Case study

Pet supplies retailer achieves 6.5x increase in supplier activation and system adoption

A retailer of pet supplies partnered with Supply Pilot to boost adoption of their product lifecycle management system by suppliers, and in turn help to ensure high quality and safe products.  

A men watching webinar

At a glance

The retailer used Supply Pilot's platform and engagement services to activate suppliers on their product lifecycle management system for a larger quality and compliance initiative.

This was achieved by a 6-week engagement campaign which provided suppliers with informative webinars and engaging training content.  



Materially important issue

System implementation and adoption

Step of the process
Platform elements used
Supplier Engagement
Number of suppliers



6.5x increase in the number of suppliers active on the product lifecycle management system


A pet supplies retailer wanted to ensure that their products were safe and of high quality. To do this, they needed a large number of suppliers to be active on their product lifecycle managment (PLM) system.  

Any systems implementation which involves suppliers requires a comprehensive supplier engagement strategy. This relies upon accurate supplier contacts who understand the system they need to use, why they need to use it, and how.  

To begin with, Supply Pilot worked closely with the retailer's suppliers to cleanse their contact information and boost email delivery and open rates prior to the engagement initative. Supply Pilot then collaborated with CBX and TradeBeyond to align and activate suppliers by hosting a series of webinars to provide training around the PLM system they needed to use. The webinars were recorded, edited, subtitled and translated, and shared alongside other informative training content on Supply Pilot's platform for 24/7 access by both suppliers and internal users.

The six-step process

Supply Pilot developed the six-step process after over a decade of succeeding despite the complexity and scale of retailers and brands collaborating with their suppliers.

System implementation and adoption is an excellent example of how the framework can be applied at scale and achieve results fast.



Applying the six-step process to system implementation and adoption 

Step one: Materially important issue

The pet supplies retailer had already identified that high-quality and safe products was a materially important issue, and therefore activating suppliers on their product lifecycle management system (PLM) was top priority. 
This meant that they had already completed the first step of Supply Pilot's six-step process. Around half of our customers begin working with us at step two, having identified the important issues to their business and stakeholders internally.

Step two: Smart Goal

Before work began on getting the retailer's suppliers to be active on their PLM system, Supply Pilot needed to understand what the current system usage was to set a well-informed goal for the project. After establishing that less than 30 of their suppliers were currently active and using the system, a SMART goal was set to get an initial list of 214 suppliers activating their accounts. 

Step three: Benchmark

Prior to the launch of the engagement campaign, Supply Pilot's Campaign Team ran a supplier contact accuracy campaign. This campaign ensured that any communication sent to suppliers - be it a request to attend a webinar or consume certain training content - was going to be sent to the right person within the supplier's organisation. 

Typically retailer and brand supplier data is only 18% accurate. This low level of contact accuracy means that systems implementation and adoption projects can be delayed by months (also affecting other wider projects) whilst emails are sent to:

  • inactive inboxes
  • incorrect contacts
  • commercial contacts who don't have the appropriate level of technical knowledge

Supply Pilot worked with suppliers to cleanse their contact information and capture up-to-date contacts, increasing delivery rates to over 90% within a month for the rest of the project.

Supply Pilot also managed to not only find suppliers that were no longer providing products to the retailer but were able to review the main supplier system data to find additional suppliers that were missing from the original list. 

Step four: Activation

Supply Pilot worked with CBX and TradeBeyond (TBY) to host 4 webinars with over 300 attendees in total. These webinars provided training around the PLM system. The webinars were recorded, edited, subtitled and translated, and shared on Supply Pilot's platform for 24/7 access by both suppliers and internal users.

The Supply Pilot platform also hosts over 50 pages of  further informative training content for CBX, TBY, and the processes around the systems to help suppliers understand why and when the systems are used, as well as how. Over 150 individual users have viewed this content. 

Supply Pilot send over 500 emails per general information article to the supplier audience, with a delivery rate of over 90%, an open rate of over 50%, and approximately 30% of suppliers viewing the supporting content on the platform. Over the span of 12 months, 8724 individual emails were sent to supplier contacts with over 50% opened. 

As a result of improved engagement over the course of the project so far, 50% of mandatory roles in the CBX system have been completed - the retailer started with 0%.

Step five: Data-driven KPI

Using the Supply Pilot platform the retailer can securely share key performance indicators (KPI) around CBX system usage alongside many other initiatives by means of supplier scorecards. The scorecards enable the retailer to visualise the system adoption and usage by individual suppliers alongside other project or audit performance to the project team and internal stakeholders. 

Step six: Commercialization
The retailer achieved a commercial benefit from this project in two ways:

  • Positive consumer brand sentiment through the assurance of high quality and safe products 
  • Reduced risk associated with quality and safety projects through supplier alignment, activation, and system adoption and implementation.

How the Supply Pilot Platform was used

Supplier Engagement

Targeted email communications were sent to suppliers throughout the project, with a total of 8724 individual emails sent within a 12 month period. Thanks to the supplier contact accuracy exercises, over 50% of these emails were opened, with a 30% click-through rate to the relevant training content or webinar link. 

All subsequent supplier questions and feedback were efficiently handled by Supply Pilot via a centralised single inbox. From this, Supply Pilot's Campaign Team were able to help suppliers with basic CBX functionality and registering, as well as assisting with the retailer's process steps around the system. This helped the retailer's project team to save valuable time and resource which would have otherwise been used answering supplier queries

A knowledge base was populated with the recorded webinars and a comprehensive series of training content to help suppliers understand the CBX system, why it was being used, and how to activate and use their accounts.

Combined, this resulted in: 

  • 100% system adoption from suppliers (with an additional 6% from suppliers missing from the initial list) 
  • Improved understanding of the system across the supply base 
  • Lower overall supplier support burden


The pet supplies retailer and Supply Pilot activated hundreds of suppliers on their product lifecycle management system via effective engagement and training content. This subsequently helped to ensure safe and high quality products. 

300 webinar attendees

across a series of 4 webinars hosted

226 suppliers activated their accounts

over the 6-week campaign

50 pages of training content

provided around CBX, TradeBeyond (TBY), and system processes

90%+ delivery rate

for 8724 emails sent to suppliers

Is your system ready for take-off?

It can feel like an impossible task to engage, manage, and then monitor a system adoption and implementation project. Our Six-Step Process solves this problem by facing it head-on, and at scale.

Book your discovery call today and start your Supply Pilot journey.