"Previously, we had a pretty nice part number builder on our website that not only spit out a part number, but also enabled website visitors to download one or many drawing file formats of that part,” explains Rachael Novak, Marketing Manager at AMCI. “The issue we ran across with this tool however, was that it required a lot of time and resources internally for us to put this together. As a result, even after a decent period of time had passed, we still hadn’t had the time to roll it out across all the applicable products on the site. Plus, managing part number updates was a bigger project than we could easily manage,” she adds.
Site analytics told AMCI that people were using the tool where it was available, so it certainly added value–but what good is a tool if you have neither the time nor the resources to roll out and maintain it?
In an effort to answer this question, AMCI began researching possible tools to replace what was already available–and not working–on their website. A search for plugins revealed nothing, and their web developer lacked a confident approach. “We never realized how complex our project actually was until we looked into a solution,” Novak says.
Like others in the electronics industry, AMCI’s product part numbers have contingencies within the available options, which demands a tool with a high level of customization. After a Google search, they found Big Zeta’s sample tool, which appeared to work as they’d envisioned it.
Tony Grgas, Big Zeta’s Director of Software Development, explains that a good part number builder allows for a high amount of selectivity, preventing users from selecting options that don’t or can’t exist. “One of the things that the part number builder does is build in those complicated rules. If I'm picking shaft diameter, this set is enabled. But if I’m looking at a hub shaft, it will only show me results I can pick,” he explains. “Customers can come to the site and only select what is applicable.”
Big Zeta’s functionality offered exactly what AMCI was looking for. Once the work began, the team at AMCI appreciated the regular Zoom calls, updates, and visuals the Big Zeta team provided. Novak notes that, even though the tool has been live for months, they still feel supported by Big Zeta, and can update part numbers with a few simple emails.
“One of the things we really strived for with this project was ease of integration. When things change, we didn’t want AMCI to have to do anything. They can message us tomorrow and tell us to update a part number and we’ll fix it–that’s it,” Grgas says.
“One of the things we really strived for with this project was ease of integration. When things change, we didn’t want AMCI to have to do anything. They can message us tomorrow and tell us to update a part number and we’ll fix it–that’s it.”
“We also appreciated that Big Zeta’s team is based in the US and consisted of a number of people who specialized in building out the tools we were looking for–a big advantage over a single web developer or a cookiecutter plug-in,” says Novak.
Because AMCI often works through distributors and not just end users, the part number builder also acts as a marketing tool. With it, they hope to present themselves through their website as a company that stays up to date with information and offers a user-friendly website, which seems to be working–Novak says their sales people report that they’re getting more accurate inquiries, which is saving them time and leading to more sales.
“We’re very happy with the part number builder. It’s been helpful having customers request specific part numbers and having them be correct. It makes the product selection and quoting process easier for our sales team and customers,” Novak says. “Big Zeta has done a great job with the builder–I only wish we’d found them sooner.”