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 rental service. When they had the opportunity to acquire a batch of cable ties through a contact, they saw their chance to establish a real business. That was in 1984. Today, WKK has grown to become Europe’s largest importer and distributor of cable ties and other fastening materials. With 4 locations in Europe, WKK Group serves customers through 3 Magento webshops in 7 languages.
Roxanne Willems (Marketing Manager at WKK and Ward’s daughter) and Bram Willemse (IT Manager at WKK) share insights about WKK Group, their collaboration with Tinx, and the smart integration solution between Business Central and Magento.
Introductions: Roxanne Willems & Bram Willemse
Roxanne: “Officially, my job title is Group Marketing and Communications Manager at WKK. This means I’m responsible for all marketing and communication activities across the various locations in the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and Poland. I work from our headquarters in Tilburg alongside 2 marketing colleagues and a team of 3 in Germany. We also focus on the export market, such as Scandinavia and Southern Europe. We don’t have local branches there, but we do build brand awareness and generate leads.”
Bram: “With my IT experience gained from working with various Navision partners, I’m responsible for exploring all possibilities for digitalization within WKK. Over the past years, we’ve made significant strides in this area. Warehouse scanning, for example, has become indispensable for our webshops. We’re increasingly digitalizing our operations, and there’s strong collaboration happening between different countries and departments.”
WKK & corebusiness
Roxanne: “I would describe WKK as a reliable supplier of fastening materials within Europe, serving technical wholesalers and end-users. Our strength lies in our focus on a niche within fastening materials, which makes us true specialists. In addition to standard cable ties, for example, we also supply heat-resistant, reusable, or detectable cable ties for specific applications that need to meet certain regulations.”
Bram: “In addition to cable ties, we also sell various types of heat shrink tubing. This is used to re-insulate exposed power cables. The heat shrink tubing is slid over the exposed cable and then shrunk tightly around it using a heat gun. This is crucial for safety, as it prevents water and dirt from getting in.”
Roxanne: “We source some of our products, and we manufacture some ourselves. An example of in-house production is our fastening clips used to secure solar panels. WKK has been in business for 38 years, and some customers have been with us for 35 years. They appreciate our diverse range of products, our service, and the personal touch we provide.”
WKK was looking for a professional partner who could provide a solution with a good price-quality ratio. Tinx emerged as the best choice from the selection.
Bram Willemse, IT Manager at WKK
First Contact between WKK & Tinx
Roxanne: “The collaboration started in 2020 with the Magento Connector. After launching an informative website, we transitioned to a Magento webshop. We wanted to integrate it with our ERP platform, Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2015. Additionally, we aimed to establish an online portal for customers to log in and access specific prices.”
Bram: “Discussions with Tinx had been ongoing for a while. We chose Magento due to its flexibility and growth potential. Several providers were considered, including Tinx’s Magento Connector. WKK was looking for a professional partner who could offer a solution with a good price-to-quality ratio, and Tinx emerged as the best choice.”
Challenges before the integration
Roxanne: “We wanted to venture into e-commerce and work with a webshop, but the webshop didn’t exist yet, and there was no integration with NAV. The initial Magento websites in Dutch and English were built by another party, but Tinx subsequently launched the other languages and took over website management. Taking over the project and implementing international adjustments were significant challenges at the time.”
Bram: “We began managing the webshops through Tinx in December 2021. Collaboration between WKK, Tinx, and the former web design agency led to some difficulties. After launching the Dutch and German webshops, we decided to have Tinx handle the web design for Poland as well. Since then, webshop management has also been handled by Tinx, and we are very satisfied with this arrangement. We have one point of contact, which is convenient.”
“It was clear that WKK wanted a webshop, but the exact details and requirements were not well-defined in advance. For instance, we needed to determine what should be included in the customer portal, whether a customer with multiple users should be allowed to log in, and whether they should be registered in Navision. If the requirements and preferences had been better documented, we might have approached certain aspects differently, achieving the same result more efficiently.”
What are your biggest challenges at the moment?
Roxanne: “We currently manage quite a number of webshops, and the reach this provides is fantastic. At the same time, we want to ensure they receive the right attention and maintain uniformity. That’s why we plan to do more with marketing automation next year. This way, we aim to cross-sell additional products to new webshop customers.”
“We can also make improvements to the mobile website. Another important focus area is that the website serves as both a webshop and a corporate website. We want to engage larger customers who may not place direct webshop orders with the right information so they see us as an interesting partner. For our existing customers, we want to make the website even more relevant. In short, there’s plenty to work on in the coming period.”
Customers see their specific prices thanks to the Tinx B2B Price and Discount Module.
Roxanne Willemse, Marketing Manager at WKK
Necessity of Integration
Bram: “We wanted to have orders from the webshop created directly in NAV2015. In the time when we only had an informational website, customers could request a quote. If that resulted in an order, the quote and/or order were manually entered into Navision. Now, orders are automatically sent from the Magento webshop to Navision.”
Main reason for choosing the Tinx solution
Bram: “Mainly the positive feeling that developed during the discussions we had with you, and the price compared to other similar providers.”
Data flows of the Tinx connector
Roxanne: “The products and inventory are kept up-to-date between NAV/Business Central and the Magento webshop. The webshop prices are displayed correctly. Thanks to the Tinx Magento B2B Pricing and Discounts module, customers see their specific prices. After ordering products on the webshop and successful payment, the order is correctly recorded in NAV/Business Central.”
What are the benefits?
Roxanne: “From the marketing department’s perspective, it’s relevant to see that real added value has been created for our customers. Customers now know whether products are in stock and can place orders online directly, which is definitely a significant gain.”
Bram: “The most important thing is that the data now goes into Navision correctly and automatically from the webshop. I’m familiar with the technology we use, the NAS (Navision application). Thanks to the timer we’ve set up, the Magento Connector checks for new orders and quotes every so often. We can easily expand messages via the connector. So, if we want to add extra information to Navision, we can easily set it up in a message, and the connector retrieves this information and displays it in the right place in Navision. It’s an easy tool for management.”
“Additionally, it’s nice to see that we’re attracting customers who place smaller orders because they see the prices on the webshop and can place an order right away. We can provide quick service to this type of customer through the webshop. Companies interested in placing larger orders or needing advice can easily request a quote or submit a contact request.”
With my IT background, I would say it's easy to configure without programming.
Bram Willemse, IT Manager at WKK
What does everyone need to know about Tinx?
Roxanne: “Tinx is a pleasant partner to work with. Flexible, easily reachable, and no long timelines for responses or solutions. The one-on-one contact is very enjoyable.”
Bram: “Based on the price-quality ratio, the Magento Connector is a great solution for small and medium-sized businesses that also use Navision or Business Central.”