Accelerating digital B2B commerce for ForFarmers
As one of the leading international operating feed companies, ForFarmers set itself apart with a Total Feed Solution for both organic and conventional farmers.
- 2,500 employees
- € 2,4 B turnover
- 10 million sales of animal feed (tonnes)
ForFarmers prides itself on its ability to help farmers make their business a success. By working side-by-side with farmers ForFarmers delivers real benefits: better returns, healthier livestock and greater efficiency. This is achieved by offering tailored and Total Feed solutions and a targeted approach with specialist and expert support. With sales of approximately 10 million tonnes of animal feed annually, ForFarmers is the market leader in Europe. The company is operating in the Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, Poland and the United Kingdom.
ForFarmers’ vision is to be the leading player in farmers’ solutions. The future is clearly digitization in farming, so ForFarmers is determined to expand and further professionalize in that field. ForFarmers has taken initiative to start e-business wherein farmers will directly simulate stock availability & price, place orders and track status of delivery and billing directly on the portal minimizing the manual steps and improving efficiency. For their e-business initiative, ForFarmers has implementing SAP Commerce and integrated their backend SAP ERP system with SAP Commerce solution. Also, C4C , which is the CRM system currently used, integrated with SAP Commerce for users and customer management.
The challenge was to use technology to make doing business with ForFarmers easier. Apart from an existing e-Business portal, ForFarmers still relied on other traditional ordering solutions, such as fax, telephone, and in-person visits to communicate with farmers. They knew that a new digital platform could take their business to a new level and regain a position amongst the eBusiness front runners in the market.
What we did:
- Integration consulting
- Digital Product Design
- E-commerce Platform Development
- Customer Engagement
- Continuous Improvement
- Quality Assurance
- SAP commerce/ SAP ERP Integration
- CPI Middleware implementation
SQLI used ForFarmers' prototype as a starting point to create and design an ordering platform that worked as a complete e-commerce solution on SAP CX. The team was able to integrate it with their current ERP system for a consolidated solution that can be applied across all markets. SQLI’s development team in Valencia maintained consistent contact with the ForFarmers project team and provided specialist knowledge, tactical expertise and were on hand to help out with any issues. SQLI’s design team in Amsterdam and Belgium provided business and user experience consulting, and visual design to create a simplified buying experience for the farmers.
As a large corporation, ForFarmers reaches a wide variety of markets and target customers. They needed a digital ordering platform that would allow them to reach these various markets and provide a unique digital presence to each. The legal requirements and needs of their UK customers, for example, are different from their German ones. Likewise, poultry farmers had different needs and concerns than dairy farmers. Trying to fit all of these needs in one online ordering portal would be cumbersome, and the customer experience would suffer. SQLI worked with them to address this and created a platform that could support different branding to roll out across each region and customer base. The team created a white-label shop to brand for each unique region and customer base easily. ForFarmers can easily rebrand as needed without losing key features and functions. In addition, ForFamers’ strategy is Build to Grow 2025. They plan to continue their expansion into new markets and core business functions to facilitate growth. SQLI created a scalable platform that allows ForFarmers to continue its development into new marketing and offerings. Their digital services can continue to grow with their business.
Digital self-service is a feature that consumers no longer just want but expect to have. In the B2B world, it is crucial as most businesses are short on time and need technology to make their lives easier.
ForFarmers' new e-Commerce platform gives its customers the ability to easily order, re-order, check on order status and mineral information for themselves. SQLI introduced processes and provided expert advice that allowed ForFarmers to introduce these self-service options for farmers. With an emphasis on the customer experience and ease for users, the self-service option became more attractive for customers that might otherwise be hesitant to try it.
When it came to a digital presence, timing was critical. The sooner ForFarmers could have a better platform, the better for their business. The team built a minimum viable product (or MVP) so that ForFarmers could have the digital presence they needed and learn what works and what doesn’t. However, they did not stop there.
SQLI worked to make continuous improvements on their MVP. The team was able to add over 50 critical features and improve performance beyond a basic presence. They received feedback and insights from customers and valuable analytics so that the added features are as user-friendly and best suits their farmers’ needs.