Kingfisher Plc - Vendor Communications

Kingfisher Plc - Vendor Communications

Consolidating nine operating systems into one easy-to-use application

Improving vendor relations for a global home improvements brand.

The Brief

The Client

With over 1,302 stores, across ten countries, Kingfisher plc is one of the largest home improvement suppliers operating within Europe, Russia, and Turkey, generating over £11 billion in sales revenue annually through brands including B&Q, Screwfix, Castorama and Brico Depot. Today, Kingfisher helps more than six million customers each year find the materials, tools, and furnishings to improve their homes for the better.


The Background

With seven unique DIY and home improvement brands operating under the Kingfisher umbrella, and significant crossover in the product ranges being offered to consumers, Kingfisher made the strategic decision to centralise its purchasing operations. In doing so, the company needed to consolidate the information being distributed to its network of nearly 10,000 vendor organisations worldwide. In effect, creating one universal vendor manual, to stipulate Kingfisher's expectations of its vendor partners, and outline the company's ways of working.


The objective

Improve Kingfisher's communication with its 10,000 global vendors, by creating one centralised system, whilst also developing the tools to allow the company to increase vendor engagement.

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What we did

Identifying an appropriate vendor manual treatment

With all written content provided client side by Kingfisher, our job at Merchant was focused entirely on the delivery of the vendor manual itself, namely the form it would take, and how to present and access the information within. Kingfisher had already determined that it wanted the vendor manual to be a web application (ensuring its global vendor audience could easily access the content) so we got to work identifying the best technology to build the manual.


Finding the right platform 

We conducted an in-depth audit of the technologies that would allow our development team to build in the bespoke functionality Kingfisher had identified the vendor manual needed to have; most important of which was the ability to track and report on individual usage. With the vendor manual a legal document as much as an educational one, Kingfisher needs the ability to confirm that each vendor, selling through its stores, reviews and consents to the content. We identified Umbraco as the best platform to develop and implement this crucial vendor manual functionality.

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Creating a universal user experience 

With the ability to track user impressions built in, our next priority was designing the user journey. The content itself would be in English, but the manual still needed to service the needs of an international audience. We conducted an in-depth UX (user experience) audit, which revealed a need for a simple, yet comprehensive, navigation design. Based on these insights, we created a bespoke site map that allowed each vendor to quickly navigate the manual, making the content easily digestible to an international reader.   

Vendor Communications portal for Kingfisher Retail on laptop screen

Taking ownership of Kingfisher's vendor communications 

Kingfisher's online vendor manual isn't the only way we've helped the home improvements retailer better manage its vendor relations. In addition to creating one of Kingfisher's most critical business assets, we also distribute centralised vendor emails worldwide each month. As Kingfisher's principle vendor relations partner, we're uniquely trusted to manage this priceless vendor database. 

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Merchant’s technical expertise, account management, pragmatism and flexibility make them a valuable partner.”

Tim Savage

Vendor Communications Lead, Kingfisher Plc

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