How KYKLO Partnership Boosted Pro-face's Effectiveness with Distributor Partners
While part of the global Schneider Electric organization, Pro-face operates as a small standalone company. They operate with a lean marketing team and their issues mirror those of many companies across the automation and electrical industry.
Since starting the partnership in 2020, the KYKLO team is proud of the relationship with Pro-face. Throughout the partnership, KYKLO has been able to act on behalf of both Pro-face and their channel partners, to ensure that they have strong online representation and provide the experience that today’s B2B buyers expect. This has led KYKLO to develop enriched product data, advanced selection tools, and a Pro-face portfolio page. Pro-face channel partners have seen an increase in leads, orders, and sales while Pro-face has been able to have a trusted partner for product content and e-commerce allowing them to have more time to focus on other duties.
KYKLO recently connected with Janelle Morris, Marketing Communications Manager and Channel Development for Pro-face America, who leads their small marketing/communications team. Ms. Morris feels most companies of her organization's size face the same challenges.
As Janelle shared with KYKLO: “Putting together data for distributor partners on the surface seems like a relatively simple process, but the task takes a lot more time and effort than anyone imagines. This creates a drain on the small organization’s marketing group. Having the resources provided by KYKLO to put the information into the right format is a huge help.”
Before discovering KYKLO, Pro-face gathered and created the data in-house. Again using Ms. Morris's words: “Before KYKLO, we tried to create the data ourselves. A partner would call and tell us they were creating an online catalog and ask for the information. This was typically a small slice of our catalog with around 200 SKUs, but gathering the information still required 16-18 hours to produce. What’s more, none of this data was static. We had to exert extra effort to maintain the data; make ongoing changes every time something changed in the specifications, pricing, or any of several other areas. Today, we just pass changes on to KYKLO, and they update the information throughout the system. That is a big part of the ongoing efficiency of using them in a small company environment.”
Pro-face sees the results from distributor partners as solidly positive. Distributors, too, struggle with the tasks associated with creating and maintaining a digital presence. Last year, Pro-face saw increases in order volume flowing from KYKLO-enabled distributors.
Ms. Morris sees e-commerce as an important point for distributors. She stated, “Many of our products require less direct customer conversation. Things like cables and other auxiliary products are easy to forget, so having them available online is a great thing.” Extending on this thought, KYKLO typically serves up a carefully curated list of recommended other products to customers looking at the main products on the web. This enhances the customer experience and works to eliminate som$e of the last-minute phone calls from customers needing a full system.
As the conversation wandered to the future of distribution, Janelle added this thought-provoking comment: “New customers are making decisions before even talking to a distributor salesperson. As generations move up, there will be more online activity. I am a Gen-Xer and do nearly all my consumer shopping research online. The subsequent generations do everything online, including researching products beforehand. Eventually, it will be a standard requirement for distributors to have a webstore with the supplier’s products on that store.”
Pro-face is a very distributor-centric organization. They sell exclusively through distributors. Janelle has more than a casual interest in her organization’s distributors growing and prospering in the markets they serve. The interview ended with this parting thought on distribution: “Everything KYKLO does to improve the distributor partner’s process positions them for greater success. Things like closely tying web shops to the distributor’s ERP system and further tying digitalization to the distributor’s sales process help move distributors in the right direction for the future.”
About KYKLO: KYKLO was founded in 2015 by 2 former Schneider Electric employees, Remi Ducrocq and Fabien Legouic, with one sole purpose: To help industrial manufacturers and distributors modernize for the growing trend of online shopping. KYKLO is the only company on the planet to provide product content enrichment services as well as powerful search, filtering, and configuration tools – both solution and content, fully built by engineers from the industry. KYKLO's library contains product data for over 5 million SKUs. Visit www.kyklo.co to learn more about the company and its products.
About Pro-face: Pro-face is one of the technology leaders in the Human Machine Interface (HMI) field. They provide user-friendly human graphic interfaces for professionals who work in industrial automation. Even their name denotes this unique dedication to the business. Pro-face is a combination of the terms professional and interface. Pro-face’s commitment to robust and reliable technology is enhanced by their flexibility in connecting to almost every available automation platform. Automation professionals worldwide see Pro-face as a universal answer to creating operations that provide the user with a tool to make sharp and timely decisions at every level of the automated facility.