Union Materiaux: digital transformation in building supplies

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Based in Montpelier, France, Union Materiaux is a leading independent retailer of building materials. It employs 460 staff, including 150 sales people, based across a network of 35 offices.

The company wanted to harness the power of digital transformation to increase the productivity of its sales teams and create a more modern brand image. This included creating a digital product catalog to meet environmental targets for reduced paper use.

there’s an app for that

To meet these requirements, Orange Business Services developed an iPad app that works over 3G to access Union Materiaux’s existing CRM and ERP databases and integrates mobile device management features. Orange worked closely with the sales staff who were the ultimate users of the application to design an app.

“We had great human and technical support on our iPad application development project from the Orange Business Services team.  This teamwork allowed us to achieve a successful application that is adapted to our needs,” says Union Materiaux CIO, Jérôme Deschamps.

productive and efficient

This approach to application development boosted user adoption. After just one day of training, sales staff are able to use the iPad app to access relevant customer, product and stock availability data in real-time. It allows them to show customers full details of the product range, while also checking product availability and placing orders, optimizing the sales and ordering process.

The app has enabled Union Materiaux to respond fast to customer needs, while also increasing flexibility and efficiency. “We are delighted with the response we’ve had in the field enabling us to increase market share,” said Alexandre Vachet, Chairman and CEO.

Continuous employee feedback helps Union Materiaux identify where improvements in their processes are required, paper use has been reduced and the company’s brand image is now associated with a modern, best in class solution. The app even won an innovation award from French construction trade magazine, Negoce.  

Key facts

  • more flexible, efficient operations
  • faster ordering, improved stock management
  • solution tailor-made to match established sales practice
  • reduced paper usage
  • helped build brand image