:
In Hey Marly’s fast-growing online business, the external conditions also changed with the growth, and so the next challenge for ruhr.agency came as early as the beginning of 2022: In the meantime, xentral was no longer the central system, but part in a complex interplay with new fulfiller called Alaiko, Shopify as well as the support system Gorgias.
The task was quite complex. B2B orders should be created in xentral and submitted to Alaiko, with shipping feedback back to xentral. End customer orders from Shopify should primarily be managed in Shopify, only shipping should go through Alaiko. If changes are made to the order by the customer support, the Gorgias support system comes into play, which makes the changes and transfers them to Shopify. Another script imports new orders from Shopify to xentral and also updates them for subsequent changes. Finally, after the shipping message from Alaiko to Shopify, the script automatically creates an invoice for the order. If there is a refund to the customer, it is created in Gorgias or Shopify and an automated credit note is created in parallel in xentral.
From a simple ERP system with an interface to the webshop, Hey Marly quickly became a relatively complex system with affiliated fulfillment service providers and a support system that far exceeded the functionalities provided by xentral. Thanks to the agile project processes at ruhr.agency, the high requirements were implemented quickly and efficiently. The management of Hey Marly also sees the great added value:
“Due to our rapid growth and the associated restructuring of the IT architecture, the requirements for this project were very high. We are therefore even happier that thanks to the fast and professional implementation by ruhr.agency, our processes are now running absolutely smoothly.”
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