When the Internet is individually adapted to users and protected by a password it is called an Extranet. With this new computer-based offering from Grundfos eBusiness, French customers have been able to select and purchase Grundfos pumps in their electronic shopping cart during the past few months.
The French customers have received Grundfos’ offer favourably: In March, 10 per cent of the French company’s sales were conducted via the electronic shopping cart. As far as other functions are concerned, the French particularly used the option of keeping up to date on order status and checking whether a particular pump was in stock. They have the option of making their own user profile, meaning among other things that, when logging on, they could be offered marketing material tailored to their needs.
Sales Manager Michel Schenck of Grundfos France is pleased to see that this quick and easy access to the pump business strengthens the customers’ perception of Grundfos as an innovative company. However, there are other advantages of this new Internet service, as the company saves time when the customers service themselves, and that time may then be spent on other sales activities.
More than just trade
Project Manager of Grundfos eBusiness, Karin Abel, views the Extranet as a ”partner net” in relation to grundfos.com and Insite, but with a few significant differences:
”The Extranet is protected by a password, allowing us to tailor our services to the customers, and enabling them to safely use it to conduct business with Grundfos. At the same time, we are presented with new possibilities of giving the customers access to tools and knowledge, which have so far been reserved for Grundfos employees. This allows us to improve our relationship with the customers in several aspects – not only in relation to placing orders,” explains Karin Abel. She continues:
”Some customers already have access to Grundfos data via EDI, however the Extranet does not require the customer to use special computer applications as it is based on the Internet. And that makes the Extranet far more user-friendly.”
In future, eBusiness, in cooperation with other Grundfos functions, will make it possible for customers to use the Extranet for a number of additional purposes – e.g. finding solutions to their pump problems and purchasing spare parts.
In addition to 331 French customers, 8 American customers have access to the Extranet. And Grundfos in Mexico, Italy, the UK and Poland are preparing to offer their customers the same service.