Customer spotlight story: Fluidra
Read how Fluidra dove into a centralized pool of data for their global operations thanks to inriver and CTAC.
There are over 17 million swimming pools in the world.
Fluidra is a global market leader in the designing, manufacturing, and distribution of all components required for the construction, refurbishment, improvement, and maintenance of residential and commercial pools. They currently provide products and services to 5 million pools worldwide with an aftermarket business, i.e. refurbishments and maintenance, accounting for 70% of total sales. They needed a robust PIM solution to support their entire product journey from R&D through to after-sales.
Since its creation in 1969, Fluidra has become the leading manufacturing and distribution company in the world’s pool and wellness sector. Fluidra has more than 160 branch offices and production centers spread across more than 45 countries. In France alone they service 1.5 million residential ground pools and 1.2 million in Spain. They also provide products and services to competition pools and commercial hotel and spa pools.
Fluidra owns the entire length of the product journey from R&D to maintenance, aftersales and spare parts. More than 220 Fluidra engineers around the world research new ways to make pool and spa components easier to use, easier to install, easy to service, reliable, and have a more sustainable carbon footprint. With 1,400 active patents, the company is a leader in the design and development of connected products that provide deep insights into product performance, development, and analytics.
With so many professional clients counting on quick delivery of products and reliable technical service support, Fluidra needed to revisit what was formerly a highly manual approach to collecting, managing, and distributing product data, and technical information and manuals. We spoke with Carolina De Rubertis Albarellos, PIM Product Owner at Fluidra, about their PIM journey with inriver.
Fluidra’s multinational operations
Fluidra is a brand manufacturer primarily selling to B2B professional customers. Quick and reliable delivery of their products is critical to a positive customer experience. Before implementing the inriver PIM solution, the company was juggling multiple databases enriched by various people from different areas of the business.
We were manually creating each SKU in our previous databases because we didn’t have any connection with any ERP. And PIM has allowed us to reduce manual maintenance by connecting with the different ERPs that we have in the company.Carolina De Rubertis Albarellos, PIM Product Owner at Fluidra
The focus on innovation within Fluidra’s R&D department means continual product updates and the design of new products. Engineers need quick access to compliance data and certificate guidance to speed up time to market. The production team also needs a more streamlined method for accessing all the necessary product and technical data for each product. In the pool industry, data has to be correct, or nobody goes swimming – or worse yet, pools fail to meet critical safety regulations.
The inriver PIM solution has given Fluidra a clear overview of all product information across their 160 branch offices and production centers – from R&D through to aftersales, maintenance, and spare parts.
In addition to using PIM for their global brand websites and B2B e-commerce, their factories now have a repository for inputting technical information necessary for product manuals, technical data sheets, and safety documentation.
The ability to customize products to customer needs has been optimized. And the marketing department has a dedicated PIM team to help them better use the system to ensure consistent handling, distribution, and communication of product information.
Across the company, the inriver PIM has automated data cleaning and removal of duplicate data from the system. All Fluidra employees can now easily download a variety of product information files, including Excel sheets, technical manuals or information, product descriptions and features, and compliance data.
Another key benefit is the ability to digitally search a database of thousands of products and see which ones are pending, which certificates are about to expire, and what products can be sold in which countries due to different compliance regulations. Branch office staff also have an instant view of the spare parts inventory.
After-sales, maintenance, and spare parts data have been integrated directly within the new PIM system so the company also knows exactly what they have in stock and where. Providing customers with reliable and updated product and technical information has also resulted in fewer returns.
The biggest achievements are the speed that PIM has provided us to put the products on the market on our different websites, as well as the good feedback we have from our customers for having a more robust product catalogue in our e-commerce websites.”Carolina De Rubertis Albarellos, PIM Product Owner at Fluidra
Implementation partner Ctac brought in knowledge and many best practices from their previous experience of inriver implementations.
They optimized the ways of working and helped Fluidra roll out global brand websites and B2B e-commerce. The integration with Magento is a good example: a generic, configurable setup of the Magento integrations enabled Fluidra to get every website and country live themselves.
The implementation took one year in total. During that time, Ctac consultants worked closely with the Fluidra implementation and development team to promote synchronization at every stage of the process.
However, the implementation period did not impact Fluidra’s growth ambitions. According to Carolina, Fluidra was able to open new e-commerce channels throughout that time – while the PIM was being developed. This meant the company did not lose any momentum. In fact, Fluidra actually gained momentum during the implementation by opening new lanes of opportunity.
With the inriver implementation complete, Fluidra can experience the benefits of having a flexible data model. As Carolina notes, this flexibility allows the company to configure the data model to match workflow. She says she has also had great feedback about other capabilities such as distribution and syndication.
With innovation at the heart of Fluidra’s corporate values, another result of implementing the inriver PIM is better collaboration between departments. “Before having a common database, everyone worked at their own pace on their own things. Now we can focus our efforts on key priorities as a company – such as coordinating product information and marketing efforts across borders,” she explains. “It also means that with many eyes on the same data, you catch mistakes much faster.”
Having a centralized product information database with additional capabilities has enabled Fluidra to launch eight new stores in eight different countries, and open new e-commerce websites. According to Carolina, none of this would have been possible without the inriver PIM solution.
We can now access product images, technical features, and update manuals much faster and easier – shortening handling times for customer requests for documentation. The inriver team has helped guide us through this process.Carolina De Rubertis Albarellos, PIM Product Owner at Fluidra
With the aim of onboarding sustainability across business management, Fluidra has developed its second ESG Plan “Responsibility Blueprint 2020-2026” defining the core lines to work on around Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) issues.
The inriver PIM solution allows the company to track its environmental footprint moving forward. This is one of Fluidra’s objectives once they have completed a company user review of the inriver PIM – making sure everything is in place to ensure long-term use and success across the company.
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