Office Relief launches B2B eCommerce site that features Magento & SAP integration

We felt like our old site was holding us hostage…But then, b2b2dot0 showed us how we could quickly move forward with a redesigned e-commerce site that was integrated with SAP and offered sophisticated b2b functionality.

Paul Blaubach

President & CEO
Office Relief

For 20 years, California-based Office Relief has been a one-stop shop for ergonomic needs with the largest selection of office ergonomic products available.  Among Office Relief’s client list are some of the country’s most recognizable corporate names, including Apple, Facebook, Visa, Pixar Animation Studios, ExxonMobile, Twitter and NASA.

With e-commerce, looks are important, but functionality is everything – especially for a company like Office Relief that has long-standing and complex business-to-business relationships.

Prior to working with b2b2dot0, Office Relief had an e-commerce site that was difficult and expensive to maintain.  The site also lacked any distinction between casual consumers and corporate clients.  And, it was completely disconnected from SAP.

“In many ways, we felt like our old site was holding us hostage,” said Paul Blaubach, President and CEO of Office Relief.  “It was expensive to maintain because updates had to go through an external vendor, and it was impossible to get new products on the site quickly.  On top of that, new orders placed on our site triggered a long list of internal manual processes.”

“But, we feared that replacing our old site would be even more expensive and painful. Then, b2b2dot0 showed us how we could quickly move forward with a redesigned e-commerce site that was integrated with SAP and offered sophisticated b2b functionality.”

The problems

With Office Relief’s old site, each new order had to be processed through 5 separate systems that were disconnected from SAP and prone to human error. Additionally, a large number of b2b orders handled on the phone by customer service reps

  • Credit card transactions were completely disconnected from SAP, and triggered a long list of manual processes performed by different people on different computers
  • Shipping calculations were not integrated with SAP
  • Web catalog items were isolated from SAP and required dual data entry to maintain product information in two separate places.
  • Content updates were expensive and slow and had to be routed through an outside agency
  • Browser compatibility was a huge issue. The site didn’t work at all on Safari and Apple is one of Office Relief’s biggest customers.
  • Search engine optimization was an obstacle. The underlying structure of the old site made it almost impossible to promote and optimize for search engines
  • Marketing and promotion:  the site lacked a dynamic way to feature certain items, cross promote or suggest items, and lacked referral or email marketing tools


Project Highlights

Put SAP at the center.

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At the outset, an important decision was made to put SAP at the center of Office Relief’s universe.  The company’s existing  workflow — for phone-based and web-based orders — had too many inefficient processes that were disconnected from SAP.  Without addressing that first, increased sales from a new e-Commerce site would have only made matters worse.

Assemble the right team.

Since Office Relief had no IT staff to dedicate to this effort, the company hired a project manager to oversee everything including vendor selection.

“We were looking for a way to outsource the technology and ‘insource’ control of the business,” said Jason Evans, eBusiness Project Manager for Office Relief.

Evans added “We specifically sought out vendors that could provide:

Solution providers contributing to this project included:

  • Paymetric – for PCI compliant credit card processing
  • ERP-IS – for SAP-integrated ship/pack/track
  • e-Spline – for SAP product variant configuration
  • Magento – free, open-source e-commerce management solution

And b2b2dot0 is the glue that holds it all together — proving real-time, secure access to SAP for b2c and b2b-based e-Commerce.

Rebuild SAP.

“Even after we figured out what we wanted to do and who our partners would be, we realized that SAP was in terrible shape.  So we rebuilt it.” said Jason Evans.

The effort to rebuild Office Relief’s SAP included:

  • Rationalizing the landscape & structure
  • Updating the Material Masters
  • Adding freight rate shopping during checkout
  • Adding support for freight handling units
  • Adding Paymetric for PCI compliant credit card processing
  • Creating SAP variant configurator models

Establish PCI Compliance.

Among the many manual processes that Office Relief had in place was credit card processing.  Not only was the process manual, but employees had to use two separate, dedicated computers to handle transactions — one for Visa, MasterCard and Discover, and another solely dedicated to American Express. Along with being extremely time consuming, they were at risk of a brand-damaging data security breach and were out of PCI compliance because of the way credit card numbers were being handled. Enter Paymetric.

As the world leader in secure payment integration and tokenization technology, Paymetric was charged with creating a secure way to integrate electronic payment processing with Office Relief’s SAP solution and their new e-Commerce website.

Using Paymetric’s cloud-based solution, Office Relief was able to optimize payment acceptance while dramatically reducing the cost and scope of a PCI DSS Audit.  “I can’t tell you the enormous peace of mind that came with totally turning over the burden of security and cardholder data storage to Paymetric,” said Jason Evans, eBusiness Project Manager for Office Relief.

Expose SAP to the web.

The new site, which launched in Oct 2011, was built using a combination of b2b2dot0’s configurable web platform and Magento, an open source ecommerce content management tool.   The new site features:

  • Real-time SAP data-integration
  • Public b2c product catalogs
  • Private, b2b product catalogs with customized price lists and complex b2b order management
  • Centralized, easy-to-use content management for multiple microsites

Video Demo

Read more from our portfolio

The Portfolio section of our site highlights just a few of the customized solutions we’ve created to solve real-world B2B situations. The more complicated the B2B scenario, the more value we provide.

Check out some of the problems we’ve helped solve for Office Relief