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Redefining B2B Customer Experiences for Clinically Complex Medical Devices

More than price or product quality, experience is fast becoming a key differentiator in the business-to-business (B2B) space. To create loyal, satisfied customers, organizations need to create great experiences around delivering high-quality products and services that focus on customer needs and exceed expectations. Successful companies deliver great experiences and do it over and over again.

Invacare Corporation was certainly well-known for delivering on quality and service. The quality of the clinically complex medical devices it designs and manufacturers – including wheelchairs, bariatric equipment, disability scooters, respiratory products, and other homecare solutions – is first class.

As a leading innovator of medical devices that help people to move, breathe, rest, and perform essential hygiene, Invacare is committed to making life’s experiences possible for people with congenital, acquired, and degenerative ailments. The company sells its products principally to dealers of home medical equipment, residential care operators, distributors, and government health services.

Innovating and seeking a nimble future

For all Invacare’s product excellence and demonstrated innovation capabilities, doing business with the company was far from nimble. Having grown through a series of acquisitions, Invacare was operating multiple discrete technology systems and relied on manual workarounds that impinged on its customer response time. With disconnected systems and processes, Invacare could not offer an omnichannel experience befitting the company’s high benchmark in product design and manufacturing excellence.

Getting a sense for new possibilities it could deliver in customer experiences, Invacare looked to build on the foundation created for wheelchair sizing. “We wanted to make buying a wheelchair from us like buying a Rolls Royce,” says Angela Goodwin, CIO at Invacare.

To make it easier and more intuitive for dealers to engage with it globally, the company set about replacing its aging legacy technology and processes and overhauling its antiquated e-commerce system. Looking to create a connected and fluid digital commerce experience, Invacare plans to bring 3D visualization to the forefront and allow dealers to quote on equipment perfectly suited the very special needs of its customers.

To bring this vision to life, Invacare worked with Birlasoft Limited to implement an advanced digital commerce foundation using the SAP Commerce Cloud solution and SAP S/4HANA. The team also leveraged SAP Integration Suite on SAP Business Technology Platform to connect applications with other SAP and third-party cloud and on-premise applications.

Creating succinct packages to support recovery

With this technology, Invacare has been able to organize its medical devices around the needs of the end user. So rather than grouping its products in specific categories, it now presents the range of equipment required when bringing a loved-one home to recover – with beds, lifts, bathroom accessories, and wheelchairs in one package.

“Ease of use for the end user was the number one priority for this project,” says Goodwin. “It can be overwhelming to shop for this equipment, so our imperative was to make that experience as smooth and stress free as possible. And with new digital tools and functionality, we’ve shaved weeks off the processes involved in measuring a person for a wheelchair.”

Simplifying its quoting process

For dealers, Invacare eliminated the manual tasks involved in its quoting processes by implementing the SAP CPQ solution, which draws data directly from SAP S/4HANA. With some wheelchairs supporting upwards of 15,000 configurations, the solution has accelerated the quoting process and is supporting its internal sales team and dealers with error-free quotes. Downstream, the increased quality and accuracy of its complex quotes is leading to fewer queries and faster approvals by insurance companies.

To learn more about Invacare’s customer experience transformation, register to see Angela Goodwin, CIO at Invacare, present at the SAPPHIRE NOW conference in 2021. In this worldwide virtual event, her 20-minute presentation will focus on how Invacare made it easier to transact with the company. For more reading, take a look at the business transformation study, “Invacare: Elevating the Buyer Experience for People with Special Needs.”

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