Kitchens and bathrooms are complex products, consisting of anything between 50 to 500 components.
Bringing these together at the right moment, at the right place, and at scale is a challenge in terms of systems and processes. The only way to achieve a successful outcome is to work together closely with your partners and look beyond your own four walls.
While ‘innovation’ might be the most overused term in business today, it continues to be a critical success factor for businesses to flourish. So, in what ways does De Mandemakers Groep co-innovate with Tradeplace?
Automated order management is essential for De Mandemakers Groep: with thousands of kitchens and bathrooms sold each month, there is little scope for manual processing. In its search for the best solution, De Mandemakers Groep came into contact with Tradeplace’s Direct Connection service. The one-to-many set-up, positive reviews by major manufacturers, and the TradeXML protocol (designed specifically for retail-to-manufacturer transactions) convinced De Mandemakers Groep to implement the Direct Connection solution.
De Mandemakers Groep’s decision to bring many manufacturers and suppliers onto the Tradeplace Direct Connection resulted in a proliferation of ideas to improve the TradeXML protocol and set-up. As the cloud-based Direct Connection solution drives a great deal more cohesion and co-dependency than traditional one-on-one EDI set-ups, the ideas generated were rapidly validated and refined with manufacturers. This resulted in the Direct Connection becoming the launch pad for co-innovation between De Mandemakers Groep, manufacturers and suppliers, and Tradeplace.
Push order status
An example of how co-innovation worked in practice was the development of the ‘push order status’ message. While implementing the Order Status Request with a manufacturer who provides many smaller parts of a kitchen or bathroom, it became apparent that firing off thousands of Order Status Requests resulted into error-code replies, as the back-end of the supplier could not process the requests within the set time.
In light of this, the idea was born to provide the status of the order once it could be processed by the manufacturer at any given time. This eliminated the need for De Mandemakers Groep to make additional Order Status Requests to acquire the status while letting the manufacturer process the large number of requests at its own pace, in keeping with its process and technical capabilities.
The change in the TradeXML protocol was implemented quickly and made available to the Tradeplace community, so as to further tailor the Direct Connection set-up to retail-to-manufacturer transactions.
With more and more technology teams being measured not by the work they do but by the business outcomes their work makes possible, co-innovation is the way to continue to improve outcomes with scarce IT resources and budgets. The key to success, however, is that the co-innovating partners understand the business processes and share the same business goals (i.e. efficient value chain).
Full set of messages for kitchen and bathroom retail
Using the business process know-how of De Mandemakers Groep and Tradeplace, a full set of messages was defined and implemented with over 30 suppliers. The message set goes well beyond the mandatory order placement and invoice messages commonly used.
As a next step, De Mandemakers Groep – in co-innovation with Tradeplace – plans to expand ‘De Mandemakers Groep messages template’ to also include specific messages for worktops and furniture product categories. The roadmap also features changes to the Shipping Notifications message, Product Availability, and/or Stock Push in order to maximize efficiencies in the kitchen and bathroom value chain.
De Mandemakers Groep scheduled a regular team meeting with Tradeplace in order to share ideas and roadmaps and leverage the companies’ joint know-how and capacities.
Josée Heikamp - De Mandemakers Groep
Iwan de Dooij - Tradeplace
Guido Kemmerling - Tradeplace
Karel van der Horst - Tradeplace
Driven by co-innovation, De Mandemakers Groep and Tradeplace are bringing together the best of various players in the industry, manufacturers, retailers, and technology companies in a model of trust, based on full transparency, with all partners focusing on their business goals and outcome.
De Mandemakers Groep: Making every house a home
As a family business, The Mandemakers Groep has stayed true to its roots for over 40 years. Over 6,000 employees across the Netherlands are proud to provide Everyone with a comfortable home for a lifetime. Whether kitchens, bathrooms, or furniture, The Mandemakers Groep offers inspiration, solutions, and A-to-Z care for every room in the home and every lifestyle. This is reflected in its many retail formats, brands, and products for every budget, as well as the excellent quality, knowledge, and expertise the company offers its customers.
As mentioned, The Mandemakers Group is a family business – all of its employees are part of the great Mandemakers family. With a focus on attention for the individual and personal development, everyone in the family is able to contribute to the success of De Mandemakers Groep with passion and pride.