FORCE America is an employee-owned, mobile hydraulics manufacturing, and distribution company. They specialize in mobile hydraulic systems, components, and replacement parts. FORCE America provides more than 3,000 components and products to the on/off-highway mobile, agricultural markets, as well as emerging technologies in electrical assemblies, fabrication, vehicle communications, and data logging, and liquid solution application. They sell to large organizations ordering massive numbers of fittings and components, as well as individuals ordering single parts at a time. Headquartered in Burnsville, Minnesota, FORCE America employs more than 350 people across 15 locations including operations in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Texas, Colorado, Illinois, North Carolina, Idaho, North Dakota, Ohio, Utah, Washington, Missouri, Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa.
"When we started thinking about launching a D2C webstore, we already sold to consumers and small businesses, but we did it primarily through our field sales force, who placed orders on customers' behalf. We wanted to reach customers who did not know about FORCE America through their conventional feet-on-the-street, go-to-market strategy.” - Matthew Loeffler, VP of Products and Engineering at FORCE America
Before working with Irish Titan, FORCE America had a B2B brochure website but no ecommerce presence. Their fittings are grouped together in families and series, because each fitting may have multiple connection styles on either side. In the past, this was difficult to represent in an online store so they used a brochure site with “Request a Quote” calls to action. When customers requested a quote, it required a massive amount of time from salespeople to uncover connection details, sizing, and track down the correct fitting. This happened for each sale, if the customer bought 1 fitting or 100.
They wanted to modernize their site as a new sales tool and alleviate the pressure on their salespeople by offering their customers a better way to shop online. They asked Irish Titan to build a highly structured product display system so customers could easily understand the product family and pick the right fitting. Categorization, organization, and communication were crucial to FORCE America.
Irish Titan worked closely with FORCE America to understand their specific product structure and how they wanted to display these products. We recommended Magento because of the level of complexity and customization that FORCE America required. We developed a custom product listing page to display similar products together in a table, making browsing of products of one type easy. We also developed a custom flyout product detail page to highlight a specific product when the customer selects just one. Irish Titan also custom-designed a series of product detail pages, as not all of FORCE’s product families are as complex as their main Adapters and Fittings listing page.
Adding a further layer of complexity, each FORCE America customer has a unique pricing model dependent on negotiated rates. These models are set by their ERP, Dynamics AX. These pricing models had to be custom-built into Magento and controlled by a customer verification process in AX.
FORCE also runs multi-source inventory from 15 different warehouses across the country. When a customer orders a product, the warehouse is identified and Dynamics AX updates the inventory details live on the Magento site. Another custom feature is that products for FORCE are never truly out of stock. They ship inventory immediately if it’s available. If it’s not available, each product has a different lead time, shown in the custom-built time estimate on the site. Each product has a unique ‘low stock’ warning cutoff that had to be set individually for the site to warn customers that the product they want might be out of stock soon.
Lastly, Irish Titan ensured that Magento’s outof- the-box “Order by SKU” option was setup for FORCE America. FORCE’s larger customers typically order parts for fleets of equipment so they need massive numbers of fittings and components. Bulk ordering is the fastest and easiest way to order for their commercial clients.
MAJOR time savings for FORCE America’s sales team. They went from small, time-consuming orders to focusing fully on bigger, higher-value orders.
Since their launch in June, FORCE America has seen a major reduction in the time that salespeople have spent managing small orders, freeing them up to focus on larger orders. Overall, the buying process was massively simplified for customers, making it easier to find the exact fitting and components they need.
“Our initial goal was to get our existing customers to sign up for our webstore. Since we launched our site three months ago, we've been focused on reaching out to our existing customer base.”
“It doesn’t matter how nice of a car you build, if you put crappy gas in, it’s not going to go very fast. This is the fuel of your website. I’m an engineer, I thought if you had the right products at the right price, they would sell but people have to know about them.” - Matt from FORCE America
When the new FORCE America site launched, they had so many customer sign-ups the data sync connector was overwhelmed on the first day. They had to scale their connector to handle all the new sign-ups. Irish Titan worked with a team at FORCE to train them on the best ways to use the site, and how to pass this information onto customers. FORCE knew that there would be an onboarding process, but they’ve been excited to get customers involved in the buying process.