Ecommerce has blown up over the past few years.
You can order groceries and have them delivered to your door. You can order a car from an app. You can even order “yellow iron” parts from companies like Caterpillar and John Deere.
Until very recently, this wasn’t the case. There are probably a few reasons ecommerce has been a long time coming to the crushing industry. Parts are expensive for one thing and getting the right ones can be difficult, if you don’t know what you’re looking for. Some customers feel more confident with consultations, but the truth is that many of the challenges with ecommerce are very surmountable and buying online offers some major advantages too.
In this article we’ll look at two of the biggest.
1. More information is available upfront.
Imagine if restaurants didn’t have menus. When you came in to eat, instead of picking what you wanted, you had to determine what was available by asking your waiter questions. Not ideal, right?
It would take longer to get your food. You might miss out on a particular meal you would’ve liked to order. You’d have a harder time comparing prices. That’s kind of what ordering crusher parts was like before ecommerce.
It’s not that the crusher part catalogue was off limits, it’s just that there wasn’t a place where up-to-date information was front-facing and accessible. If you were curious about the cost of a part, you would call into the distributor and ask for a quote. They’d give you the cost and then you’d order it. Perhaps you would then take the price back to the purchasing team for further consideration. It worked, but it could be tedious, especially if multiple conversations were needed.
Ecommerce platforms offer more transparency. More information is available upfront, which means you can make better decisions without having to call back and forth with clarifying questions.
2. Ordering parts is more efficient.
The second benefit that ecommerce offers, is increased efficiency throughout nearly every stage of the ordering process. You can easily see what’s on the shelves. Instead of having to call in to see what parts are available, you can see what’s in stock online, including lead times and pricing information.
On our ecommerce platform, we have over 12,000 parts available. It’s easy to search for and find exactly what you need. Ordering is a snap and fulfillment is fast too. With just a few clicks, you’ve created an order that’s on its way to being fulfilled. At Mellott, we’re typically able to turn ecommerce orders around in a day when the parts are in stock. Robust ecommerce platforms also make it easier to put together more complex orders.
Let’s say that you have a service technician looking at your crusher, and they continue to uncover parts that need to be replaced. Instead of ordering each one at a single shot, you can create a “wish list” of items that you build out over time. The list will be a live record of your requirements and it can have compiled pricing information and lead times for each part.
This makes it easier to plan your repairs because the information is integrated. Once you order crushing parts, robust ecommerce platforms can pass data from your order back to your internal systems. For example, our platform integrates with ERPs like SAP. When a purchase goes through, the order info is automatically punched out into the purchasing platform. This eliminates manual entry and makes keeping track of your orders simple.
Tracking is transparent and speaking of keeping track; ecommerce platforms make tracking the progress of an order easier as well. Again, you used to have to call or email in to get updates on where an order was. Ecommerce platforms make these updates automatic. Our platform, for instance, sends an email when an order is placed and when it ships. Plus, we provide tracking information so you can look your order up at any time, to see where it is and when delivery is expected. This level of information enables you to plan repairs or service more effectively.
Reordering is easier. Finally, once you’ve made an order, you’ll be able to view it in your ecommerce account and you can simply click to reorder the same parts. It’s far less hassle than having to dig for parts information and serial numbers every time.
The bottom line is that ecommerce is here to stay and it’s only going to get better.
Ecommerce, when done well, doesn’t eliminate the consultative services that are available to the crushing industry. Mellott allows you to still call customer support or get additional consultation at any time. It simply compliments those services and makes the process more efficient.
Mellott has been gratified by the positive feedback on our ecommerce platform this year and we’re excited to continue to develop the platform. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you can do so by clicking this link.
It’s just one more way Mellott is committed to offering excellent crushing service.