Case Study: Gulf Coast Marine Supply

Fuels growth with eCommerce punchout capabilities and customer integration

Gulf Coast Marine Supply is a leading provider of quality pipe, valves, fittings, instrumentation, industrial mill supplies, actuation, hose and gasketing. Founded in 1935, Gulf Coast Marine maintains a stock of 42,000 unique products and offers one of the most diverse and complete product lines in the region.

  • Industry: Wholesale
  • Headquarters: Mobile, Ala.
  • ERP Vendor: Infor
  • ERP Product: Distribution SX.e (v. 6.1)
  • Number of locations/facilities: 5
  • Approximate number of SKUs on eCommerce site:  700
  • B2B eCommerce site:  gulfcoastmarine.com
  • PDF Case StudyInteractive PDF
Gulf Coast Marine Supply eCommerce responsive website shown on a laptop, desktop computer, smartphone, and tablet.Gulf Coast Marine Supply logo

Challenge: Growing Requests for Punchout Capabilities

Gulf Coast Marine was accustomed to being the go-to supplier for hard-to-find parts. But as their competitors moved to eCommerce selling, and their larger customers inquired about punchout capabilities, Gulf Coast Marine took a closer look at its B2B eCommerce functionality.

“When you’re dealing with big international companies, you have to have an integration with their procurement systems and have a rock-solid punchout tool to do that,” said Hugh O’Neill, vice president of finance at Gulf Coast Marine Supply.”

Fulfillment warehouse with people busy processing orders
quote mark icon

We’ve gotten a lot of traction with customers because of our punchout integration

- Gulf Coast Marine

Solution: A Trustworthy Team and Proven Results

Gulf Coast Marine discussed its B2B eCommerce needs with its ERP provider but wasn’t impressed with the product or customer reviews of it. After discussing its needs with Channel Software, Gulf Coast Marine was confident it had found the right eCommerce platform that was automated, fast, easy, and profitable.  

Channel Software’s CSX eCommerce platform is purpose built to manage the challenges of B2B eCommerce. With the ability to smoothly integrate with any ERP, a powerful suite of tools and responsive design deliver a superior shopping experience for customers and easier site management for administrators.

“Sometimes you just have a feeling about people, and we had that feeling about Channel Software,” said O’Neill. “They have experience, confidence, and the ability to react to issues when we have them.”

Results: Fueling Growth

Channel Software’s B2B eCommerce platform for Gulf Coast Marine has proven to be flexible and valuable. The platform was easy to learn, so users could be trained quickly on managing the site. “We don’t need a big team to run this eCommerce platform because it’s so easy that the website just does it for us,” said O’Neill.  

Product page from the Gulf Coast Marine Supply website

Valuable punchout services

The majority of Gulf Coast Marine’s eCommerce business comes through punchout orders, and the improved B2B eCommerce site has also improved customer relations.

“We’ve gotten a lot of traction with customers because of our punchout integration,” said O’Neill. “It’s easy for them – everything just works. They can log in and find products through their own procurement system on our site.”

Open quotes can easily be converted to an order, so customers can quickly place orders based on quotes. It’s also a win for Gulf Coast Marine, which now has greater control over system pricing. “We can control it all, which helps us avoid short pay issues,” said O’Neill.

Open quotes functionality of the Gulf Coast Marine Supply website

Easy-to-use PIM system

The PIM (product information management) system has been a significant improvement in terms of website updates and product information.

“It’s so easy because it looks like an Excel spreadsheet,” said O’Neill. “Before, it was really slow and took a lot of manual work to update anything…it was a disaster. But now, I can change elements on a PIM item and it’s live right away.

“I really appreciate everything about the new site from Channel Software because it’s so easy and fast. For someone like us that services big customers without a dedicated IT team, the automation and ease of use is so important.”

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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