TMO Group and Adobe join forces to further Henry Schein’s digital transformation

TMO Group TMO Group

Drawing a blueprint of a successful pharmaceutical B2B eCommerce

In this post we’d like to express our warmest congratulations to Henry Schein and their Chinese B2B eCommerce project. TMO Group was happy to participate in the inaugural event in the First Hemao Mall in Guangzhou, where the successful launch of the new platform hshemao.com has taken place. This project is the major milestone on the way of Henry Schein’s comprehensive digital transformation, and we are excited to be a part of this journey.

About Henry Schein

Henry Schein (NASDAQ: HSIC) was founded in 1932 in New York. Now it is one of the largest dental and animal care providers in the United States and the world’s largest distributor of dental equipment and supplies. After almost 90 years of rapid development, Henry Schein, a Fortune 500 company, operates in 34 countries and regions of the World, and is ranked first in the Forbes “World’s Most Respectful Companies in 2019 and 2020” list.

Digital challenges of B2B enterprises

In the post-pandemic era, more and more companies move their operations online, following the accelerated trend of digital transformation. However, the number of eCommerce platforms is rising so quickly, that choosing the right one becomes a considerable challenge for traditional B2B companies.

This begs the question, how can a B2B company break out of the confinement of the simple offline model and become a digital enterprise, one that integrates data from online platforms, supply chain, logistics and marketing with internal systems? How can it deepen its understanding of the customers through data analysis? What is the way to further digital transformation and upgrade all aspects of the enterprise: from procurement, manufacturing and design to marketing, financing and everything else in between.

These are the questions virtually all B2B companies face. Good news is, answering those questions is also a great opportunity for future growth and development.

Digital Transformation and Adobe Commerce (Magento)

Like many other B2B companies, Henry Schein has a strong demand for corporate digital transformation. It expects that the development of a B2B eCommerce platform would become a solid foundation for the reshaping of the existing business model and for the overhaul of the internal processes of the company. This should bring Henry Schein’s operations and services to a completely new level, creating new value for the company.

In the beginning of 2020, Rolf Steffen, Global Vice President and a head of Asian branch of Henry Schein, formulated the strategic goal for the company as “Digitalization Drives Operations”.

Based on this objective, TMO Group carefully, layer by layer, analyzed the potential requirements that would fulfill such a task and presented the findings to the management of Henry Schein’s Asian division. As a result of the cooperation between Henry Schein, TMO Group and Adobe, a new B2B eCommerce platform was designed, developed and launched in February 2021.The platform successfully brought together and provided support for various parts of the company’s digital operations.

Henry Schein is an international company that has operations in various Asian countries. Adjusting to local requirements is of utmost importance, so the eCommerce system should have a high level of localization capabilities. It should be a system that, on one hand, allows centralized development, management, maintenance and, of course, deployment. At the same time the system should be capable of adjusting implementation and operation details for each region it is used in.

Henry Schein has chosen Adobe Commerce (Magento) as the eCommerce framework to build its eCommerce platform in Asia on. Magento is a multi-country, multi-language architecture system, rich with B2B-specific features and built from several loosely coupled components. It is exactly the system that can bring about a meaningful change in the company’s digital optimization.

The project was divided into these implementation phases:

Digital Product Catalog

DIgital Product Catalog is a cornerstone of every successful eCommerce project. In this phase we have created a complete implementation of digital catalog functionality, focusing on excellent user experience in such areas, as navigation, filtering, searching. We aimed at providing users with the full spectrum of product-relayed and brand-related information.

Standardized B2C/B2b eCommerce features

At this phase we provided new sales channels to reach new customers and maintain existing ones. We implemented marketing automation features and set up a convenient online purchasing workflow, similar to that of Taobao.

Personalized B2B eCommerce operations

At this phase we optimized eCommerce operations and sales by implementing localized workflows and B2B-focused features. It affected all aspects of the platform — from the development of digital bargaining interface to reducing server response time, from enabling personalized product price and delivery options to establishing an hierarchical account structure that perfectly serves B2B enterprise customers.

Scalability / expansion of the new model

The platform has a number of built-in features that would allow Henry Schein to expand successful solutions from one market to another one, then to the region, going all the way to international expansion. Beyond that, Henry Schein will now be able to explore and adopt new digital B2B eCommerce models, adapting to constantly changing market demands.

Project implementation and execution

Looking back on the history of the entire project, Mr. Richard Mou, project manager from TMO Group, reflects: “The development for this project was running very smoothly, from the very beginning to the launch day, through all three phases of development. First, together with Henry Schein we built the digital catalog; then, we integrated online payment gateways and the company’s ERP system, fully automating order workflow; finally, we implemented price and catalog customization for each major customer. Our processes were transparent, the data was stored online, and the teams worked together well. Every project participant contributed to the final success.”

This was one of those “nothing-to-something”, “zero-to-hero” projects. It also required a lot of active participation from Henry Schein’s side: collecting product data, designing eCommerce processes for sales, logistics and finance departments. There were hundreds of hours of preparation, learning and training that had to be put in. It has truly highlighted the professionalism of Henry Schein team.

The resulting platform will make a huge difference, advancing Henry Schein in their digital transformation journey. As Mr. Gary He, the general manager of the project from Henry Schein’s side, puts it: “By completing this endeavor, we have not only digitized catalog, sales, supply chain and logistics, but we also used the synergy of these parts to create an entire digitized sales process. In the future we are going to introduce new features, such as planning, design, channel and external data. This will bring Henry Schein digital transformation to the new network level and ecological level.”

Right before the beginning of the kick-off event, where the platform was to be unveiled, Mr. Tony Zhang, managing director of Henry Schein China shared his thoughts: “I look forward to working with such a robust and modern project. I really hope that Henry Schein will become a cutting-edge company, one that fully operates in accordance with a digital business philosophy. ”

Going forward, we can say that Henry Schein underwent “digital transformation”, implemented all its aspects in a firm and a strategic way. Aided by this eCommerce project, Henry Schein reorganized its business processes, instilled a digital mindset on the entire team, turned data and information into assets and generated more value.

Mr. Sterling Chen, General Manager of Henry Schein Hemao Branch believes that “the biggest result of this project is catalysed the change in the corporate management. That includes optimization of work execution, higher efficiency, coordination between departments, and improvement of the talent training procedures.”

While talking about the cooperation with TMO Group, several members of Henry Schein’s senior management praised the responsibility and efficiency of TMO’s team.

View from the TMO’s side

“B2B e-commerce is only a starting point, it is definitely not the end”, says Jing Zhou, Business Director of TMO Group. “We are honored to be able to lay a foundation for Henry Schein’s digital transformation that will serve as the basis for the company’s future expansion. We will continue to optimize and perfect this foundation, hoping that our today’s success can inspire future advances in Henry Schein’s digitalization.”

Henry Schein’s team members testing out new eCommerce platform

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