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Sunsong North America Switches To ShowMeTheParts

Sunsong North American recently switched from an in-house cataloging solution to ShowMeTheParts.

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Sunsong North America is a technology company specializing in research, development, manufacturing, sales and distribution of automotive fluid transfer hoses and lines.

Prior to using ShowMeTheParts, Sunsong was using an in-house solution created in 2014 by its IT department.

“It was an OK catalog, but it had some deficiencies in that it was very simplistic,” said Dan Lewis, director of product management for Sunsong North America. “You would put in year/make/model and it would pull up everything from brake hoses to power-steering hoses. You couldn’t filter on just the part type or front vs. rear. It just brought up everything.”

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Another shortcoming of the existing lookup tool was that users couldn’t select specific attributes such as “with or without ABS brakes” to accurately narrow down their product choice. It also would provide a list of part numbers, but it wouldn’t show the pictures for each part. Each of these limitations combined to make it very time-consuming at times to find parts, according to Lewis.

While the in-house lookup tool was useful to search for OE interchanges, Lewis and the team at Sunsong felt an improved search tool would be good for business. The in-house solution hadn’t been updated since its launch and alongside the launch of their new website, they began looking for solutions to upgrade their online cataloging.

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Selecting a Replacement Solution

Sunsong wanted to ensure the new lookup process was easy to use, accurate, and displayed information in an intuitive way. The company also needed to move quickly and had heard that Vertical Development had helped other companies get up and running in a short time period.

Sunsong offers bulk hose and end fittings in a range of sizes and needed a search tool that would help customers find these products that people might not lookup via application. This feature allows customers to look up by diameter and length to determine the proper number to order.

Customers also call in frequently for special applications such as a brake-hose assembly that is several inches longer than the original hose because the customer added a lift kit to their truck.

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“ShowMeTheParts came up with an ‘Attribute Search’ feature where you could go in and say ‘I want to select a category such as brake-hoses hose’ and input fitting size, type and overall length,’” resulting in a list of hoses that meets those parameters, Lewis explained. “This gives people an easy way to find parts when everything isn’t by application.”

By creating a way to quickly find these items using key attributes, customers can quickly find what they need for customized applications. This custom feature puts the tool directly into the customer’s hands vs. having to call customer service or a product manager to manually do research through a series of spreadsheets or diagrams.

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While the “Specialty Application” search upgrade was significant, it’s not the only advantage Sunsong has realized since switching to ShowMeTheParts.

One new feature that wasn’t possible with the in-house solution is to narrow search by engine size. This is particularly important for power-steering and A/C hose assemblies that can greatly vary by engine size.

More robust 360-degree images give customers a great way to see all aspects of a part.

Time Savings

Since switching to ShowMeTheParts, the improved search functionality saves considerable time. Users are able to quickly enter key attributes that narrow down results, eliminating confusion or ordering errors.

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“Now, you can see pictures of all results in a row,” Lewis shared. “You don’t have to go back and key in other numbers. Simply scroll through and see all the images and options listed for the vehicle and narrow it down by selecting the position to see what options are presented. It’s dramatically faster.”

Working with Vertical Development

“I can’t imagine working with someone that doesn’t know the parts business,” Lewis said with a laugh. “That would be a nightmare.

“You absolutely have to have a company working with you that knows the parts business and knows cataloging. Working with Vertical Development is so much easier because they know what they are doing and they’ve done hundreds of these things.

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“You don’t have to explain a whole lot as they just know how to do it. They ask you key questions and then it’s done. If you see something that isn’t quite right, then you let them know and it gets fixed.

“It’s very easy working with Vertical Development because of their background experience and how many ShowMeTheParts implementations they’ve done.”

Vertical Development provided this case study. For more information, visit the Vertical Development website.

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