Perfecting data management with Synesty

Case Study: How the market leader for quality lighting minimized its working time with Synesty and maximized the number of B2B customers in the process.

Perfecting data management with Synesty

Managing large data sets in B2B is challenging, inflexible, time-consuming and error-prone. At least when the data still has to be processed manually. For this reason, the market leader for quality luminaires and lamps, SLV, optimizes its data management with Synesty. In the context of this case study, based on an interview with Gustav, it was investigated to what extent the middleware for connecting and automating Synesty represents a success factor for SLV.

The challenge

The fast delivery of individually prepared product data sets is the prerequisite for success as a B2B retailer

Probably the biggest challenge for an online retailer is to transfer the product data into their own systems. Time plays a crucial role here. After all, SLV's goal is to get the new products onto the market as quickly as possible and at the same time connect as many retailers as possible to the internal system.

With a product data table with 3280 attributes per language, a manual transfer is almost impossible to create without errors. Not to mention the working time that would have to be spent on this. Since SLV also connects many different retailers, the inventory data also changes continuously. In addition, each individual retailer has different requirements for the preparation of the product data. For example, some of the columns should appear in different places and the product classification systems are different. Online retailers also need different data than electricians, for example. While the latter prefer to present their customers with the finished catalog, for online retailers well-prepared data for SEO and convincing product descriptions for the category page are crucial. Therefore, a system is needed that can process large amounts of data and where different data formats can be read out. The fact that the amount of data is always up to date is the basis for SLV's success.

To ensure this, the company previously worked with direct exports from their technical system. However, the main problem was that this was a rigid list of data, which was often not complete afterwards. In the search for a dynamic solution, SLV came across Synesty.

You are also facing the challenge to coordinate the amount of your data error-free and clearly arranged? Then contact us and together we will find the perfect solution for you to automate your processes with Synesty.

The solution

In the interview Gustav from SLV finally reveals how they were able to solve the preceding problem with Synesty's middleware.

With Synesty to the ideal data management

Gustav has been working at SLV for almost three years and is responsible for connecting and setting up customer data. This can be, for example, product or order data of the online merchants. For SLV's B2B customers, up-to-date product and inventory data is essential. These are drawn from a general data pool, which is played out as a CSV. After Gustav has clarified with the customer what their requirements are, where overlap can be found and how the data comes from the merchandise management system or the PIM of the online retailer, thanks to Synesty nothing stands in the way of extracting customer-specific data.

In order to be able to supply the customer with precisely fitting data from SLV as quickly as possible, these are finally prepared in advance with Synesty. Depending on the customer's requirements, an individual file is then created, which in turn can be transferred into their system. In 99 percent of the cases it is a CSV or Excel file. However, special formats such as XML or JSON are also possible. The size of this table is individual. Some customers only need a simple 15-column table, in which, for example, only product dimensions, prices and packaging dimensions are included. But there are also more complex tables with 200+ columns, in which a variety of additional information is provided. The spectrum of data preparation is therefore very broad. In order to do justice to this, a well-functioning workflow is crucial.

How Synesty completes the workflow at SLV

Various systems are involved in the e-commerce work processes at SLV. At the beginning there is a PIM (Product Information Management), within which all product data is recorded and maintained. The file with raw data that can be pulled from it contains over 3280 columns. For example, there are three columns for the voltage of the products alone, in order to differentiate between control gear, luminaires and LED modules. However, the abundance of data is very disadvantageous for SLV's purposes, which is why it must be prepared. For this reason, Synesty is in the next place.

"With Synesty, we easily managed to create a table with 300 'clean' attributes from 3280 attributes."

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In order to clean up the data sets, fields are combined with Synesty, for example. Thus, among other things, the three previously mentioned fields for the voltage are bundled into one. After this flow has been executed for several fields, one has the information in almost 300 attributes in four sub-tables and several languages. By clever reuse and mutual triggering of flows, data for different languages can be created. This has the advantage that certain mappings only have to be created once. At the beginning, one simply selects the language in which the data is to be delivered.

“With Synesty we can maintain our data in a central location and thus save ourselves a lot of recurring work.”

In addition, any changes made to the product data in the fall only need to be corrected in one place. This saves time for updating various data sets and avoids tedious work.

Extract product and inventory data for customers in 15 minutes

This form of data bundling saves SLV a lot of time when preparing data for customers. This data refers to the previously mapped data sets. But there are also customers for whom a standardized table is not enough because they may need their own merchandise management number or use different column names in their target system. In this case, the data is remapped for the customer. However, this process does not pose a problem because in this case too, a clean data set can be used for the export. The individualized data export is then either sent to the customer by email or stored on their FTP.

“We want to connect as many online retailers as possible quickly and we can do that easily with Synesty”

The aim of Gustav's work is to get SLV's products listed in dealers' shops and onto the market as quickly as possible. SLV products that will enter the market on October 1st. of a year, must under no circumstances wait for 3 months before they are sold via the dealers' online shops. Otherwise, the time to sell the products was not used effectively and the potential was not exploited. Thanks to Synesty, Gustav can react better to individual data preparation and thus achieves the company's internal goal.

Synesty always provides current data sets for SLV's web shop

Every 3 hours, Synesty delivers product-related data to SLV's web shop. These come directly from Akeneo, SLV’s PIM. This automated process can avoid overselling products. Because this is extremely annoying for both the customer and for SLV as a retailer.

Synesty can combat this by automatically updating both product and inventory information. In the case of SLV, different systems work together:

  • Workflow for updating product information in the webshop: Sharepoint → Akeneo → Synesty → Webshop
  • Workflow for updating inventory information in the webshop: SAP (direct export) → Akeneo → Synesty → Webshop

The results

Increase customers by minimizing errors and working time

Thanks to Synesty, SLV can create significant added value both for the company's internal processes and for its own customers. The following Synesty add-ons are used to enable this by SLV:

Instead of a rigid list of product data, the individual needs of customers can now be addressed. This creates a closeness to the customer that could not be created before.

“Durch die Integration von Synesty haben wir weniger Anfragen im Kundendienst, die nach Produktdaten bestimmter Artikel fragen.”

Die Fehlerquote bei der Übermittlung der Datensätze ist zudem gesunken und die Kunden können diese sofort in ihre Systeme überführen. Dies spiegelt sich wiederum in der Zufriedenheit der Kunden wider, was letztendlich zu einem Anstieg der angebundenen Händler an das System von SLV führt.

“By integrating Synesty, we have fewer customer service calls asking for product information about specific items.”

Due to the automation of the processes and the ready-made mapping of the data sets, the company can connect more online retailers much more quickly and respond to their individual needs.

The conclusion from SLV

Synesty completes SLV's workflow and makes product data management easier for the leading provider of lighting and lighting solutions. The wealth of product and inventory data would exceed manual maintenance, which is why the company sees the automation of processes as the basis for its success.

“Synesty saves us a lot of work and is a great toolkit for quickly and easily getting what you want out of large data sets.”.

While it took a lot of time to export data before using Synesty, SLV now saves time with every automated data transfer. The tedious process of manually preparing data in Excel is a thing of the past. In addition, processes that have already been set can also be reused for other customers, which saves additional time. The time saved and the low error rate due to dynamic data sets enable the company to maximize the connections of new dealers to its own system.

The advantages of Synesty for SLV summarized

  • The export of product and inventory data sets can be flexibly compiled so that individual customer needs can be quickly addressed.-
  • The processes are automated, so there is more time to connect new customers to the internal system.-
  • The inventory data delivered to customers is error-free and always up to date.-
  • With little effort, product and inventory data can be converted into various file formats.-
  • Synesty is easy to use and the support is quick and helpful.-

Interview to listen to

You can listen to the entire interview again here:

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Über SLV

As a company and brand of SLV Lighting Group GmbH, the company is a leading provider of lighting and lighting solutions. The company has been successfully selling its products for 40 years, now in over 100 countries and through 12 subsidiaries. Customers all over the world feel the passion for light that comes from the global company. The headquarters are in Übach-Palenberg near Aachen. The quality lights and lamps are stored on a total area of 18,500 m2 and shipped internationally.

The lights are used in private homes, hotels and restaurants as well as in offices and businesses. As a strong partner in the electrical industry, SLV offers its customers in the B2B sector tailor-made, innovative solutions. The customers usually include electricians, exhibition stand builders and architects. The BIG WHITE®, an impressive complete catalogue, is also published every year and has established itself as a standard work in the industry.

Are you also dependent on error-free and fast coordination of large amounts of data? Then let's find out in an initial conversation how Synesty can complete your workflow.

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Last updated September 5, 2022
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