The Consortium Digital Transformation with Adobe Commerce Cloud & Microsoft D365

project Stats

The Consortium went live with a new and exciting Adobe Commerce Cloud website in March of this year. It was a huge programme of work, taking 2 years from inception to delivery, involving many 3rd parties, integrations with new ERP’s and PIM’s, and coordination with a diverse range of stakeholders. It’s a leader in this sector, pushing the boundaries of B2B capabilities. The need to move to a new Adobe Commerce site was driven by RM’s digital transformation programme which involved introducing a new ERP (Microsoft D365), PIM (inRiver), automated warehouse management system and core business processes.

Digital Transformation for The Consortium

With so much change and ambition for the new site, The Pixel and RM’s Consortium brand essentially had to go back to basics and work from a clean slate. Like all projects at The Pixel, a detailed discovery phase was undertaken followed by a design and build process. This was done by running a series of workshops, challenging preconceptions, and teasing out details to allow us to formulate a robust and unique website that is at the forefront of this sector. The Pixel worked incredibly closely with RM’s Consortium and their team of back office system owners to lead on solutions, document all the integrations, business processes, and to understand all the learnings from the existing platforms and customer feedback. Given the long standing history with the client, The Pixel team were able to bring insight and add value from previous work undertaken, sharing our in depth knowledge of some of the custom functionality such as e-Procurement. This also presented the opportunity to call on our design and UX expertise.

Foundations for Success

Once this was all captured and documented, The Pixel shared this with the client for approval, which then formed the foundations for the ambitious programme of work.

At a high-level, the scope of the project included:

1. Building on existing functionality within the remit of Adobe Commerce

2. Providing improved customer experience and autonomy by presenting better information to the customer, especially around product availability and ordering options

3. Improving internal processes - driving efficiencies whilst taking the opportunity to introduce UX and design improvements delivering a better user journey through the site.

From a development perspective, one of the most important parts of this programme of work was identifying the appropriate customer model to use. Our expert team were involved in a number of workshops with the client, as well as performing data-cleansing and data-mining activities to analyse customer data and find a model that was most representative of the client’s customer base.

The Solution

Once this was established,  a key exercise was to solutionise an implementation that was performance-effective, would marry with the Adobe Commerce B2B feature and facilitate new functionalities on top of that, including complex workflows and order management and approval processes.

e-Procurement was also an area of focus. This feature allows a customer to build a basket of products on the website taking into account customer-specific pricing, which is then transferred to the school’s specific procurement system. Once the order is reviewed, managed and approved on the procurement system, it is placed on the website under the relevant account and passes through standard order workflow using a completely automated process. The system also includes an advanced validation and error-handling/monitoring mechanism to ensure that any problematic orders are dealt with in a timely manner by the customer services team.

Streamline of Processes

While the main goal was to lift-and-shift existing functionality, The Pixel team also identified the opportunity to simplify and streamline a number of processes. While working closely with the client and third parties we have built a flexible solution to allow the integration of a number of Finance Management Systems that function differently and use selected channels of communication. The solution is highly scalable, and allows the client to easily onboard new Finance Systems with minimal intervention.

The customer registration process was completely revisited in the programme, both from a functional and user interface perspective. The website comprises an effective, one-page registration process that caters for both B2C and B2B customers. While manual input is reduced by providing the user with an address finder feature that auto-completes the address form, an advanced address-matching algorithm and CRM integration determines whether the user is likely to be a B2B or B2C customer. This enables RM’s Consortium to provide the user with a more streamlined and effective user journey depending on the user type. The process facilitates automated company creation with verified data and reduced registration to a handful of scripts for B2B, while minimising the extra details needed for B2C.

Barriers to Conversion

Immediate purchasing barriers were removed by devising a solution that allowed new B2B accounts to place their first order instantly online. This is now fully automated, whereas previously this was reliant on time consuming manual setup. Expanding on this further, the site now also allows B2C customers to register and place orders immediately. Previously, there was no B2C ordering capability.


In summary, RM’s The Consortium’s new Adobe Commerce website with its improved functionality and design stands above the competition in this sector. It puts the customer at the heart of the online buying experience with better self-serve autonomy, more payment options including simplified pay on account or card, improved customer workflows allowing easier manager review and order approval, punchout to external procurement systems, integration with schools desktop financial systems, and much more. Thanks to the Adobe Commerce website launch RM’s Consortium now has full visibility of product availability, delivery options, after sales order information and financial data, making for a better and more engaged customer experience.