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Hitachi Ecommerce Implementation
Customer Solution Case Study

Seventh Generation

Leading Eco-Friendly Household Products Manufacturer Creates Omni-Channel Retail Experience with Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce

Customer Profile

Founded more than 25 years ago, Seventh Generation is a leading manufacturer of environmentally friendly consumer goods products. These earth-friendly consumer care products range from household cleaning products like dish soap and detergent, to personal care products, like diapers and baby wipes.

Seventh Generation is based in Vermont and offers a wide variety of products sold in many different channels for a broad customer base. As a pioneer in corporate responsibility, Seventh Generation works for its products to make a difference — from their development to their production, purchase, use, and disposal.

Industry: Manufacturing

Location: United States

"First and foremost, the main feature we selected Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce for was its integration with Dynamics NAV. It integrates directly with our ERP system, allowing us seamless day to day functionality and access to a free flow of information."
- Jason Chance, Senior Programmer Analyst, Seventh Generation

Why Hitachi Solution?

Hitachi Solutions is one of the largest, most qualified and highly experienced Microsoft Dynamics consulting firms across the globe, capable of handling complex tier-one displacement projects. Our company’s caliber of expertise and commitment to customers is evidenced through our consistent recognition from both Microsoft and industry analysts. Contact a Hitachi Solutions expert to discuss how our Microsoft Dynamics Solutions can help improve your productivity.

Phone: +1 866.816.4332

Email: NAMarketing@hitachi-solutions.com

Seventh Generation Inc. is the nation’s leading brand of household and personal care products that help protect human health and the environment. Established in 1988, the Burlington, Vermont based company remains an independent, privately-held company distributing products to natural food stores, supermarkets, mass merchants, and online.

Challenge

In addition to manufacturing eco-friendly household products, Seventh Generation produces stylish reusable water bottles and hydration products. These bottles, sold under the bobble brand, are sold directly to consumers as well as to companies and small business in a B2B environment. Seventh Generation has seen an influx in volume of orders in recent years. In order to make these products widely available and to expand B2B distribution, Seventh Generation required a robust ecommerce system capable of scaling with business growth and providing an omni-channel shopping experience for customers.

Prior to using Hitachi Solutions’ B2B Ecommerce solution, Seventh Generation was relying on a number of disparate systems to manage various vendors, online stores, and warehouses. All information was manually entered into Seventh Generation’s Microsoft Dynamics Navision ERP system. With a lack of integration and heavy manual processes, Seventh Generation could not gain real-time visibility into inventory and order entry.

With company growth and expansion, as well as the customer shopping experience top-of-mind, Seventh Generation chose Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce for its flexibility and Dynamics NAV integration. The solution provides Seventh Generation with the ability to provide an intuitive shopping experience without sacrificing access to information on the back end. Seventh Generation’s order entry portal transformed from a function not frequently used to a simple, hassle-free ordering experience for shoppers.

Solution

Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce was Seventh Generation’s first B2B system. The decision to streamline B2B sales with a powerful, robust ecommerce solution came due to tiresome manual processes and an under-utilized B2B portal. At its core, Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce provides seamless integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV, slashing order entry times to increase efficiency.

Prior to Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce, each order would take anywhere from 10-30 minutes to process. Now, orders are processed in under a minute. This is a direct result of integration between Seventh Generation’s online store and Dynamics NAV. The integration links Seventh Generation’s warehouses and third-party logistics to the online store.

“It’s a much smoother process now,” said Jane Burdin, account management associate at Seventh Generation. “We’ve improved sales and streamlined the order entry process internally. We have increased our number of customers because we have a better solution that we want our customers and B2B partners to use.”

Seventh Generation’s order entry solution allows brokers to place orders for their customers. The broker team has access to a complete 360-degree view of customer information, allowing them to make better decisions while placing orders for customers or simply processing service requests.

The product merchandising functionality allows the Seventh Generation team to manage the product catalog per specific customers, groups of customers, or other pre-set variables. There are a number of features built into the ecommerce and order entry solution to maximize sales and generate revenue, including: powerful upsell and cross sell functionality, product merchandising and promotions, wish lists, purchase history lists, customer self-service, and accurate inventory messages.

Hitachi Solutions continues to work with Seventh Generation to create the best possible shopping experience for customers. During and after implementation, the two teams continue to explore new and existing functionality to improve the omni-channel shopping experience.

“I’ve been really happy with working with Hitachi and the people on our support team,” Burdin said. “They’ve been very responsive. I feel really comfortable in the system and I feel like our customers are comfortable in the portal. It’s an extremely user-friendly experience for the end user.”

Benefits

Integration with Microsoft Dynamics NAV

Seventh Generation’s online portal is fully integrated with its ERP system, Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Customers and addresses, sales orders, return orders, and payments flow directly from Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce to Dynamics NAV. Likewise, customers and addresses, sales orders, inventory and pricing, invoices, and customer balances flow from Dynamics NAV to Ecommerce.

“First and foremost, the main feature we selected Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce for was its integration with Dynamics NAV,” said Jason Chance, senior programmer analyst at Seventh Generation. “It integrates directly with our ERP system, allowing us seamless day to day functionality and access to a free flow of information.”

Flexible and Robust Coupon Functionality

Seventh Generation rewards its loyal shoppers with discounts and promotions, such as free shipping, percentage off an entire order, and gifts with purchase. Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce provides manual and automatic discount functionality. The system is set up to provide free items as soon as a certain quantity is hit, and to provide the ability to enter coupon codes for discounts. The flexible and robust solution works to provide the functionality needed to set up free shipping, free displays, or free products with or without coupon codes.

Omni-Channel Retail Experience

In order to stay ahead of the competition in today’s fast-paced retail environment, Seventh Generation uses Hitachi Solutions Ecommerce to provide an omni-channel retail experience for its customers. Customers are able to log in to their account or shop as a guest. Inventory messages let shoppers know how much of a particular item is available. Shipping and payment options provide flexibility for shoppers to pay with convenient methods, and allows for 2-day or overnight shipping, or in-store pick up. Email confirmations and alerts ensure customers are always in the loop on where their products are and other important company information.

“We’re able to set up the store so it’s a full-service retail experience for our customers and their brokers,” Chance said. “This provides a super intuitive shopping experience.”

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