Gesswein

Case Study

Company Overview

The Paul H. Gesswein Company services the global manufacturing community with over 17,000 machines, tools, equipment and supplies.  With an extremely diverse set of products and hundreds of thousands of customers, Gesswein faced the challenge of delivering the same quality service online as they provide through their customer service team.

Their website was on an older version of AspDotNetStorefront that included significant customizations and was not mobile-friendly.  The Gesswein team knew they needed to:

  • Upgrade to a current version
  • Provide customer-specific pricing per product
  • Be mobile friendly
  • Allow marketing to easily add/update content
  • Real-time inventory
  • Offer credit card wallets

;

Impact

Making a digital change was vital to their business in order to compete and support their growth. Had Gesswein not made a change at the time of the project John stated, “Our web sales would’ve tanked. Our competitors would have taken a lot of business from us due to their superior websites.” Additionally, the team at Gesswein was able to improve their security, something that was critically important from an operations standpoint. Their updated system supported the tokenization of card information and made them PCI compliant.

Outcome

The ability to provide customers real-time stock status and pricing through an integration to a legacy ERP system has been one of the biggest benefits of their ecommerce solution. COO and Executive VP, John Harsh, “We’re doing more orders and more commerce with a lot less effort. It certainly streamlined the process for us. Compared with what we had before, we probably have 5 times the information now on our website that’s available for our customers.” When asked how the solution has effected their business, John said, “It’s really become an integral part of our sales process and doing about 20% of our total revenues right now.” Outside of sales, the website became a new tool for their customer service team. While there was a learning curve for the customer service team, the website is working as they have received few complaints from customers. On the marketing side, the team has provided better results with less headaches due to the updated system.

Situation

The Paul H. Gesswein Company services the global manufacturing community with over 17,000 machines, tools, equipment and supplies. With an extremely diverse set of products and hundreds of thousands of customers, Gesswein faced the challenge of delivering the same quality service online as they provide through their customer service team. Their former site offered limited functionality; despite that, it was supporting 15% of Gesswein’s business. They knew it was time to get serious and make an investment in their digital commerce solution. Managing and maintaining 16,000 stock parts that had special orders and needed to be drop-shipped became a significant area of concern. This situation was complex, adding in the fact that the IT department at Gesswein consisted of one individual raised the intensity.

Resolution

“Having Brilliance support has been very positive”, said John. Creating a transparent, positive relationship comes back to a core value at Brilliance – trust through healthy conflict. One way you can build trust through healthy conflict is through mistakes. A mistake at the start of the project became a fundamental point in the relationship. The project had kicked off with an approach that leveraged flat files and after a few weeks of work, the team at Gesswein realized this was not how they wanted it to work. The decision was made to take a step back and start over. “I truly think Brilliance did the best they could to help us not wipe out our budget. We did spend more but they weren’t ridiculous about penalizing us for it. It was the most positive thing to come out of a negative.”