WKK customer case
Smart integration solution between Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Magento
ERP system Netherlands: Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015
ERP system Italy: Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central
E-commerce Platform: Magento Open Source
The entrepreneurial adventure of Ward Willems and Jozef Kouwenberg, two childhood friends from Tilburg, started with a mobile video store. When they were able to take over a batch of cable ties, they saw their chance to set up a real company. That was in 1984. Since then, WKK has grown into Europe’s largest importer and distributor of cable ties and other fixation materials. With four locations in Europe, WKK Group serves customers via three Magento webshops in seven languages.
Roxanne Willems (Marketing Manager at WKK and also the daughter of Ward) and Bram Willemse (IT Manager at WKK) talk about the WKK Group, the collaboration with Tinx and the smart integration solution between Business Central and Magento that they chose.
What is your role at WKK?
Roxanne: “Officially, my job title is Group Marketing and Communications Manager at WKK. This means I am responsible for all marketing and communication of the various branches in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Poland. I work from our head office in Tilburg, together with two marketing colleagues and a team of three in Germany. We are also involved in the export market, such as Scandinavia and Southern Europe. We do not have a local branch there, but we do generate more brand awareness and leads.”
Bram: “With the IT experiences I gained at various Navision partners, I am involved in all possibilities for digitisation within WKK. We have already made significant strides in this direction in recent years. For example, warehouse scanning is indispensable for webshops. We are increasingly digitising, and there is plenty of cooperation between the different countries and departments.”
How would you describe WKK and the company’s core business?
Roxanne: “As a reliable supplier of fixation materials within Europe to technical wholesalers and end users. Our strength lies in focusing on a niche within fixation materials; therefore, we are truly specialists. For example, in addition to standard cable ties, we supply heat-resistant, resealable or detectable cable ties for specific applications that comply with certain guidelines.”
Bram: “Besides cable ties, we also sell different types of shrink tubing. This is used to re-insulate exposed power cables. The shrink tubing is slid over the exposed cable and then shrunk around the cable using a heat blower to provide insulation. This is important for safety: it prevents water and dirt from entering.”
Roxanne: “We purchase some of our products and produce some ourselves. An example of our production is our mounting clips used to mount solar panels. WKK has been around for 38 years now. Some customers have been with us for 35 years. They appreciate our interesting range, our service and personal contact.”
Opportunities for growth
“WKK was looking for a professional partner that could offer a solution at a good price-quality ratio. Tinx came out as the best choice from the selection.”
How did WKK come into contact with Tinx?
Roxanne: “The collaboration started in 2020 with the Magento Connector. After launching an informative website, we switched to a Magento webshop. We wanted to integrate it with our ERP platform Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. We also wanted to set up an online portal for customers to log in and see specific prices.”
Bram: “The conversations with Tinx had been going on for a while. Magento was chosen because of its flexibility and the possibility of growth. Several providers have been examined, including the Magento Connector from Tinx. WKK was looking for a professional partner that could offer a solution at a good price-quality ratio. Tinx came out as the best choice from the selection.”
Looking back at the time before integration, what challenges did you have regarding e-commerce?
Roxanne: “We wanted to make the step to e-commerce and start working with a webshop. The webshop was not there yet, and therefore no integration with NAV. The first Magento websites in Dutch and English were built by another party, but Tinx then put the other languages live and took over the management of the websites. Taking over the project and the international adjustments were quite challenging at the time.”
Bram: “In December 2021, we started managing the webshops via Tinx. The cooperation in the triangle WKK, Tinx and the former web design agency led to some difficulties. After launching the Dutch and German webshops, we chose to have the web design for Poland also carried out by Tinx. In addition to the connector, webshop management has also been done via Tinx. We are very satisfied with this. We now have one contact person, and that is nice.”
What was the biggest challenge?
Bram: “It was clear that WKK wanted a webshop, but how and what exactly had not been thought out well enough in advance. For example: what should be included in the customer portal, whether a customer can log in with multiple people and whether they must be registered in Navision. If the requirements and wishes had been mapped out better, we would have flown several routes via a different, more efficient route with the same result.”
“Customers see their specific prices thanks to the B2B Pricing and Discount Module.”
How did you feel the need to integrate NAV2015 (Business Central) and the Magento webshop? What kind of solution were you looking for?
Bram: “Very simple. We want the orders from the webshop to be created directly in NAV2015. In the days when there was only an informative website, you could request a quote. If that resulted in an order, the quotation and/or order was entered manually in Navision. Now the orders are automatically sent from the Magento webshop to Navision.”
What was the main reason for choosing the Tinx solution?
Bram: “Mostly the good feeling that arose during our conversations with you and the price compared to comparable providers.”
What features of the Tinx connector are you currently using?
Roxanne: “The products and their stock are up-to-date between NAV/Business Central and the Magento webshop. The webshop prices are well displayed. Customers see their specific prices thanks to the Tinx Magento B2B Pricing and Discount Module. After ordering the products on the webshop and successful payment, the order from the webshop is correctly registered in NAV/Business Central.”
How do you experience the Tinx connector? What’s the benefit?
Roxanne: “From the marketing department, it is relevant to see that real added value has been created for our customers. Customers now know whether the products are in stock and can order directly online. That is definitely a big win.”
Bram: “The most important thing is that the data from the webshop ends up in Navision correctly and automatically. I am familiar with the technique we use, the NAS (Navision application). Thanks to the timer, we have set the Magento Connector to check whether there are still new orders and quotations every so often. We can easily extend messages through the connector. So, suppose we want additional information in Navision. In that case, we can easily set it up in a message, so the connector retrieves this information and displays it in the right place in Navision. It is an easy tool for management.”
“It is also nice to see that we attract customers who place smaller orders because they see the prices on the webshop and can immediately place an order. We can offer this type of customer a fast service via the webshop. Companies interested in placing larger orders or need advice can easily request a quote or submit a contact request.”
“With my IT background, I say: it is easy to configure without having to program.”
What are your biggest challenges right now?
Roxanne: “We currently manage quite some webshops. The range this provides is very cool. At the same time, we want to continue to ensure that they receive the proper attention and are as uniform as possible. That is why we want to do more with marketing automation in the coming year. This way, we try to provide the new webshop customers with other products.”
“There are also steps to be taken on the mobile website. Another important point of attention: the website is not only a webshop but also a corporate website. We are happy to address larger customers who do not immediately place a webshop order with the correct information. That way, they see us as an interesting partner. We want to make the website even more relevant for our existing customers. In short: enough to work on in the near future.”
What is your main goal for the coming years?
Bram: “One goal is to get higher in Google, but that is separate from your connector. The connector now rotates stably. We may want to add data streams in the future. When we started working with Business Central, we also upgraded the Magento Connector. There will undoubtedly be new opportunities for this.”
What do you find most impressive about our product?
Bram: “With my IT background, I say: it is easy to configure without having to program.”
What should everyone know about Tinx?
Roxanne: “Tinx is a pleasant partner to do business with. Flexible, easily accessible and no long timelines with answers or solutions. The one-on-one contact is very pleasant.”
Bram: “Based on the price-quality ratio, the Magento Connector is an excellent solution for SMEs using Navision or Business Central.”