How one of the largest independent electrical and industrial supply distributors in the US adopted B2B e-commerce to add flexibility for its customers.
Founded in 1923, Turtle & Hughes has become one of the US’s largest independent electrical and industrial distributors, and is recognized as one of the top 50 certified women-owned businesses in the US. Turtle & Hughes is helping enterprise customers lean into digital transformation through Amazon Business to source maintenance, repair, and operations (MRO) products, and provides consulting and subject matter expertise to help customers source best-fit products and integrate their eProcurement and supply chain systems.
Enterprises that buy materials at scale are increasingly focused on digital transformation in procurement, adopting solutions that allow them to source with less friction. According to a recent study, 84 percent are in the midst of sourcing solutions, and 50 percent consider their transformation either nearly or totally complete.1 Industrial supply, also known as MRO, is no exception.
While sourcing in categories like office supplies and IT peripherals often centers on finding the lowest price, MRO is a more strategic sourcing process. Where products comes from, warranties and services provided by the supplier, and the reputation of the company are important factors.
Further, the ability to compare products and prices from multiple suppliers and convenient ordering are at top of the procurement wish list for many organizations. But number one on the list for procurement executives is automation1, with 86 percent of procurement leaders already automating between one and three quarters of their total procurement process, eliminating repetitive tasks such as request for proposal (RFP) creation and routine purchasing, so organizations can focus on strategic projects that will move their organizations forward.
Suppliers like Turtle & Hughes go beyond providing materials to its customers; it is often embedded as the subject matter expert within their customer’s supply chain as a full-service consultant, running everything from information technology projects, streamlining energy generation and storage, and automating industrial processes.
By customizing a project management team for each individual customer, Turtle & Hughes creates a single point of contact that works with several SME’s across multiple products and functions. Whether it’s sourcing and supplying specialty AI technology, or determining the right type on janitorial product, their full-service offering aggregates this to simplify, and achieve economies of scale that in turn is passed through to their customer.
“In the MRO supply chain environment, customers are looking for a partner that can support their operations not only from a quality perspective, but from a consistency standpoint as well. By embedding ourselves into our customer’s ecosystem, we can best understand their business—so we’re not just moving products from point A to point B. We’re helping them make the right decisions on site,” said Ajay Kamble, Chief Information Officer at Turtle & Hughes.
While Amazon Business provides a broad selection of MRO products with the option to integrate into over a hundred eProcurement systems—known as a punchout—Turtle & Hughes is unique in that it augments the digital store and business features with MRO sourcing expertise to save its customers time, and provides convenient options to source.
Its goal is to offer its customers both the ability to purchase Turtle & Hughes’ two million products offered in the Amazon Business store as an e-commerce offering, and provide the option for a physical presence, giving its customers the flexibility to interact with them in an omnichannel format.
“We want to accommodate our customers who want to interact with us digitally, give them the same support they expect from us when we’re physically on site, and we want to be available wherever they’re looking to source,” said Kamble.
“Our goal is to engage with Amazon Business and use it to our advantage in the entire supply chain process.”
1 Source: WBR Insights 3rd Annual CPO Study, November 2017
“We want to accommodate our customers who want to interact with us digitally, give them the same support they expect from us when we’re physically on site, and we want to be available wherever they’re looking to source. Our goal is to engage with Amazon Business and use it to our advantage in the entire supply chain process.”
— Ajay Kamble, Chief Information Officer, Turtle & Hughes
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