- Magento 2 Migration & P21 Integration (00:00-01:01)
My name is Tim Diep, and I am the customer success manager for DCKAP. I have been with the company for eight years now and just doing a lot of coordinating events for the ecosystem. I work towards bringing a lot of the technology partners and merchants and distributors together, just so we could really iron out all the details of what it takes to be really successful for eCommerce.
So usually we have big events called the DCKAP summit. That’s when we bring the whole community together. But in regards to this one, this one is specifically called the e-session. So it’s more of a case study or a walkthrough today. You’re going to be hearing from Kendall and Alec in regards to what it said for them to migrate over to the Magento two website and also integrating P21 Epicor- the ace ERP system.
- Introducing the session and thanking our sponsors (01:02-02:09)
*Introducing the features of the eSession with the relevant hashtags*
I’d love to thank all the sponsors. So we have put together Nexcess- a hosting solution, for all the eCommerce platforms. So Nexcess will be here and then we have Punch out 2 go. So, you’ll be hearing from Brady on the discussion panel later today. And of course, DCKAP, you know, looking forward to it really showcasing some expertise and some knowledge for you guys for e-commerce.
- Introducing the speakers (02:09-03:11)
So the first session that we have is called Magento 2 migration and the P 21 integration for business transformation. I want to bring up Alec Daniel from Moody Price and Kendall Ducote from, from Moody Price. So Alec, he’s a digital marketing designer with a Moody Price and has operated within that for about two years now, over two years now.
He has helped with the development and implementation of company-wide digital improvements, including email marketing, SEO, and local SEO, social media platforms. Data analytics and account specific targeting.
And then we also have Kendall Ducote. He’s the VP of technology at Moody Price, and he has been managing their profits as well as strategies for the last 12 years. Now, in that time he has implemented eCommerce platforms. Epicor is B2B seller, Amera commerce. Epicor is ECC on Magento one, and now Magento two with DCKAP.
So, I would like to bring to the stage- Alec and Kendall
- Insight into Moody Price (03:12- 06:20)
Thank you very much. Thanks for the introduction, Tim. Alright, well, this is a quick screenshot of our home page, and I appreciate the introduction as he mentioned, I’m the vice president of technology at Moody Price.
We’re an industrial distributor that focuses mainly on instrumentation products and we’re spread out across the Gulf region from Odessa, Texas to the panhandle of Florida. And up through Memphis, Tennessee, we went live on Epicor. B2B seller shortly after we went on P21. It was part of our installation package.
We went live with them back in 2008 in the middle of a hurricane. And that was an interesting scenario. And as I said, as part of our installation, we went live with a B2B seller. It was our first e-commerce attempt. Prior to that, it was just a simple single page website. We ran that for a few years, learned a lot. From there we moved on to Amera commerce, which was a disconnected eCommerce solution. Everything was moved back and forth through imports and exports. There was no integration, but it did allow us to create some things such as, search engine optimization.
Mainly to configure product group pages and more a marketing side for the website that the B2B seller just didn’t support at all. And then from there we got, we’d grown the business quite a bit from the commerce side and the imports and exports got a little bit too big to handle. So that’s when we started looking into options for going back to integrated ECC, which was a new product, from Epicor. We joined in then with the hopes of the, it was sold to us as one throat to choke. The problem was we ended up wanting to choke it quite a bit. We learned a lot with that integration as well. Web technologies have progressed quite a bit from.
When we initially went live with a B2B seller, we were able to get exposed to more of the modern web looking feel. And then we ran into the limitations of what ECC could do for us and the limitations of progressing our SEO footprint and the pain points of trying to make changes that were significant.
- Starting the journey with DCKAP (06:20-13:16)
So from there, we moved on to DCKAP and we went live in March of 2020. Moody Price.com is our domain. If you’d like to go check out our site after the presentation. So, we’d like to cover a few things for the group peer share, some of our experiences were work well. Things that we’ve learned and hopefully give some of you guys some insight on what you could expect.
If you chose to go down the same road that we did. I’m going to go over some of the motivations that we had for moving from ECC over to, to DCKAP by even going over some of the core requirements that we had for our site. So you get a look, a little bit of a feel for some of the things that we were looking for with DCKAP that we were struggling with with ECC.
Ultimately, while we chose DCKAP and I’ll give a brief overview of how our implementation, when it’s not going to be very detailed, more of a highlight of how this implementation differed from other implementations that we’ve done in the past. And I’ll let Alec go over some of the design and SEO aspects of our new website and the site performance.
The primary motivation to start looking for another eCommerce platform is the sunset of Magento. One which anyone who is on ECC is going to be faced with, or if you’re on budget, the one with a different integration,believe the sunset was supposed to be this month. I haven’t heard anything. Recently the latest COVID or anything has extended that, but that was one of our driving forces.
We knew we were going to have to move. And so we took a step back to make sure we were selecting the platform and the partners that were going to be the most effective and made the most sense for us. Another driver was the high cost of BCC subscription. We were sure every implementation is going to be different, but we were actually able to cover the cost of our Magento to build, with a ROI of just the savings from ECC to less than two years.
Another issue we’re having with ECC was the inefficient and expensive development cost. As many of you may or may not know,with Epicor, you’re usually tied in directly to a company called Silk that is responsible for all the design portion. But there’s no one at Epicor that understands design
So anything that you need to change or want to configure, you have to submit a case into Epicor who then turns around and rephrases that case to Silk after which somebody gets in touch with you from Silk, and then you give the requirements. And then they’re going to give a quote, but you can’t get the quote from Silk, the quote for the amount of hours.
And the amount of time and how much it’s going to call us as the funnel back through Epicor, because it’s ultimately built from Epicor. It was a very frustrating path to get support and enhancements done. Another large driver we have is something called punch out. If you’re not familiar with punch out catalogs, if you have large customers, it’s coming.
If it’s not already there, it is on it’s way. To leverage your website and tie into the customer’s procurement system. And I’ll give a little bit more information on that in just a second.Gist of it is it replaces the shopping cart on your website when the customer goes in and they throw items into their cart with the quantity item, price, and they go to checkout. Instead of it actually prompting me for a credit card, it returns all of those items and all the information and all the quantities and prices that are in the shopping cart, back into their procurement system.
Most commonly with us, it’s Reba and Coupa and SAP.
It looked just like our website. It works like our website, the search works like our website. It’s a tailored session for that customer. that changes up the checkout process for them. We have one of our largest customers, who had a requirement for us to begin using it. And up until this point, we had not embraced it fully.
Moving away from ECC into another Magento implementation was going to give us the chance that we were looking for to integrate punch out from the ground up and not as an afterthought. Now here’s a slide from PunchOut2Go. They are the vendor that we use and you’ll hear from Brady in a little while that we use to help us configure the PunchOut integration with Prophet 21 for us.
You see, this is a little busy showing all the ins and outs and the, and the flows that go in. So I simplified this a little bit into a single slide. That may be a little bit easier to understand if you’re not familiar with Punch Out, the customer starts a session within their procurement system. And.
Within a Reba or Coupa or within SAP, they see a window that looks exactly like our website is our website. It’s a version of our website, but there’s enough customization within that session to control how the checkout works for that customer, those items in their cart. They check out, and return it back to their procurement systems, such as the Reba.
And then we received the PO from Reba. So it really streamlines the process for those larger customers that have this capability. And I think the price to entry on this has come down quite a bit where I think we’re going to start seeing this more and more with even smaller customers.
So that, that then one of the driving forces that we had here, that we wanted to integrate up front. Some of the other core requirements we have, obviously as the peak 21 in integration with our eCommerce site that we had without the integration was that it’s entirely too difficult to manage.
- Changes and migration (13:17-16:51)
It really was not an option for us at this point. With our growth of eCommerce business, another requirement we had was robust site search. It was a real limitation that we had with Magento one. And all of our earlier websites, the latest technology is called elastic search, which actually requires its own separate server instance with your hosting as very inexpensive.
I think we pay roughly around $20 a month. I think for the instance that we use for our elastic search. But it takes the search capabilities that most customers are used to with an Amazon experience with suggestions. This product goes with, and a complete customization of the, of the site search separate from Magento.
That was one of our core requirements that we had to make sure that our part numbers, which are. It can be very complicated with dashes and spaces and inch marks and so forth. To make sure customers could find the products that they were looking for, we had to have a system that was going to dynamically price for our customers that were registered on the website.
This could potentially be a big hurdle for any installation that does not have a dedicated middleware to talk with and to do it quickly, to calculate real time pricing for customers that are logged in with ECC. We had something similar except even the base pricing was being calculated real time, which was real drag on performance.
With the integration we did with DCKAP, we were able to go through the actual static price, all of our items based off of a pricing library. And then we have a job that runs once a week that goes back in and reprices those static prices based off of the current pricing library.
We wanted our customers to be able to go in and approve quotes. We wanted the integration to use our Avalara tax integration that we already had in . So we didn’t want to have to go back in and recreate all of our tax rules with the Avalara integration with Magento 2, we’re able to use our same Avalara account for all of our sales tax calculations on the website.
We wanted to make sure we could flag our customers that were already tax-exempt, onto the website. So we didn’t have to try and manage that process separately. And another issue we had run into with the last two or three years is customers who are checking out online or our website. That is tax exempt, but there’s no way other than a note on the order to say they’re tax exempt and then they would submit the online order.
We will receive it. And then after we would get it into and begin processing it, we would receive an email from them saying, Hey, we’re tax exempt, please remove the tax off of this order. So what we wanted to do with our new implementation was to. Implement some methodology to where customers could actually upload their tax exemption certificate.
- Setting up the check out process (16:51-21:32)
As part of the checkout process, this just started off as an idea of what would work best for us. And it turned into a customization from DCKAP into Magento that works flawlessly. Now we receive probably two dozen orders in the last two months that are supplied with both the order information and the tax exemption certificate information, whenever it’s actually brought in.
So it skips that entire step of trying to fix an order after the fact. Wishlist item that we had that actually turned into more of a requirement, was the need for a product information manager or a PIM. If you’ve heard the term, it gives us a single point of management of all of our items that we have for sale, both on the website and within P 21. Some of these items are not even on our website, but there’s very limited storage by default for things such as attributes and a rich product data like PDF cut sheets or images or CAD drawings.
Anyone does not handle that very well natively. So the PIM gives us an intermediary step that loads the product data from to get things like part numbers, descriptions, weights. But then it also gives us another place where we can store these cut sheets in CAD drawings and attribute data such as, specific sizes or dimensions or pressure ratings that become searchable once they are inside of the Magento portal and our last.
Requirement was not only did we want to implement Punch Out but we wanted to implement it in a way that was going to work best for our customers natively. In most PunchOut integrations, you’re limited to the items that are on your website for the customer to choose from in order for them to use and their punch out integration.
Our businesses as such where we have a lot of one time purchase items that we call buyout. These are items that are not something we would normally stock or sometimes ever stop, but the customer’s requested it from us as part of a larger order. So we’ll take the task of procuring that item and adding it to the order for them.
But that item would never be on our website. Another instance of that would be engineered products where we have things such as radar level meters. These things are calibrated and have so many different possible configurations that an individual part for an individual customer is going to have an individual part number doesn’t lend itself to going through and adding it to our website because it would only ever be purchased by this one customer this one time.
So we needed a way for customers to be able to punch those out through the punch out process, without them being on the website. And what we came up with was a way for the punch out process to read a quote, instead of relying on the shopping cart itself.
This allowed us to present to the customer, any item that we have in P 21. And they could retrieve that item by retrieving the quote where that item lives and whenever they would click the punch out button, instead of using the shopping cart to transfer the list of items and quantities and prices, we’re actually using our quote to load that data back into their procurement system.
So we had all these requirements and wants and our wishlist, and now we had to find a vendor who could take care of all of it so we started down the path. We think we had a short list of about three to four, partners that we were looking to choose from. What set DCKAP apart from the others that we looked at, one, they had already had a solid base and the users group, the middleware that they were implementing in CLORAS.
- DCKAP demo and why they were set apart (21:33-28:01)
And come back to us with a commitment, some of these, they had actually never done, but they looked at it from a high level and made a commitment that they would make it work for us. And that was huge, especially with the punch out to go implementation. Because at this point, all we had was a concept of using a prophet 21 quote, and there was a big gap from me.
From a technology standpoint of a quote in prophet 21 and a requisition in the customer’s procurement system and how to make those, the bridge, that gap was beyond my skills from a technology standpoint, but they had the understanding and the partnership with punch out to go, where they were able to confidently take on the project.
Another benefit we have with them is that partnership with Nexcess. We did our own individual research, on hosting and Nexcess ranked up near the top for Magento hosting everywhere. We looked in surveys, and various user forums. And with them being tightly integrated with Nexcess. it took all the load off of us for having to create and set up our own hosting environments, the configuration for the hosting itself and also the configuration and set up of the elastic search instance.
Logged into Nexcess, created an account. We put in our billing information and we set up credentials for DCKAP and handed it over to them. And short of going in and reconciling my monthly billing. I don’t do anything at all with hosting, which is very nice for me. their flexi PIM product was very new when we first started looking at DCKAP and.
As limited as it was when we first looked, it was exactly what we were looking for. We had looked at other PMs that are on the market, even open source, such as a Keanio and some other PMs that are available. And they were just way overkill for what we wanted. We wanted a place to go in and house all of our product, data and information, and specifically the things that could not hold.
And the flexi PIM product does all of that. For us, it holds everything we need that we haven’t, we haven’t run into any limitation on what it can do for us. In fact, it can do a lot more than what we’re using it for. It’s grown into, and the product does more similar to some of the larger PIM products that are out there now.
But for us, we just needed something basic and easy and also had a direct tie into Magento 2 tp make the management is I want to say single pane of glass, but it’s all integrated in the flexi PM. Data is connected into our Magento site with their own plugin, and we will log into a portal. That’s outside of our website to manage all the product data, and all of our changes automatically flow back into Magento from the plugin.
And of course, as any company, we were looking for something that was going to be cost effective for us. We had three different partners that we were looking at. DCKAP was the only one that could bring in all of our wants. Could handle the customization and they were also the lowest price of the three that we looked at.
So it was the trifecta of easy decision making.
As far as our implementation goes, having been through B2B sellers, America, commerce, ECC. We had a pretty good feel on what to expect going in part of that. We’re much better organized for our implementation with DCKAP in the past. We learned lessons from, not having organized photos, not having organized categories, all those lessons we had learned prior, we were able to bring to the table with our implementation here.
So it made things a lot easier and smoother. But the one point I want to drive in is how organized the implementation is with DCKAP. So much more than any of the others that we had used in the past. They use a program called our a web portal called base camp. If you, if you’re not familiar with it, it’s a very easy to use almost user forum.
Like a feel to it that makes it very simple to go in and create a case or an instance, if you will, of an enhanced mint or a feature or a bug, and then you can follow the conversations all the way through. You can watch again yeah. Loop in the correct resources that are needed. What we’ll have, we’ll start in, a feature enhancement with one person at DCKAP.
That’ll get it to the point where maybe it needs data from CLORAS or we need to bring in a piece from flexiPIM and they loop in those resources real time seamlessly all within the. The instance of the request and you can follow it. There’s no need for status updates. There’s no need for wondering what’s going on. You can see what’s being done as it’s being done within the interface. So That was very nice. And, a welcome change from our experience in the past.
- Key differentiator with design (28:13-30:33)
Another key differentiator with this implementation was- Alex Decker, who is the UX designer for us, who was really able to take all of our list of wants and what we thought we wanted for our designs and was keeping the things we requested in the spirit that we were requesting them.
At the same time, he was able to bring in recommendations for best practices. We could do this, but if we shifted it one way or another, or we added this other piece of information, it would help with our SEO. He brings vast experience and knowledge for wholesale distributors and or distributors in general and knows.
Mostly in generic terms, what differentiates a distributor customer from say an Amazon customer and how, how they shop and what things are important and what things to prioritize in the design. And lastly, I would like to bring up that, I mean, I mentioned it’s efficient. We implemented our DCKAP Magento 2 with flexiPIM , probably in a span of three to four months. It may have taken a little bit longer than that. But anything that went over that was because of our customization that we have required with the tax exemption certificate and the PunchOut2Go. But the basic site itself was up and running in.
Probably about three months and that includes design everything from starting from wireframes to finish proof of design, comparing that with our implementation with ECC, I believe we were probably in the eight to nine month range for the same process. So I can’t say enough about the efficiency and the ease of the implementation process.
It was great for us.
- Introducing Alec Daniel and his experience (30:34-34:51)
Now, what I’d like to do is bring in Alec, Daniel, who is our digital marketing designer, who handles all things with our website, with design and SEO. And he had almost completely control over that process. And he can give you a little bit of insight on how that went for him and with working with DCKAP.
Thanks Kendall. And thanks Tim for the introduction. Good morning, everyone. I just kinda wanted to piggyback off of the previous implementation slide and talk about that from a design standpoint. This is my first site with Moody Price. However, I do have experience with a couple and websites and have worked as a project manager role.
So I’m familiar with the process. I had a lot of expectations. I knew that DCKAP would have us covered on the technical side. You know, they’re specialized in the middleware- CLORAS. The reason we went with them was because of the PunchOut integration and there were a lot of technical things they brought to the table, but I just, I have to brag on them.
I did not expect this pleasant of an experience when it came to our design on this website. So I really, when this all started, I expected to be given a list of templates. No they say here, pick a few of these,we’ll roll with this. That’s not what we got. What we got was we worked with Alex, we had a discussion, you know, goals.
Do you know where your customers are going? How do they get there? How can we improve this process through design? So in doing that, we got a data driven design and call to actions, using our previous websites, data and analytics. So we went through and we did this page by page for the entire site.
And the process was just incredible and a great experience. Not what I was expecting, but a lot better than I was expecting. We were able to use this method to meet any unfulfilled needs we had on our homepage with like in reference to call to actions and stuff. So we wanted to really focus on that data and in doing so we sort of came to the conclusion that we had three top sections of our site. We wanted to focus on that’s where our customers were going. We wanted to help them get there. So we went with, you know, requests for quotes, our locations, pages and our services pages, because that’s really our big fee yet and Moody Price. A lot of people ask me why as an eCommerce site,your main call to action is a request for a quote.
The reason is we looked at the data and, you know, a lot of our products are modular. They are project specific, they’re very specialized. So, that’s why we decided to go with our, request for request for quote is our main call to action. Again, a data-driven decision on that.
We get a dozen, sometimes two dozen requests for quotes on a good day with probably about a 50%. Conversion rates. So not a web sale per se, but a sale, which really is all Kendall and I care about at the end of the day is to convert those customers. So, that was the homepage location. Same thing. We went through the data with Alex.
We knew that for local SEO reasons, we wanted to create sub pages, which we did not have on our previous website. So each branch would get its own page that we could then. Talk about the service areas that we cover there. We want it to include, you know, those high quality photos, one of the shows off our inventories, our vehicle fleets and other capabilities we have at these branches that customers would otherwise not know about.
Have they not seen it? So that was a big thing for us. And that was something that we were really able to capitalize on. Another one was our services pages. Cause we’re not just, uh, a sales company, we’re, we’re big on services and just like locations. We wanted customers to be able to see the services we provide.
- Design in detail and wrap up (34:51-42:00)
If you go to our services pages, you will see that we actually took photos of a lot of our services and customers can go there and see, okay. These guys seem pretty proficient. They have, you know, they do this a lot. And so they were able to provide that with us. So that’s sort of the design.
I kind of wanted to touch on SEO a little bit and that, and our previous site, I spent months working on our metadata, you know, our descriptions and page titles and stuff like that. We have over 5,000 product pages and that was something that I’d really worked on. And when we originally started looking into this migration, we were told that this is going to be wiped.
This is a complete rebuild. You’re not going to have this stuff well, that wasn’t the case for DCKAP. They went ahead and made that happen for us. They got all of that metadata that I had created and spent so much time on. And they were able to put that into our new site, which saved me.
I mean, hundreds of hours worth of work. So I was very appreciative of that. There was also an issue on our previous site, I guess it was a setting in Magento, one where every URL ended in dot HTML. And so what I was having to do was go through and 301, redirect all of these old pages ending and dot HTML to our new pages that didn’t have any and I spent a couple of weeks post-launch on our website on this, on this website. I was sort of mentioning it to DCKAP and they were like, well, we can write a script.
So they wrote a script for that and saved me again. I would have had to do this for five, 6,000 pages and a done deal. That was it. So, that was a great experience. Moving on to our site speed. This was a huge issue for us. Our previous site was so bloated. As you can see here, we had about a seven and a half seconds, second page load time. And that was our average. I mean, this thing was bloated. It was slow. Uh, currently with our new site, we’re at about one to two and a half seconds.
One of the reasons for that is that DCKAP came up with a design for us. We have a lot of products. I’m gonna use something called an FPC, for example which looks the exact same. There’s about, let’s say 10 variants of one FPC with a quarter inch difference or something like that. So they all look the exact same.
Just with minor, minor differences that vary from pro part number and our previous site, we were showing photos of every single one of these variants, which obviously slowed down our website massively. With this new one, they came up with a design, you know, I worked with Alex and I guess he was great and they basically showed the one at the top and then listed the part numbers underneath, which sounds simple.
But, you know we hadn’t thought of that and it just saved us so much time and it really retained a lot of who were exiting our site right there due to load speed. So, this has been a great experience for kennel and I, we’re very thankful that we found DCKAP and that we were able to work with them.
And we really look forward to this partnership moving forward.
- WRAP UP
So if you’re not running e-commerce so let us know if we could do anything to help you. So we are. We are, you know, within the ecosystem and we have a lot of partnerships too. You know, there’s a lot of components to e-commerce. We have, you know, we have Nexcess for hosting. We have a PunchOut2Go for the, for the punch outs.
But as Alec and Kendall were talking about, we also partnered with Avalara, which was the tax company. We do a lot with search. So, you know, there’s a lot of companies out there for, in terms of e-commerce Daniel knows, we want to even think of you guys up with them. So if you have any questions or anything like that, just send me a direct chat or even email.
My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. And just let me know, and I can think you up with the right partners or whatnot. So, so thank you so much for that. As of right now, actually we do have one question then me. So this is from Barry Holman.
Can DCKAP share how many P21 customers DCKAP serves?
So yeah, we can, we could definitely share.
So I’ll have one of my sales reps. They could even answer that. So yeah. Keep the questions coming. So, and then let’s see four from John for your non-punch out customers with terms where you are able to let customers check out without making a payment. Absolutely. we have. three different checkout channels, if you will.
We have different levels of customers. We have what we call anonymous, which are customers that do not exist, in our Magento site. And they do not exist in or anywhere. And those folks are limited strictly to credit card checkout. Then we have the next tier, what we call our Magento customers, which are folks who order online from us.
They have elected to save their account information in Magento, but they are not . These are customers typically from outside of our general sales area, but they come to us for items that they can’t find locally and repeat orders. Then we have what we call our customers. These are the customers that have an account on the website that is directly tied to an account or P21 contact, within their system.
Once you get to that level, we open up a second and third method of checkout, the second being, A Moody Price account. So if they have account terms with us, whenever they check out, it actually takes the order, brings it in and it is charged to them, their terms, their open account that they have with us.
Then, of course the third would be for the next tier of customers that are using punch out, which that order process actually doesn’t directly create a transaction on the website. It simply returns that information to their procurement system. And then we receive a purchase order from that customer, uh, via EDI or Reba or one other method that actually goes straight into P21.
And that transaction does not occur at all within the budget, the Magento space. Thank you Kendall. So, hopefully that answered your question. And then forBary you know, we just answered it too. So we have 20 plus customers. So we do a lot with the worldwide users group, you know, unfortunately, you know, the conference is going to be virtual now.
Right. We’re supposed to meet in Dallas, so yeah. And then we do a lot with the Lake Erie user group. So if you want even more information our last eSummit on April 28th was with the Lake Erie users group as well. So if you don’t have any information, just go ahead and send me, send me a check in and then we can even talk about that.