6 MIN READ

A manufacturer of brake parts and accessories needed a digital customer and distributor portal that would allow seamless sharing of product and technical information to partners, customers, and the automotive ecosystem at large.

Companies can miss out on new customer acquisition, repeat business, website traffic, and branding opportunities without having the right digital channels in place. Even if those channels exist — a website, search catalog, etc. — if the experience is choppy across all devices, they can still miss out on growth opportunities. 

Delivering a unified user experience is key. 

Overview

A global manufacturer of automotive brake parts and components leads the automotive aftermarket in the research, development, manufacturing, testing, and supply of brake system components. Since inception, the company has amassed a diverse and expansive portfolio of parts and products, both through acquisitions and continuous innovation.

ennVee was brought in to design and build a portal that would provide access to all product details, catalog, technical bulletins, and various company-related and/or sponsored events, as well as building the underlying search engine and catalog database.

Client Snapshot

  • Manufacturer of automotive brake parts and accessories
  • Headquarters: Chicago, Illinois
  • 1,000+ employees
  • Business and manufacturing operations across all major continents

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Objectives

Design an interactive, digital-enabled Distributor portal to:

  • Drive higher global customer engagement and reach
  • Provide a world of information online related to products, parts, technical bulletins, news, and events
  • Reduce quote-to-order time by 80%
  • Engage shop owners and technicians for the first time by creating a new social collaboration hub for learning, idea sharing and earning rewards
  • Reduce the cost of modifications to enable marketing to continuously publish content changes on demand

Build a solution that enables seamless sharing of all product and technical information with partners, customers, and the automotive ecosystem at large.

  1. Design an interactive, digital-enabled Distributor portal that provides access to all product details, catalog, technical bulletins, and various company-related and/or sponsored events.
  2. Build the underlying search engine and product catalog (a robust .NET solution using a SQL database).
  3. Create a Customer Order Management portal for intelligent inventory visualization, one-click quoting and ordering, and one-click order tracking and online price look up.

Solution Components:

  • UI Layer - HTML5, CSS, JQuery
  • Logical Layer - .NET, Java, Ajax
  • Integration Layer - REST Web Services, Oracle SOA
  • Database Layer - MS SQL Server, Oracle
  • Content Management - Magnolia CMS
  • Development Environment - Sublime, Eclipse
  • Server Environment - Windows, Apache Tomcat
  • Load balanced instances - Development (2), Staging (2), Production (2)

Key Features

ennVee developed a multi-lingual custom interactive web portal to deliver the following key features:

1. Mobile-enabled Responsive Design

Mobile-enabled responsive design delivers a digital experience across PC, Mac, and mobile phone and tablet device types.

2. eCatalog

The eCatalog is a robust .NET solution that uses a SQL database containing comprehensive information about the client's entire product portfolio. ETL enablement is configurable to import the automotive industry standard ACES and PIES standards.

Visitors can search for parts from the home page itself and locate parts by supplying the actual Part Number or VIN number. Visitors can also search from a drop-down menu, the vehicle’s category, make, model, or year.

Automotive Parts Search Filters

The search will subsequently display any parts that match the search criteria. Visitors can also view the details of each part, i.e. Engine, Amperage Rating, Fitment Notes, Grade, Voltage, Pulley details, Regulator Plug Position, Rotation Direction, Engine, Grade, Power rating, Starter rotation, Tooth quantity, Voltage, etc.

Automotive Parts eCatalog Search Filter Results Page

3. Micro-branded Sites

The solution also included the rapid implementation of micro-branded sites.

4. Single Sign-on

Single Sign-on enables visitors to register or be granted access to multiple capabilities based on role-based security.

5. Multi-lingual Content

Compelling, Multi-lingual content using i18n and dynamic logic to identify the user’s region and language preference upon login.

6. Dynamic Content Management

Dynamic content management is enabled for end users in the Marketing department, which allows for daily updates to content across all site pages using Magnolia CMS.

7. Products

The Products section provides an overview of the product, and details for new and re-manufactured starters, alternators, and steering systems.

8. Customer Order Management

We built a Customer Order Management capability for intelligent inventory visualization, one-click quoting and ordering, one-click order tracking and online price look up.

9. Technical Bulletins

Technical Bulletins are uploaded by the customer’s product engineering team on a periodic basis, and provide details about new or updated products, parts, and services.

10. Literature

The Literature section contains articles and write-ups about the various standards and quality aspects of the parts.

11. News and Events

The News and Events section provides information about various company and industry-specific events across various geographies.

12. Detailed View

The Detailed View allows visitors to view various parts’ images and download technical documentation to their device. They can also print the part details, compare multiple parts, and generate a detailed review. Visitors can also enter few characters of the Competitor Part Number and search the related parts here. They can search using criteria such as begins with, contains, ends with, and exact match based on the input available. The list of parts matching the search criteria is displayed and users can see a detailed view by selecting each part.

13. Inquiries

Inquiries allow visitors to submit parts-related inquiries through the portal.

14. Technician Portal

The Technician Portal provides a social community and learning hub for shop owners and technicians to access technical instructional content, share ideas, tips and tricks that help them get the job done, view upcoming industry events and training course schedules, and to earn rewards through various promotions.  Data about the shop owners and technicians is collected and Analytics is leveraged to create new opportunities to promote the products of the manufacturer.

15. Promotions

A rules engine-enabled Promotions module allows Product and Marketing to launch new promotions without IT support as seasonal promotions start and end, or to promote upcoming events.

Future Benefits at a Glance

  • The product eCatalog was awarded the "Automotive Content Professionals Network Award"
  • Increased website traffic by 400%
  • Reduced quote to order time by 80%
  • Improved middle and back office efficiency by 50%
  • Increased customer engagement with micro-branded sites, multi-lingual content, and mobile-enabled responsive design
  • Increased partner and customer loyalty and branding, leading to a higher volume of sales
  • Reduced Product and Marketing team reliance on IT for updating content and launching promotions

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