Sonepar Announces Digital Transformation Initiative

The company will partner with Microsoft, Publicis Sapient and Hitachi Solutions.

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PARIS — Sonepar announced Tuesday that it has selected Microsoft, Publicis Sapient and Hitachi Solutions to help drive the company’s digital innovation in a sustainable manner.  

Over the next five years, Sonepar is investing over €1 billion in its digital transformation to focus on a personalized customer experience that makes it easy to find and purchase products – when, where and how customers want. At the same time, Sonepar wants to promote best-in-class sustainability and provide the best associate experience for its 44,000 associates in 40 countries.   

In business, the digital revolution continues to accelerate and new technologies offer a constant stream of new opportunities. Sonepar is harnessing the potential to drive the group's digital transformation. This means reimagining the business for a digital age and becoming a digital enterprise. Sonepar has decided to harness technologies that can transform business processes, culture, and the customer experience.

“Sonepar is transforming the relationship between the customers and its associates, between the digital and the physical by orchestrating through its omni-channel platform a constant dialog to deliver the perfect order. Sonepar will accomplish this via Spark, a synchronized omnichannel platform, powered by Microsoft Azure and Dynamics 365. Sonepar is teaming with Microsoft, Publicis Sapient and Hitachi Solutions,” said Jérémie Profeta, Sonepar’s chief transformation officer.

The platform is made with the intention of making customers’ – and associates’ – lives easier: easier to interact and do business with, easier to buy, easier to return, easier to arrange financing, all built on the foundations of offering the best digitized processes, no matter how they chose to connect with us. The platform embraces all the customer and associate touchpoints: web, phone, mobile app, branches, systems to systems and delivery.

This collaboration supports Sonepar’s ambitious sustainability agenda, of which the greenhouse gas emission reduction targets have been validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). 

Sonepar’s ambition is to become the first global B2B electrical distributor in the world to offer the best omnichannel experience to all our customers. Rather than focusing on a single channel and expecting customers to use it, Sonepar is building a seamless experience across all channels – putting the power in our customers’ hands. 

Sonepar has built the Sonepar Digital Factory in partnership with Publicis Sapient. Publicis Sapient is the digital business transformation hub of Publicis Group with 20,000 people and over 50 offices worldwide. Today, this joint team boasts over 250 engineers with 15 nationalities who speak with one voice and act as one team.

“We are delighted Publicis Sapient has engaged on a long-term partnership with Sonepar to support their digital transformation. We are convinced this engagement is a game changer for the industry and will allow Sonepar to both increase associates and client satisfaction, thus bringing growth to the group", said Lise Malbernard, country managing director at Publicis Sapient France. 

“Microsoft is proud to support Sonepar’s digital transformation journey through omnichannel engagement, helping to revolutionize the company’s employee and customer engagement with Microsoft Dynamics 365’s leading customer experience capabilities across sales, marketing and customer service. We share a commitment to helping Sonepar scale their transformation and impact their market,” said Emily He, corporate vice president, Microsoft Business Applications & Platform.

Steven French, CEO at Hitachi Solutions Europe, added, “The core values of Sonepar and the Spark omnichannel platform; particularly around sustainability and visionary business excellence perspective perfectly match the core values of the Hitachi Group. Our team headquartered in Paris, supported by our longstanding global partnership with Microsoft, are honoured to be implementing a best-in-class global platform to underpin Sonepar’s customer and associate experience strategy”.

As customers and team members in all these global regions begin using Spark, the data touchpoints from every transaction will be collected into a single location: the Sonepar Data Lake. This will provide insights into patterns and trends, behaviors, and motivating factors. The Data Lake will also help automate processes such as taking inventories, and both streamlining and anticipating challenges related to shipping logistics.

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