Honeywell may be a multifaceted, global organization, but it also fosters an entrepreneurial environment for new businesses within the company. One of the more exciting internal startups is a marketplace that the company is building to facilitate the sale of aerospace parts and components. That marketplace, GoDirect Trade, is using key Adobe products to support its bid to bring technology to bear in a historically tech-averse business segment.
Trade in used aerospace and aircraft parts is a $4 billion business, but despite the high-tech nature of the products, less than 2% of these sales are currently done online. As Lisa Butters, GM of GoDirect Trade observes, the industry operates almost like used-car sales, with a heavy reliance on phone calls and pre-existing personal relationships.
“This is highly inefficient and gets in the way of sales,” she says.
In part that’s because aircraft parts must have a documented pedigree, with known quality. Trust between buyer and seller is essential, and so “the old ways of doing business” have predominated. However, this outdated approach reduces price transparency, the availability of parts images, and other important attributes. To overcome those negatives while retaining the essential trust component, Honeywell partnered with Adobe to create an “experience” disruption rather than a technical one.
Honeywell is using Adobe’s Magento Commerce to accelerate the creation of the marketplace and simplify its operation. Although Honeywell is a Fortune 100 company, Butters’ organization is a true startup with limited resources. Magento Commerce enables GoDirect Trade to recruit sellers, who in turn can create storefronts on the marketplace. In many cases this takes only minutes, and non-IT staff can do the work. Most importantly, it costs just $300 to get started, so there is no heavy financial burden.
So far, the results of the GoDirect Trade marketplace powered by Magento Commerce have been noteworthy. In one case an individual researched a $100,000 purchase just minutes after registering. The marketplace has had sales of more than $1.4 million in just four months, and there is close to half a billion dollars of inventory listed on the different storefronts.
“We had our first trade of a jet engine recently,” says Butters. “Given the trust required for the sale of such an important component, and its relatively large cost, it’s a demonstration that GoDirect Trade is rapidly gaining traction.” Focusing on “the three Ps”—price, pictures, and paperwork—has been a huge selling point for the marketplace, she adds.
For other firms looking to deploy their first marketplace or enhance a current offering, Magento offers a compelling alternative. Having an early success is essential, Butters says. “Utilizing a marketplace that is easy to set up and easy to join is critical,” she adds. “Rather than focus on a huge list of features that you won’t need for years, look for agile solutions that attract sellers and buyers.”
The speed and agility of Magento’s platform have made all the difference for GoDirect Trade. And adding features in the future is definitely part of the plan. As Butters notes, “Magento Commerce is a really nimble platform.”