Founded in 1917, E P Barrus is a leading distributor of marine, lawn and garden, groundcare, industrial, and vehicle products. The company acts as the exclusive UK distributor for a range of well-known brands, including Mercury Marine, Yanmar, MTD, John Deere engines, Hyosung motorcycles and Massey Ferguson.
Barrus aims to provide a high level of aftermarket support to its over 1500 strong dealer network, and with such a wide product range the efficient and accurate provision of spare parts and supporting technical data are an integral part of this strategy.
Because of Barrus' extensive product range and the scale of its dealer business, the company needed an aftermarket service solutions provider capable of implementing a dealer portal that would support an integrated product catalogue and act as a single central source of aftermarket data.
Previously up to 15 separately authored CDs were required to support the almost 10 million engine part choices that Barrus needs to offer. These CDs were expensive to produce, ship and were soon out of date. Consequently, dealer usage of them was relatively low in turn driving greater hands on and costly aftermarket support from the Barrus aftermarket team.
Using the LANSA EDI framework, Epitomy created an E. P. Barrus dealer parts portal. Through this portal dealers can order parts, check stock availability, track order status and view order history. A distinctive feature of the portal is that dealers can search for parts without having to know the part number. Through a process of progressive visual selection they are able to reach the part that they require. Given the extensive parts list this graphical ability is of particular value saving time and reducing order error.
The portal, supported by Epitomy, uses web services to request validation of the dealer number in Barrus’ dealer system. The dealer typically creates a part list using web services to obtain up to date stock and price information from Barrus. Once the parts list has been completed, web services are used to pass this list back into Barrus’ dealer website where the parts are added to the dealers order page. Dealers are able to switch between the portal and their own site at any time. As both are similar in look and feel so that the switch appears seamless to the dealer.