Bridging the Human-Digital Divide
B&S Group: Partnering
for Digital Transformation
When we talk about digital transformation, we tend to focus on the word “digital,” but truth is, sustainable transformation requires keen business strategy and a human-centered approach to change. Engineers, designers and business strategists need each other.
We are proud to bring this mindset to a complex digital transformation project for our client B&S Group, a global distribution company in consumer goods with unparalleled reach across more than 100 countries. The B&S story can be traced back to a small local shipping company that had a big vision for the consumer goods industry. Determined to expand its growth potential, B&S scaled up and grew its product and service portfolio at a rapid pace. Because of their drive to reach beyond the ordinary, they became the global player they are today: a company that excels in making premium consumer goods available to everyone, anywhere.
EPAM Continuum helped B&S Group stabilize and improve its eCommerce platform so the company could unify B2B business units in one place, while also clearing space for future growth in direct to consumer (D2C). To make the digital transformation sustainable, we also helped B&S build a central team that could manage the changes in a more future-proof way. Simultaneously, we are working with B&S to reinvigorate one of its brands and design and launch a new D2C eCommerce brand. We are excited about the results, which are thanks to B&S business and IT units working together to create a vision for growth.
HEAR FROM B&S GROUP
"EPAM Continuum helped us transform our eCommerce platform into an engine for change. With our digitized supply chain setup, we can serve brands, wholesalers and resellers end-to-end in places and channels where they desire strong establishment.”
Tako de Haan
CEO, B&S Group
Aligning for Growth
B&S is a growth partner in international consumer goods supply chains, from sourcing, warehousing and distribution to digital commerce, marketing and brand development. Since 1872, the company has excelled in bringing supply and demand together with flexibility and reliability — across even the most challenging geographies.
Knowing that constant innovation is an imperative, B&S approached EPAM Continuum in 2020 looking for a comprehensive assessment of the company’s technology landscape. Following the assessment, they asked us to collaborate on delivering the identified opportunities for growth and improvement.
B&S distributes some of the most famous brands to wholesalers, resellers and consumers around the world. A driving aspiration is to grow as a digitally cutting-edge organization. The pandemic highlighted the demand for D2C distribution through eCommerce, fortifying the goal of strengthening relationships with customers. As large and established as B&S is, the company knew there were many more opportunities for growth by diversifying its distribution channels and creating scalable platforms.
Integrated Consulting Team
During the earliest stage of our engagement, EPAM Continuum evaluated and made recommendations regarding key technology areas:
We found opportunities in each area, and B&S asked us to implement our recommendations to mature the eCommerce platform. With the improved platform, B&S can onboard any of its business activities in a cost-efficient way without platform performance loss. As a result, the company was able to quickly go from four to 14 onboarded businesses.
With the technical improvements we implemented, EPAM Continuum was able to elevate the platform maturity, enabling a “one platform” approach for both B2B and the growing D2C market. Our refinements made the platform more resilient and stable, improved and accelerated front-end delivery, enabled unused capabilities and established appropriate business and delivery metrics.
Designing a New D2C Brand
Parallel to the platform improvements, EPAM Continuum strategized a new identity for a D2C online liquor shop. Service design for the brand, which already launched in multiple countries across the EU, included a new eCommerce business model and customer value proposition.
Consumers expect competitive prices and fast delivery, so improving the shopping experience, and making it fun and engaging, is vital. For that we used our human-centric design process to gain a holistic understanding of what consumers want from the brand — the experience they are looking for beyond the bottle. Our strategic offering included a detailed user experience and user interface for the platform.
By bridging technology and business strategy, EPAM Continuum was able to partner with B&S to bring their vision to life.
EPAM Continuum delivered on innovation for the entire digital ecosystem, laying a strong foundation for its digital business. Now with more mature digital capabilities, B&S is poised to offer unified and mature services like performance marketing, eFulfillment and brand development to continually drive value for brand owners, wholesalers, resellers and consumers.
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Learn more about EPAM's experience in the retail and consumer industry here