As one of the first Spot Buy Catalogue enabled vendors on Unite, Swiss tool supplier Brütsch/Rüegger has direct access to SAP Ariba customers.
“If it’s to offer its customers added value, the B2B retail sector will need to change significantly over the next ten years.” This stark warning comes from Thomas Schmidt, CEO of the German arm of Brütsch/Rüegger Tools. Fortunately, he’s already prepared his company well for digital transformation. This Swiss-owned firm has been selling tools for use in measuring, manufacturing and installation as well as factory equipment internationally for the last 140 years.
The company has been selling its products in its own webshop since 1998 and also has a team of sales reps. Especially with items where guidance is required, their customers are supported not just by sales staff but also application engineers. However, rep-based sales are coming under increasing pressure. Businesses that attach importance to advising customers rarely achieve top rankings in online price comparisons in Germany since services such as client visits have to be factored into the margin. On the other hand, these services are something neither Brütsch/Rüegger Tools nor its customers are willing to forego.
Learning from the market and reaching global players with Unite
Brütsch/Rüegger has its own webshop where straightforward products are sold to SMEs. Although the shop works smoothly, it runs into problems with larger companies. “We realise that customers above a certain size no longer rely on supplier-run webshops for purchasing indirect items and so it’s not worth investing in our own platform for this segment,” explains Thomas Schmidt.
In 2019, the company therefore decided it would target global players via the Unite network by setting up a Spot Buy Catalog enabled BusinessShop. Thomas Schmidt became aware of Unite while talking to SAP Ariba. Brütsch/Rüegger Tools has been working with SAP Ariba since 2000 and serves more than 60 key account customers via this platform. Unite has been the exclusive Spot Buy solution for SAP Ariba and its customers throughout Europe since 2017. “It quickly became apparent that we had to take bold action to avoid being overtaken by changes in the sector,” says Thomas Schmidt.
The key factor is to conform with the processes of global players.
Seamlessly integrate your range into the SAP Ariba e-procurement system
By taking this step, Thomas Schmidt has opened the door for his company to a raft of new customers. Each SAP Ariba customer is now a potential customer for Brütsch/Rüegger Tools. But how exactly? Due to the collaboration between Unite and SAP Ariba, suppliers can make their product range available via the Spot Buy module. This gives them an opportunity to directly attract new customers in the form of SAP Ariba users and keep them. If buyers find that an item they need isn’t listed in their own framework agreements, they can activate the Spot Buy Catalog enabled BusinessShops in SAP Ariba. They can then choose among the products sold by certified retailers – including Brütsch/Rüegger Tools – straight from their system interface.
Process adherence: Compatibility spells success
“The key factor is to conform with the processes of global players.” And this is exactly what Brütsch/Rüegger Tools is now doing as an active vendor on Unite. Thanks to its BusinessShop, Brütsch/Rüegger Tools has been integrated into the processes of many of its key accounts. As Thomas Schmidt explains, the risks businesses often associate with connection to a standardized infrastructure, such as loss of price sovereignty, are ruled out since Unite is a neutral network. The network supports customer-specific relationships and prices which are integrated into the procurement channels of global players. In addition, Unite is working with more and more e-procurement system providers, whose customers will also have to access the suppliers in the B2B network.
Benefit from Unite’s B2B network and raise your profile
“Simply joining a network like this raises your profile with customers you didn’t reach before,” says Thomas Schmidt. “With Unite, customers have a comprehensive package through which they can find pre-integrated suppliers, manage their entire payment process, and analyse their indirect spend. That’s extremely handy,” he declares. Although low prices remain the ticket to new customers, today’s key accounts in particular are keen to have integrated value chains, smooth, IT-based procurement, and the associated reduction of process costs. These requirements can be met far more efficiently with existing infrastructure than with an independent webshop. But this entails having a powerful network.
Profiting from Unite’s B2B network with the BusinessShop
The BusinessShop enables suppliers to provide an electronic product catalogue via Unite. Suppliers with a BusinessShop in the Unite Store can make their product range available to buyers in recognised e-procurement systems such as SAP Ariba, BeNeering and Mercateo. Direct contact with customers remains unaffected and can even be strengthened, for instance by individual-level pricing. Unite is the exclusive Spot Buy solution for SAP Ariba in Europe. If SAP Ariba customers can’t find certain products in the catalogues of their framework agreement partners, they can access activated Spot Buy Catalog enabled BusinessShops and conclude transactions directly with suppliers.
About Brütsch/Rüegger Tools
Brütsch/Rüegger Tools GmbH Deutschland is a single-source supplier of a full range of high-quality tools for measuring, manufacturing and installation as well as standard arts and protective workwear. It’s a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Swiss market leader, the internationally active Brütsch/Rüegger Werkzeuge AG.
German head office: