Taking customer-first to a new level

As companies grow, they sometimes lose their personal, human touch with customers. That’s not the case for George T. Sanders (GTS). Although GTS has grown from a small sheet metal supply company to one of the largest suppliers of copper pipe in the state of Colorado, they’ve never lost touch with what’s driven their success – putting their customers first.

For 70 years, GTS has infused customer-centricity into their culture and in each and every employee. As customers’ expectations and preferences have evolved, GTS has adjusted accordingly to best serve them. GTS is the largest privately owned distributor of copper pipe in Colorado, but they have their eyes set on becoming the largest in the region. To best serve their customers and accomplish their growth goals, they needed a powerful B2B eCommerce solution.

GTS office building

Upgrading from an ERP storefront

As a distributor ahead of the game, GTS leveraged Infor Storefront for some time. However, it was not bringing the value they wanted to derive out of a B2B eCommerce solution. To move the business into the future, GTS assembled an eCommerce comprised of Natalie Scully, eCommerce Manager and Jordan Ullom, IT Manager. Both proved to be instrumental in transforming the digital strategy for GTS.

Scully identified key eCommerce requirements and vetted multiple platforms to determine the best fit for GTS. She led eCommerce from conception to launch, and continues to manage the website and mobile app today.

Ullom played a key role in ensuring technology systems were integrated properly to the eCommerce site. He continues to ensure everything is running properly and data is shared across systems.

GTS also relied heavily on their membership in Affiliated Distributors. They discussed eCommerce strategy and platform options with multiple AD members to gain perspectives about their eCommerce needs. Learning which platforms were actually helping make a fundamental difference in moving other independent distributors’ businesses forward played a crucial role in the company’s eCommerce decision making.

Comparing Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud to our previous solution is like comparing apples and oranges. Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud has already brought far more value.

Jordan Ullum
IT Manager, George T Sanders

An eCommerce experience powered by Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud by Insite

GTS launched their eCommerce website in October 2019, under budget and in less than one year after selecting Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud.

Deploying the website was never about replacing the sales team or eliminating human interaction. GTS wasn’t trying to be Amazon, they just wanted to make it easier for their customers to do business with them. They wanted to provide the experiences their customers were asking for.

George T. Sanders’ customers reacted very positively to the new site, while encouraging the company to do even more. Today, customers are consistently providing feedback about new features that would be nice to incorporate. As customers provide feedback about the website, GTS makes changes to best accommodate them. Customer service is a part of their mantra, after all.

In August 2019, GTS also went live on Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud Mobile. Today, customers enjoy an intuitive app that enables them to quickly and easily order plumbing, HVAC and electrical supplies. Plus, customers can view stock, pricing, spec sheets, account balances and more whether in the field, warehouse, home or office.

GTS app screenshot

Online sales and transactions are increasing

Since implementation, GTS has seen increased online sales and transactions. Web traffic has increased by over 100%.

In addition to making customers jobs’ easier, the website has made the GTS team more efficient. Staff members are now freed up to provide better customer service. They aren’t being tied up looking up product information or order status. Counter workers aren’t manually entering as many orders. They aren’t receiving as many phone calls and lines aren’t as long at the branches. By removing much of the low value tasks the team had to do within a day, they are now available to provide strategic advice, make product recommendations and help customers solve problems. The team has more time to do what they love doing, helping their customers improve their business.

From Storefront to Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud, customers are happier, the team is more efficient and business is flourishing.

GTS is 100% committed to providing the best possible experiences for their customers. They’re continuously taking customer feedback and incorporating changes to the site and the mobile app. Next up? They’re working toward integrating the website with Billtrust so customer invoices can be paid online.

As George T. Sanders improves their digital experience, Episerver will be right beside them helping them scale.

GTS website on a desktop computer


Manufacturing and distribution

Product used

Customer's website