E-business supports complex product configurations

Kinnarps offers interior design solutions for public and office environments. With high quality products and a low environmental cost, the company manages the whole chain – from raw material to ready-made solution for the office space. Today, Kinnarps is the third largest furniture manufacturer in Europe with sales offices in app. 35 countries. The group has 2 200 employees and a total turnover of 3,5 billion SEK.

Having a well functioning e-business system is absolutely essential to a company like Kinnarps. E-business sales are growing explosively and during the last three years there has been a 100 percent increase of electronic transactions. It is Kinnarps’ task to provide customers with a high class solution for electronic order and invoicing; in fact, it has proved to be a requirement for keeping old and getting new customers.

Kinnarps is today Europe’s third largest provider of workspace interior solutions. The supply is gigantic and, for example, an office chair may exist in many different combinations. Many customers get a tailor-made product catalogue. After selecting products, the customer sends an order from their in-house purchasing system.

Managing a huge amount of complex orders required a solution that could be easily integrated with the in-house systems. Kinnarps chose to cooperate with iCore and their integration platform, iCore Integration Suite.

With iCore, Kinnarps’ end-customers and e-market places may send orders from any business system. The orders are automatically translated matching Kinnarps’ in-house systems. iCore works like a hub for electronic order and invoice documents. Naturally, this saves time and money.

- Basically, it is about rationalizing our e-business processes, and in the long run it's also about developing the e-business. For the time being, we deliver product catalogues in forty different ways and there are just as many ways of receiving an order. With iCore, we can solve a lot of this, particularly the order and invoice administration, says Jörgen Lundgren, responsible for e-business at Kinnarps.

At present, Kinnarps has 120 customers who use the e-business system for ordering. A natural development is that more and more customers will start using it. For the customer, electronic purchasing is a way of streamlining the business processes. For Kinnarps, it is a way of providing an additional service to the whole customer solution.

Kinnarps always aims at offering customers complete solutions, and e-business as one of the most important part of the offering. iCore is one of the components of the solutions developed by Kinnarps – solutions which have now become major sales arguments.

- When I was quite new at Kinnarps, I had an important sales meeting with a customer in Paris. They had a policy of not implementing more than two supplier product catalogues in their purchase system, and that was what they currently had in there. But after the meeting, when we had shown our e-business solution, they sidestepped the two-supplier policy and decided to implement our solution too. A robust and agile e-business solution is truly a necessity for doing business today.
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