De HORNBACH ProfiService: een succesverhaal in de maak
Creation date
16 October 2023
Stephen Smits - Directeur Hornbach
The HORNBACH ProfiService: a success story in the making

Stephen Smits has been working at HORNBACH Nederland since March 2018. As a board member, he is responsible for, among other areas, finance, legal, IT, and facility management. His passion? Optimizing and enhancing business processes.

HORNBACH is a DIY store chain that has been active in the Netherlands since 1997. With a total of 18 branches, each employing an average of 175-200 staff members, alongside 1 HORNBACH Flooring location, HORNBACH serves a diverse customer base, catering to both consumers and professionals in the market.

We can explicitly tell Solvy: 'This is the functionality we want to have,' and then they work with us to find the best way to organize and implement it.

Stephen Smits, director HORNBACH

Growth opportunities in sight.

When you survey the broader maintenance and related sectors, you'll discover not just the consumer market but also a significantly larger professional market," Stephen begins his story. "Based on the formula HORNBACH employs, we see tremendous growth opportunities in this professional market. With the HORNBACH ProfiService, we already cater to many self-employed professionals and contractors, where it's crucial for us to provide as much support as possible.


For professionals, time is truly precious because every minute spent on administration means less time available to work with their clients. When they finally have time for administrative tasks, they're often at home and it needs to be quick, convenient, and accessible, regardless of the device they use," Stephen refers to the Martini principle: Anytime, anyplace, anywhere.


To support professionals as much as possible, HORNBACH has a clear guideline: 'A professional needs a ProfiCard and easy access to the ProfiPortal. The onboarding process should be effortless and completed in a few simple steps.' Once this is done, according to Stephen, it should also be followed up well.


The requested ProfiCard is securely sent to one of the branches for pickup after onboarding. If the professional wants to set or change a purchase limit, their personal ProfiAdvisor can arrange this.


Hornbach ProfiService


At first, we set up our ProfiPortal using a standard solution. However, we quickly realized that this standard solution didn't meet our requirements, as at HORNBACH, we always aim for more than just standard functionalities. That's why we decided to collaborate with Solvy, where we re-envisioned the entire process based on what we already had. This resulted in a fully automated solution that seamlessly integrates with external systems," Stephen explains.


He continues, "It's important to note that we've also made significant improvements compared to our old ProfiPortal. It feels like the birth of a new beginning, and we're working hard to ensure that this new solution matures and doesn't remain stuck in the early developmental phase.


A hands-on collaboration

Luc (Solvy) and I had spoken in the past, but at that time, we both felt it wasn't the right moment. However, we never lost sight of each other. That's because I was highly intrigued by Solvy's vision and approach for the future of HORNBACH," Stephen recalls.

Ultimately, there came a moment when we decided to part ways with the standard solution from our previous partner. The question then was: how and with whom do we proceed? HORNBACH wanted to collaborate with a reliable partner — one who is flexible, willing to grow with us, and actively contributes ideas. That partner turned out to be Solvy.

As for our collaboration with Solvy in terms of quality, communication, initiative, and responsibility, I can say it's been positive. For instance, during the replacement process of the portal, HORNBACH introduced the idea of iDIN," Stephen cites as an example. "We told Solvy, 'We'd like something like iDIN.' Solvy then took the initiative and proposed a suitable solution. They think alongside us and take many worries off our shoulders.

Moreover, the speed of action is remarkably high. It's noteworthy that we went live over a weekend without obstructions. Although go-lives usually come with challenges, we must admit that the challenges we faced here mainly involved creating some reports because everything else went smoothly," Stephen pauses for a moment. "This is something I've never experienced before during a go-live.

It's quite remarkable that we went live without any obstructions in just one weekend. I had never experienced that before.

Stephen Smits, director HORNBACH

Plans for the future

There are certainly plans in place, and developments are underway. Unfortunately, I can't elaborate on them at this moment. However, we do see many opportunities. We're also exploring alternative approaches to engage the professional market. The ultimate goal is to provide a comprehensive solution for professionals, regardless of where and how the customer interacts with us, ensuring they can always pay with the same ProfiCard. With Solvy and their solution, we currently have the best foundation to make this happen.