Holley Performance Products, Inc., headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA, is one of the world's leading makers of high-octane aftermarket automotive components, including performance carburetors, exhaust parts, fuel pumps, camshafts, intake manifolds and superchargers. Holley carburetors power every NASCAR® team and every NHRA® Pro–Stock champion. Holley is also the parent company of Lunati, Weiand, FlowTech, Hooker, Earls and NOS - top brand products for street performance, race and marine applications. Holley used LANSA Commerce Edition to give its dealers direct Web access to inventory, orders and accounts in BPCS.
Mike Bullard, customer service manager at Holley, says, "The aim of our B2B site was to improve customer service. But due to improved accuracy, fewer inquiry calls and more streamlined procedures, we see internal efficiencies as well. This helps to keep our prices competitive. The project took four weeks from concept to the first pilot test and we expect the system to pay for itself in seven months. We will always offer one-on-one customer service, but dealers now have a choice."
The project took four weeks from concept to the first pilot test and we expect the system to pay for itself in seven months"
- The Need for Better Dealer Service
- Concept to Pilot in Four Weeks
- Benefits of an Integrated Solution
- Plans for Continuous Improvement
- Company and System Information
The Need for Better Dealer Service
Holley was founded in 1903 and soon had its first major customer, Henry Ford, who asked Holley to produce a carburetor for his Ford Model T. So, it is no overstatement to say that Holley has been the undisputed leader in fuel systems for over 100 years.
Today, Holley specializes in the automotive performance aftermarket that caters to racing and other high performance cars. Holley’s customers are specialized retail automotive stores, such as AutoZone, O’Reiley and Advance and mail order companies like Summit Racing and JEG'S Equipment.
Holley takes orders from their dealers in multiple ways. Some dealers use EDI, but until recently, most dealers would fax or phone in orders which customer service representatives would enter into BPCS manually. There were also a large number of stock availability, pricing, expected delivery dates and account inquiry calls.
"In peak periods we would easily get 200 to 300 calls a day in our call center," explains Bullard. "We could not always deal with the calls as quickly as we should and customers might have to wait or leave a message."
"Plus, we could not provide customer service during the weekend. Most of our retail dealers are open on Saturdays, while we are only open on weekdays. Dealers would often get inquiries about product availability during the weekend, which they could not answer until Monday. By then the customer might have purchased the product elsewhere."
"We realized that an interactive web site would improve our customer service and started to look around for a solution," continues John Lippert, manager of business systems at Holley.
"We are a fairly small, agile IT organization. Rather than writing solutions, we try to find the best of breed packaged solutions that we can integrate with our existing solutions."
"We evaluated several solutions and used a rated response system to compare vendor offerings. We also looked at writing it in-house. In the end, it came down to LANSA because we wanted a solution with native integration to BPCS."
"LANSA Commerce Edition for BPCS was the better deal, because it provided a solution that gave us complete control, without having to develop from scratch," says Lippert.
LANSA Commerce Edition provided a solution that gave us complete control, without having to develop from scratch"
Concept to Pilot in Four Weeks
Holley's B2B site integrates directly with BPCS. Functions include inventory inquiry, order entry and inquiry, account inquiry and invoice reprinting. Delivery dates for out of stock or made-to-order items are calculated by BPCS MRP module. Dealers can also get shipping status information using direct links to UPS and other shippers' sites.
Holley’s project team consisted of Bullard, the project manager on the business side and John Law, a business analyst on the IT side. A LANSA Services consultant made the few customizations that Holley required. The project took four weeks, from concept to the first pilot test.
"We didn’t have to re-write a lot," says Lippert. "Most of the tailoring was for our pricing and promotions. Having the majority of the logic out-of-the-box in LANSA Commerce Edition and LANSA Services expertise for implementation and customization worked well."
"The site gets its information directly and in real time from BPCS. The dealer sees exactly the same information over the Web as our customer service representatives do here at our call center. There is no data duplication and only one version of the truth."
"We had a small group of eight dealers using the site for a few months and used their feedback to fine-tune the solution and make sure it met their requirements."
After this initial fine-tuning period, Holley launched the site at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas and signed up more dealers on the spot.
Having the majority of the logic out-of-the-box in LANSA Commerce Edition and LANSA Services expertise for implementation and customization worked well"
Benefits of an Integrated Solution
"Dealers can now get an answer to most of their queries instantly, without having to wait on the phone for a customer service representative," continues Bullard.
"They can go on the B2B site, check inventory, place an order, trace the delivery of an order or view their account details. We will always continue to offer one-on-one customer service, but dealers now have a choice and can use our web site."
The web self-service order status tracking, account inquiry and re-printing of invoices is especially popular, even among the dealers that use EDI.
"We expect to see a 30 to 40 percent drop in phone calls over the coming year,” says Bullard. "This will let our customer service representatives provide a better one-on-one service."
"We are looking at a labor savings of 2-3 hours per day for each representative and won't need to expand manpower as our business grows. Looking into the next year we expect to have little or no wait times when our customers call customer service," says Bullard.
According to Lippert, because the order goes straight into the BPCS system, the B2B site has shortened the order processing cycle by at least one day. "But for exceptions, such as out of stock situations, the reduction in processing time is far more dramatic."
"The customer now gets notified instantly and can adjust the order, with fax orders, customer service would have had to call that customer back for advice."
Holley’s customers in Europe and Asia Pacific can now check stock levels and place orders during their business hours, instead of waiting for a reply to their email or fax.
Holley’s local customers, also benefit from the 24x7 availability of the site, as Bullard explains. “The retailers can now inform their customer with certainty about product availability and delivery, whether it is a weekday or weekend, without having to make a lengthy phone call. Improving the level of service to our dealers, means our dealers can provide a better service to their customers as well."
"Very few of our competitors offer a B2B web site and, according to our dealers, the few that do have sites that are less advanced and harder to use than ours. This is a very competitive market, so customer service is important."
"We are now easier to do business with, which ultimately translates into better sales."
"The main aim of our B2B site was to improve customer service. But because of the improved accuracy, fewer inquiry calls and invoice reprint requests, plus more streamlined procedures, we have also seen internal efficiencies."
"This helps us to keep our prices competitive. We expect the system to pay for itself in seven months," says Bullard.
We expect to see a 30 to 40 percent drop in phone calls over the coming year, allowing our Customer Service Representatives to provide a better one-on-one service"
Plans for Continuous Improvement
"We have been using BPCS since 1995 and we are very comfortable with that environment," says Lippert. "BPCS works extremely well for our business, so finding products like LANSA that have a native integration with something we already use effectively increases the return on our existing investment and infrastructure."
"LANSA Commerce Edition for BPCS was fast to implement and is easy to maintain. LANSA works well for us. We put this LANSA Web extension project in ahead of schedule and a few thousand dollars under budget."
"We will continue to improve the site by adding areas for product recommendation and technical assistance. For example, when a dealer orders a particular part, the site can pop-up advice that it is best used in combination with another part, then offer a direct link. By grouping products logically and advising of complementary products, we expect to drive better sales."
"We are also investigating ways to make it easier for our dealers to electronically transmit their orders directly from their system to ours using LANSA Integrator."
"Some of our larger dealers use EDI, but we want to offer our smaller dealers formats, such as XML, CSV and XLS, that are affordable and easy to implement," concludes Lippert.
LANSA's native integration with a system we already use effectively increases the return on our existing infrastructure investment"
Company and System Information
- Holley Performance Products, Inc., headquartered in Bowling Green, Kentucky, USA, is the parent company of Holley, Lunati, Weiand, FlowTech, Hooker, Earls and NOS - top brands for street performance, race and marine applications. Holley has been the undisputed leader in fuel systems for over 100 years and Holley carburetors power every NASCAR® team and every NHRA® Pro–Stock champion. The Holley line also includes fuel pumps, fuel injection, intake manifolds, superchargers, cylinder heads, exhaust parts, camshafts and engine dress–up products.
- For more information visit: www.holley.com
- Holley uses BPCS version 8.03 3.2 and runs both its operational systems and the LANSA B2B site on a single model 825 System i.