A world without the convenience of buying books or reserving a hotel room with just a few clicks is almost unimaginable. According to Statista, over 40 percent of Internet users worldwide have purchased goods or services online, and this figure is growing steadily. This trend can also be seen in the construction industry. According to the study “Changes to the B2C/B2B Market Structures through E-Commerce” by the management consultancy Roland Berger, 25 percent of all revenue in the construction industry will be generated online by the year 2030.
A survey of 300 B2B organisations (a quarter of which were from the construction industry) from Europe, the USA, Australia and New Zealand conducted by the market research agency Sapio Research, 84 percent of construction companies worldwide assume that they will sell their entire product portfolio online in the future. This puts the construction industry ahead of other industrial sectors (e.g. electronics industry: 72 percent, automotive industry: 60 percent), and significantly above the global average of 72 percent.
Online commerce has eliminated international borders and many companies have begun to expand into new markets. As a result, e-commerce has become an important part of many companies’ business growth strategy. In particular, rationalisation and time savings are mentioned as important factors in and advantages of B2B e-commerce solutions. Especially in the construction industry, the focus is on reducing the number of manual data errors, decreasing system administration requirements and streamlining the processing of inside sales.
Doka not only serves customers of all sizes but a wide range of construction projects too. This entails a diverse range of requirements. Site managers of large construction projects often need support in selecting the right products or advice on whether to buy or rent equipment. Doka’s sales department takes care of these customers’ specific requirements and guides them through the sales process. Experienced buyers, on the other hand, who manage smaller, more straightforward construction projects, usually already know what they need. The online shop offers a large selection, a better overview of stock levels and speeds up the ordering process.
“As we were able to show in a process study, when purchases are made via the online shop, significant savings can be achieved in the internal settlement process for both our customers and us. But even more important for us is that our customers can order their most frequent products at any time and independently of us. They have become accustomed to this convenience as private individuals for a long time, and we know that they also consider it important in their working life. Customer feedback speaks for itself. That is why we are constantly striving to improve our e-commerce offering for our customers,” says Gerald Haring, Head of Department E-Commerce at Doka.
One distinctive aspect of Doka and its online offering is the rental business offered in some countries. This means that wall and ceiling formwork, construction accessories and safety
products can not only be purchased from Doka, but also rented.
Online shop focuses on customer experience
The Doka Online Shop was launched in Austria and Germany in May 2017. Two years later, online shops are available in 14 countries worldwide, just over 2,800 customers have registered and around 1,300 orders have been processed. The main products purchased are components and formwork accessories. “We have used the Doka Latvia online shop twice so far, placing orders for birch plywood in both instances. The price of plywood matters to us and we found the prices in the online shop attractive. I think the ability to place orders 24/7 is also a great benefit”, says Edmunds Kurzemnieks, Procurement Manager at SIA Kronus. In the future, customers will have access to around 40 shops trading across borders.
Customers can access the online offering 24/7 via all common devices (PC, tablet, smartphone) and operating systems by visiting shop.doka.com. Here they can find an up-to-date overview of the range of products, their availability and prices. Furthermore, the shop also gives recommendations for accessories and supplementary items they might need, making searching for products more efficient. Thematic shopping lists simplify regular online procurement.
“I am very satisfied with using the Doka online shop. It gives me a perfect overview, I see efficiency in it and for me personally it is user-friendly and transparent by the ordering of necessary formwork products. The orders are always generated automatically and flexibly. What I like is, that already by the entering of ordering products there is the possibility to choose a specific center – job site and the nearest possible date of material pickup, based on which we can consequently solve the logistics in our company. The online shop provides the possibility to check backwards the order history including order confirmation, delivery note and invoice any time. I can confirm, that I am really satisfied with the Doka online shop and I see future in it“, says Daniel Chabada from the company Destav, spol. s r.
Having placed an order, customers can track their status online. Orders can be delivered directly to the customer or picked up at a Doka branch as desired. The customer's personal Doka expert advisor and an online shop service hotline are available to answer any questions or provide advice.
myDoka gives insight into the construction site
Since the launch of the customer portal in 2012, around 4,500 users in 21 countries have been using myDoka. The online portal offers customers fast, round-the-clock access to all-important data about the project and construction site, which saves time and reduces costs. From planning and analysis to controlling, it always provides up-to-date information on inventory and transactions. This means the customer has an exact overview of their goods flows and stock levels.
Instead of time-consuming comparison of delivery notes, return notes and invoices, with myDoka, just a few clicks are enough to find out which and how much formwork material is currently on site. This is a great advantage, because it allows formwork quantities to be optimised. If additional material is needed for the project or to be held in stock, the customer can order it easily and quickly from myDoka themselves via the online shop. “The myDoka system is very user-friendly and allows us to view the hire inventory on all our ongoing projects. We can view and download delivery notes and return notes, and get useful reporting information from the Project Analysis section. From an accounts perspective, this system has been a significant labour-saving tool and from a construction perspective it has enabled us to make significant cost savings by managing our formwork systems more efficiently”, emphasises Joe Seals, Financial Controller, Northfield Construction Limited.
The intuitive design follows the style of the Doka Online Shop and is intended to strengthen the link with online commerce. Another helpful feature of the portal is the ease of arranging the return of material or the quick transfer of material between construction sites.
Doka will soon start offering an additional feature in the form of its Yard Management Service, which will enable customers to manage the equipment they own as well as that which they rent from Doka.