Building the central brain of a global B2B market place
The turnover of global used machinery market counts in hundreds of billions of dollars. Industry machines from small lathes to complete production lines are being shipped between continents every single moment and international traders need effective online tools to operate their highly lucrative business.
Exapro is a company of such a calibre. It was founded in France at the turn of the new millenium as an international online market place for used machinery. The company grew rapidly.
In 2010, the general manager Thomas Bordier searched for a software house that would be able to build from scratch the next generation of their online trading portal and internal information system.
At that time, we had more than a dozen experienced software engineers and analysts in the house. But, this was big! Numerous processes and multilingual databases with tens of millions of records. Simply said, to create a new software version sounded like a gorgeous challenge.
A chance to redesign the intestines of a globally operating firm is something you don't get every day.
“Before the developers started to write the first line of code, we had a precise description of all internal processes, we had definitions of all system entities and attributes. We also had fundamentals of a SEO strategy, since organic search is a crucial part of new leads. ”
We also created main personas, multiple wireframes, functional prototypes of dozens of application screens and critical system components (including simulation of user dialogs, live links, buttons, actions etc.).
The whole project was broken down into small tasks, milestones. Everything was precisely planned, using gantt diagrams and spreadsheets.
The day had come and when we presented the beta version of the interface, we received “standing ovations” from the Exapro sales team. No exaggerations. And this is what we do our work for.
Since this moment everyone was looking forward for the new version even more. The testing phase and deployment went surprisingly well - after 1 year from the first meeting and more than 3 thousands of hours spent, it was here. We went live.
We have been constantly improving the system and implementing new functions. The system architecture is robust enough so we could add many marketing tools and CRM functions, sophisticated custom newslettering module for hundreds of thousands of emails per month and many awesome front-end - back-end integrations.
The most important thing is that Exapro is growing each year and the new information system is a significant part of the success. Leads from the website are constantly growing (while the conversion rate is improving too) and the company is hiring new staff every couple of months.
Both parts were so happy with the work that COEX got an offer from EXAPRO to become a shareholder. It might sound like a Hollywood fairy tale, but since we started to cooperate, both companies have grown together in a magnificent COEXistence.