Case Study: Action Supply Products, Inc.

B2B eCommerce site becomes a “shining star” of the sales team.

Action Supply Products is a second-generation, woman-owned, family business serving Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. For nearly 40 years, it has been a one-stop, all-encompassing industrial and safety supply distributor offering products that keep customers safe and productive.

  • Industry: Safety and Industrial Supply Distributor
  • Headquarters: Coraopolis, PA
  • ERP Vendor: Epicor
  • ERP Product: Prophet 21
  • Number of locations/facilities: 3
  • Approximate number of SKUs on eCommerce site:  3,500
The Action Supply Products eCommerce responsive website displayed on multiple devicesAction Supply Products logo

The Challenge: A Stagnant and Costly eCommerce Website

Action Supply was utilizing its ERP vendor’s out-of-the-box website tools for eCommerce, the Epicor B2BSeller eCommerce module. Unfortunately – as is common with many ERP vendors’ eCommerce offerings – the performance didn’t meet the needs of a modern B2B organization.

The website was slow and complicated to manage. Uploading documents and product images was a cumbersome process, and even minor site changes required Action Supply to send in a change request– which was expensive and could take weeks to complete.

“It was a stagnant site that wasn’t helpful to the shopper,” said Shelley Fink of Action Supply Products. “In fact, the site wasn’t something we even marketed because we weren’t proud of it.”

With a growing and diverse customer base, Action Supply needed a B2B eCommerce site that was flexible to its products and brand. It set out to find an eCommerce partner to help it achieve the following goals:

  • Create an interactive, dynamic website that could be easily updated
  • Communicate the value of Action Supply’s diverse products
  • Make online ordering easier and faster for customers
  • Use marketing tools, such as customer communications and promotions alerts

“Ultimately, we wanted an exciting site that we would be proud to showcase,” said Fink. “We needed an eCommerce partner to help our website become a shining star of our sales efforts.”

A warehouse employee of Action Supply Products stacking a pallet of products to be shipped
A quotation icon

After meeting with the Channel Software team, I could see how dedicated they were to our success.

- Action Supply Products, Inc.

The Solution:  An Automated and Empowering Site

After reviewing several eCommerce software, Action Supply chose Channel Software’s CSX eCommerce platform. Built for modern distributors and manufacturers that want to grow and scale their business, the Channel Software platform is a responsive, flexible and easy-to-use solution that seamlessly integrates B2B eCommerce with any ERP system.

The Channel Software eCommerce platform also includes:

  • A mobile app to empower sales teams with real-time customer and pricing information, as well as enable customers to make a purchase anywhere, anytime.
  • Punchout integration to serve one of Action Supply’s largest customers.

“After meeting with the Channel Software team, I could see how dedicated they were to our success,” said Fink. “They have a user-friendly console that would let us change things ourselves – we didn’t have to put in a case request! This was important because it helps us stay current and responsive to our customers.”

Results:  A Powerful New Member of the Sales Team

Action Supply’s modern eCommerce website from Channel Software has become an integral part of its sales initiatives, enabling customers to shop and purchase more products, more easily. Robust functionality, fast site searches and rich product pages have opened up new sales opportunities and improved customer experiences.

The Action Supply Products B2B eCommerce website shown on a laptop

Driving sales

Soon after launch, Action Supply proactively promoted the site to customers that were poised to gain immediate benefits.

“We have some customers that we knew would be excited to order online instead of by email, so we shared the site with them first,” explained Fink.

The site also gives Action Supply new tools for showcasing its diverse products. “On our old site, we could only use text to market some of our services,” said Fink. “Now, we can market our rentals, repairs and customer spill kits more easily. Customers can interact with the site, like building their own spill kit.”

A shopping category web page from the Action Supply Products B2B eCommerce website

The new site is responsive and easy to navigate, so customers can make a purchase whether they are on a desktop or mobile device. The Channel Software mobile app adds yet another layer of sales power:

  • For customers: Easily order products on the go; receive push notifications about promotions and events; gain visibility into real-time order information, history, account balances and more.
  • For sales teams: Place customer orders from the field; create quotes; select ship-to locations; and manage pricing and discounting by customer.
The Featured Categories section of the Action Supply Products eCommerce B2B website shown on a mobile phoneA product category section of the Action Supply Products eCommerce website displayed on a smartphone

Intuitive for site managers

Action Supply employees quickly learned the back-end console for the site. “As far as managing the website, everything is spelled out for you and it’s very user friendly,” noted Fink. “We didn’t need to know programming or anything like that.”

The Product Management section of the CSX eCommerce platform

Punchout site and custom features

Channel Software worked closely with Action Supply on a punchout site to serve a large customer.

“We needed to be very exact with the punchout, like moving around data fields and using the customer’s part numbers, which are different than our numbers – so we had to segregate those to serve our customer’s needs. Channel Software was a partner with us every step of the way to make sure it was done right,” said Fink.

The site also displays customer-specific pricing for individual parts and variants, such as sizes or units of measure.

A true eCommerce partner

Action Supply reports that the Channel Software team has been a true partner throughout the process. “It’s so refreshing to email my contact with a question and get a prompt response. I don’t have to open up a help desk ticket. I can also call my contact directly if I need to, and not have to file a request,” said Fink. “Channel Software isn’t just a provider, it’s a partner. They respond quickly and have terrific communication. I can feel the difference with them!”

A professional woman having a positive discussion with a colleague about the success they are having using the CSX eCommerce software platform for B2B companies

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