GLOBAL SUPPLIER OF AFRICAN TEXTILES
Sonna started 40 years ago as a small retailer of "Africa Textiles", the colourful fabrics on which patterns are applied with the characteristic wax technique. Meanwhile Sonna has grown into an international distributor of famous products from Vlisco, among others, and of its own products under the brand Holland Textiles.
Sonna serves its market with shops in London, Paris, New York and Antwerp. The head office and central warehouse for Europe is located in Belgium. America is supplied from Sonna Textiles USA (Ashburn, Virginia).
Sonna uses the Shoxl e-commerce platform as the basis for all e-commerce activities. Besides deliveries to consumers, the platform supports the internal order process between the independent retailers and the head office in Belgium with an "intercompany shop".
The intercompany shop is also used in the Sonna physical shops. Because the assortment is then run through together with customers, no (internal) prices may be visible at that time. Of course, these prices must be mentioned in the internal orders placed with the intercompany shop.
All Sonna shops support multiple currencies (EUR, GBP, USD) and multiple languages. There are multiple stock locations, and the shipping cost calculation is quite complex. The shop is fully integrated with the Sonna ERP system (SAP Business ByDesign).
Integration of physical and online sales channels
Online orders are handled worldwide from Belgium. Because the (independent) shops play an important role in the sales process, it is recorded with every order how the customer came into contact with the product.
In this way, turnover can be accurately allocated to the stores, and the physical and online sales channels work seamlessly together. Consumers orient themselves in the store, buy directly there or order later in the shop, and get the product delivered to their home address or pick it up.
Sonna has a lot of in-house graphic expertise, and was responsible for the design of the various shops. This has resulted in an attractive and idiosyncratic design. The different shops differ slightly in design, but clearly belong to one and the same shop-family.
SAP Business By Design
Sonna has chosen SAP Business ByDesign (SAP ByD) as the basis for the business processes. Implementation of this ERP package takes place parallel to the transition to a new shop.
Shoxl's ERP-driven architecture was an important motivator for the switch from the old Prestashop to Shoxl. In the old system set-up, there were separate processes and manual links; in the new architecture, the online sales channel is fully integrated with the back office.
The starting point in the shop-implementation project is that the shop does not perform any tasks that belong in the ERP package. Although this can pose challenges in the short term, it is by far the best approach from a long-term perspective.
Where the ERP package (still) falls short, functions are temporarily housed in the shop, with the intention of eventually accommodating them in SAP. Examples of this can be found in the field of stock reservations, discount calculations, and accounts receivable management.
The Sonna design has been translated one-on-one into HTML/CSS by the front-end designers of the Shoxl team.
As an "early adopter" of SAP Business ByDesign, we have had to deal with some teething problems with that system. Fortunately, our Shoxl shop can deal with them, so that our customers do not suffer in any way.
Rajesh Modhvadia / Owner