Founded in Germany in 1951, WAGO has become a leading global manufacturer of electrical and industrial automation products, supplying to some of the largest distributors worldwide. With innovation at the heart of everything they do, WAGO’s end-user customers count on the unconditional performance and reliability of their products to ensure the safe, efficient operation of their systems every time.
Over the last 70-plus years, WAGO has built a reputation for trailblazing innovative new technology in the market, and for valuing efficiency in both their products and their processes. So it’s no surprise, as they have evolved to meet the changing demands of the market, that they saw a need to improve upon their product content delivery solution.
Anyone familiar with WAGO knows they spend a great deal of time building exceptional content to help market, sell and support their products. But with such an extensive network of distribution partners around the world, getting new and updated product information to all their distributors had presented some significant challenges for everyone involved.
As is common in the distribution industry, there seemed to be excessive delays in getting content displayed (or updated) on most of WAGO’s partner websites. WAGO knew this delay was largely due to each partner having to spend a significant amount of time transforming their product file—as well as those of all their other suppliers—into the specific format required for uploading into their individual webstore platform. Unfortunately, this process had to be done by each individual distributor, every time new or updated content was received.
While some of their larger distributors had more resources to accomplish this more quickly, smaller ones lagged behind.
In light of this difficult, manual, and seemingly incessant process, many of their partners had begun asking for WAGO’s product file in essentially a custom format—or multiple formats— based on their unique e-commerce platform (and other business system) requirements. In an attempt to fulfill these requests to improve the usability and speed of their content, this became a time-consuming process for WAGO internally, again prolonging the time it took to get content up on each partner’s website.
With a growing number of ad hoc requests causing a strain on internal resources, the need to deliver usable data efficiently to all of their distributors, large and small, was starting to seem like an insurmountable task.
WAGO knew they needed to reduce the “launch time” of new products to their distributors by providing more accurate content feeds and minimizing ad hoc requests.
Finding a better system would also allow smaller distributors to have the same access to content as their larger counterparts with more resources.
Why WAGO Chose DDS
With a large distributor base in the U.S., WAGO was also providing their content to one of the electrical industry’s “official” data sources, which had long been the primary facilitator of ERP (a.k.a. basic transactional) data between select manufacturers and distributors. However, like many of their peer manufacturers, WAGO had become increasingly frustrated with the limitations on the amount and types of content that this provider’s legacy database technologies could host, which resulted in only partial product information being passed along to those distributors subscribing to the service. (And for those WAGO distributors not subscribed to the service, WAGO had to find an entirely different delivery method altogether.)
Obviously, this resulted in additional frustrations for their distribution channels in getting complete and current data.
As a major supplier to Mayer, Anixter, Codale Electric Supply, Newark Electronics, and so many others, WAGO couldn’t trust “just anyone” to supply these partners with accurate, updated and rich content that represents their products with all the market-differentiating features and messaging that WAGO intended, so they needed a provider who could help them ensure the best possible experience for the end user.
Most importantly, WAGO understood that if end customers couldn’t find sufficient information on their products online during their research and procurement efforts, they would likely search for other products—perhaps those of their competitors—where more detail was available.
Based on these complicated and mounting challenges, and true to their reputation as being innovators in their field and always delivering reliable products, WAGO realized they needed to carry those same standards into their content delivery.
WAGO approached DDS in their search for a better way to syndicate their data to multiple partners around the world, in a format that would work for each partner’s platform, and without all the time- and resource-intensive manipulation of data that obstructed the process along the way.
Having this data on our website allows us to provide customers with solutions and answers quickly, without having to fall back on multiple data resources. This is especially beneficial when working with products like terminal blocks that can have 100 or more accessories.
– Authorized WAGO Distributor