Marc Will
tbd.
Marc Will
SKUs onboarded

360'000

SKUs onboarded
Attributes created

600+

Attributes created
Categories trained

45'000

Categories trained

BRINGING THE OFFLINE RANGE ONLINE WITH HIGH DATA QUALITY

Building Materials Suisse (BMS) is the largest trader of building materials in the field of shell construction and interior finishing in Switzerland and the most important national company of Building Materials Europe, which achieves a total turnover of 3.5 billion euros. BMS is represented at over 120 locations and with exhibitions throughout Switzerland. Many of the brands under the BMS umbrella, such as Baubedarf, Richner, Gétaz, Miauton and Regusci Reco, have made Swiss construction history and, thanks to their strong local roots and personal relationships with customers, it is hard to imagine the Swiss construction industry without them. More than 150 employees in the field and over 80 managers in branches throughout Switzerland offer expert advice in several languages and form a one-stop shop for small and large customers from the construction industry as well as private customers.  

Due to various company acquisitions by BMS and the consistent multi-brand strategy, a wide variety of online shops in different technologies were created over time, some of which were still fed from catalogue systems for the production of printed products, while a substantial proportion of the product range was still only sold offline. With the declared goal of being able to offer the main part of the product range online on a common database, BMS decided to replace the historically grown IT infrastructure and the various online shops with a modern and future-oriented e-commerce infrastructure and central product data management. In the course of this renewal, among other things, a new PIM for managing product data and a new shop solution were introduced. The Onedot platform was chosen as a partner for the onboarding of product data.

Automated product data onboarding is a strategic advantage, especially in the construction industry, as the product range is extremely diverse and the products have numerous properties and interdependencies that must be carefully managed for optimal customer advice and reliable cooperation of the products and building components. Manual processes no longer scale with this product diversity and complexity; the high data volumes from various data sources pose an additional challenge.

With its partnership with Onedot, BMS has set itself the goal of establishing simple, fast and reliable processes for modelling, preparing and importing high-quality product data directly into a central PIM. This is intended to create a uniform product database for a wide range of shops and channels, which will save costs and increase the group's turnover in the long term by consistently bringing BMS's diverse product range online.

HOW ONEDOT COULD HELP

The introduction of the new PIM also raised the question for BMS of how to optimally model the product information in order to ensure high findability and comparability of the products in the online shop and to be able to flexibly use future sales channels. The existing online shops with their divergent data models did not provide an optimal basis for this, which is why it was decided to create a completely new product data model. The product data model was to be created and refined incrementally during the product data onboardings of various content providers, suppliers and other data sources, which posed an additional challenge. In addition, the international product classification system ECLASS Standard was included in order to be able to offer customers a standard classification.

Onedot set up a data pipeline for BMS per data source on the Onedot platform, which reads in the suppliers' product catalogues and categorises them highly automatically with the help of Onedot AI and assigns them to the internal product family structure of the product data model. After the successful classification of the products, the product attributes of the suppliers were mapped to the product attributes of the BMS. Missing product attributes were identified straight away, which meant that the product data model could be continuously supplemented. As a last step, different naming, value lists, units of measurement, etc. were brought to a common denominator and adapted to the conventions of the BMS. Afterwards, the product data was converted into the corresponding catalogue format of the PIM and imported directly into the PIM.

In all steps of these repetitive product data onboardings, BMS was able to verify the suggestions of the Onedot platform in the Onedot app, make changes and have these taken into account in the further processing. With each iteration of a product data onboarding, BMS-specific machine learning models for product data classification and attribute mapping were retrained, thus continuously increasing the precision of Onedot's suggestions, resulting in a higher degree of automation.

As an additional service, an internal catalogue system was also migrated to the PIM as part of an internal one-time product data onboarding, which meant that the catalogue system could subsequently be discontinued by BMS. This enabled Onedot to make a further contribution to the modernisation of the BMS application landscape and reduce operating costs.

THE RESULT

Through the Onedot platform, BMS was able to bring over 250,000 SKUs online within 6 months and thus expand the online assortment in a timely manner. In the meantime, 360,000 SKUs have already been created at BMS via the Onedot platform. This was elementary for BMS, especially during the Corona lockdowns, in order to compensate for the loss of stationary sales. In addition to the individual suppliers, the Swiss Wholesale Association of the Sanitary Industry (SGVSB) was also connected as a data source.

Suggestions for product categorisation or the mapping of supplier attributes were generated during the onboarding process. This formed a valuable basis for the BMS users to refine the product data model, i.e. to define new categories and include further relevant attributes. As a result, a uniform database for the various online shops could be built up in a short time.

The automated onboarding process by Onedot formed the cornerstone for the successful expansion of BMS's online sales channels. This enables BMS to continue to compete successfully in the national market and to flexibly expand or adapt its diverse product range.

High data quality is one of the most important criteria for a successful master data strategy. Onedot has proven to be a reliable and flexible partner, which has also supported us in the product data modelling. From experience, a product data model in flux with simultaneous product data onboardings is very demanding: Onedot mastered this challenge very well.
Markus Kammerer
Markus Kammerer
Master Data Manager
Markus Kammerer
Master Data Manager
Marc Will
Baufachkompetenz in der ganzen Schweiz

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Through Onedot we can ensure efficient supplier onboarding and accelerate the expansion of our marketplace. In doing so, we achieve a new level of digitalization in internal processes.

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Our goal was to fully automate the content management of our Swisscom B2B ICT shop with minimal effort. With Onedot, we achieved exactly that: high-quality product data updated several times a day without tying up internal capacities.

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With the new product data model, we can differentiate ourselves from competitors. As a result, we are increasing our sales and guaranteeing further growth. The professionalized structure is precisely tailored to our requirements and enables us to react agilely to changing market conditions.

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