HORNBACH:
DIY Champion With New Flexibility in Commerce

A re-platforming project featuring rollouts in nine european markets and integration of new business models

“There is always something to do”, that’s Do-it-Yourself-champion HORNBACH's claim. Much like for its clients, “doing” is the top priority for the DIY chain. This also applies to its online business. HORNBACH has big plans for the expansion of its Europe-wide digital sales landscape. To do this, the retailer needed more flexibility in its IT infrastructure – especially for the integration of new business models.

 
The strategy?
Being an “Interconnected Retailer”. After all, customers should always have the best possible shopping experience, from hardware stores and specialist retailers to online storefronts.
 

The task
A new foundation for high ambitions

How do we create an even better, integrated online shopping experience for our customers? A simple question it seems, but with complex answers - and in 2020, the starting point of a project that would almost completely change the architecture behind HORNBACH’s digital commerce infrastructure. It quickly became clear that the previously used SAP Hybris e-commerce solution was just too rigid and not customizable enough. It restricted the further technological design too much to make the necessary changes possible.

Therefore, HORNBACH opted to develop a new, more adaptable technology architecture: the switch to a modular, headless structure with Spryker Commerce OS as a core component was to bring more flexibility and speed. “In the enterprise sector, we are seeing companies increasingly outgrow their existing system landscapes and with a need to shape them more freely. Re-platforming on the basis of a MACH architecture is the way forward here,” explains Alexander Janthur, founder and owner of Turbine Kreuzberg.

This means precisely analyzing the complex, grown system landscapes, developing scenarios to gradually extract individual components, outlining new architectural approaches for the entire system landscape - and ultimately implementing them. This was also the case in the joint project between Turbine Kreuzberg and HORNBACH.

“We decided to work with Turbine Kreuzberg to re-platform successfully due to their broad experience in these types of projects. After all, they had already completed numerous re-platforming projects using Spryker before – and to great success,” says Andreas Wüst, Head of Customer Technology at HORNBACH. “We didn't want to impair ongoing operations, so it was something like an open-heart surgery.”



 
The challenges
“Nine plus one”: Europe-wide rollout and launch of BODENHAUS

A re-platforming project naturally comes with challenges, especially when working on running systems. Store downtimes had to be avoided at all costs. This was one major reason why the re-platforming was not carried out all at once, but successively, country by country: HORNBACH gradually switched to the new infrastructure in eight European markets (Luxembourg, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Austria). In addition, the new specialized store brand BODENHAUS was launched on the same technological basis. At the very end came the replacement in the core market Germany.

“It's always an exciting moment to actually flip the switch,” says Thomas Kühnel, Co-CTO of Turbine Kreuzberg. “However, the excellent preparation of our teams paid off: everything went smoothly. The iterative approach, i.e. carrying out the rollout step by step in the eight European markets and finally finishing it in Germany, helped. Not only is Germany by far the market with the highest turnover, but the IT landscape behind it is also more complex than in many other locations.”


 

“It's no coincidence that we have been working with Turbine Kreuzberg for over four years now. Together as a team, as strategic partners at eye level.”

 
Andreas Wüst
Director Customer Technology, HORNBACH

 
The solution
An integrated Spryker platform that accelerates HORNBACH throughout Europe

Turbine Kreuzberg not only supported HORNBACH in replacing its commerce platform, but also assisted in designing the architecture. The headless approach and the implementation of the modular Spryker Commerce OS system offered a new level of flexibility. This now allows HORNBACH to react more flexibly to changing market requirements and implement new business models more quickly.



 
Services

  • Re-platforming of commerce structure with Spryker Commerce OS
  • Rollout of the new structure in nine European countries, including Germany
  • Rollout of the new brand BODENHAUS
  • Collaboration of integrated team of HORNBACH and Turbine Kreuzberg
  • Services included frontend, backend, and interface development
  • Service level agreement ensuring operations of the platform

 
Technological principles in development

  • Architectural paradigms: Headless, API-first and cloud-based
  • Clear modularization of functionalities in Spryker Commerce OS
  • Applications and features to be developed, tested and deployed independently from each other
  • High test coverage for system stability and efficient development
  • High code traceability enabling development in several different teams
  • Clean code and SOLID principles
  • Continuous deployment and continuous integration
  • 100% containerization of every application
  • Flexible and individual scaling of each application by automating the provision and management of containers

 

Various key software development principles significantly shaped the implementation process, from the main architectural design to the individual line of code. Focusing not only on functionality, but also on performance, scalability, traceability, orchestration and test coverage, among other things, the development resulted in a flexible, scalable and future-proof architecture.

 

Collaboration
Strategic partnership for technology projects

The re-platforming has paid off: the share of online retail (including Click & Collect) in the HORNBACH Baumarkt subgroup's total sales has risen to 14.8% (H1 2022/23) - an increase of 50% within three years. What initially started as a re-platforming project has now developed into a strategic partnership. HORNBACH and Turbine Kreuzberg have been working together in integrated teams, both in terms of implementation and consulting. We also played a key role in supporting the launch of the new BODENHAUS brand based on the same structures. And we are working together on further projects. HORNBACH is well positioned for the future.

“It's no coincidence that we have been working with Turbine Kreuzberg for over four years now,« adds Andreas Wüst. “Together as a team, as strategic partners at eye level, we continue working on further developing our interconnected retail technology strategy in order to keep on offering our customers the best shopping experience now and in the future.”

“We firmly believe that technology is the basis for any future business model development,” says Alexander Janthur, founder and owner of Turbine Kreuzberg. “HORNBACH is a prime example of this. They looked at their IT landscape and asked: What can we do now in order to be better positioned for the future? They have taken many bold steps. The result is now a flexible, efficient, and scalable commerce infrastructure.”


Want to
know more?


Daniel Ristig
Director New Business & Strategic Partnerships
daniel.ristig@turbinekreuzberg.com
+49 160 78 6464 7