Griggs Racing Products
Outdated resources can create excessive hinderences...
Ensure scalable success through comprehensive planning.
Through my own car and passion for the Ford Mustang, I met Bruce Griggs, the owner and founder of Griggs Racing Products. What started with seeking his offerings to improve the performance of my vehicle quickly evolved into a long-term working relationship which has surpassed three years.
Bruce Griggs established a very reputable brand with Griggs Racing, being immortalized in the minds of many for being undefeated champions in the American Iron & American Iron Extreme racing series. With his comprehensive knowledge of being an aircraft mechanic paired with being a mechanical engineer and racecar driver - Bruce was able to design unprecedented product offerings.
The caliber of his products is unsurpassed - only to be challenged by multi-million dollar entities and international racing applications. His meticuluous designs are realized through CNC machining of aircraft grade aluminum and using the highest quality materials for hardware and steel weldments.
What Does A Technological Overhaul Look Like?
We had a problem - a really big problem. Most of the operating technology for Griggs Racing was long overdue for an updating and overhaul, so much so that it was becoming defunct. Unfortunately our hands were tied as we were understaffed and overwhelmed -- how could we possibly work IN the business, ON the business and while also developing new products? We were faced with many seven day work weeks, often times working past midnight.
Our existing website was more than a decade out of date, along with our inventory management system. Because of the outdated website did not meet the responsive design standards of Google, we were quickly losing traffic. The inefficiences between the existing website and inventory management system did not bode well for productivity, requiring an unreasonable amount of effort to process a transaction (e.g. automatically processing a payment). With the advent of Windows 10, we also found that a significant portion of the software we relied upon for design and production (CNC operations, plasma cutter, etc...) was in jeopardy.
Tasks & Objectives
Griggs Racing not only purchases raw materials to manufacture into retail products, but the re-sale of components from other manufacturers and also offering in-house labor services is a part of the business model. We needed to update the website to a modern day ecommerce platform to feature more than 1,000 products to start - with the intention of easily surpassing 10,000 products or more.
Website, Inventory & Accounting
Through research, we identified that most of the prominent offerings would not suit our needs as they were not cost effective. In addition to choosing a new ecommerce platform, we had to identify new opportunities to refine our inventory management and accounting software, in addition to streamlining the customer interactions.
Our goal: find the most comprehensive software combination for enterprise scalability, without the enterprise budget.
Product Data Management
In order for the new ecommerce website to function correctly, each product is required to have the appropriate information: Titles, Descriptions, Photos, Categories, Tags, etc... For a simple example, consider a T-Shirt: Clothing, Men, Shirt, T-Shirt, Cotton, Black, Large, Kirkland are all examples of data associated with just ONE product -- now imagine managing almost 4,000 products that have no existing product data associated with them. I had the pleasure of solving that problem and becoming intimately familiar with the product offerings and their compatibilities.
The Virtual Consultant
With so much technical data and product information being involved for the product offerings, it was an extremely time consuming process for sales conversations to transpire: appropriately identifying the customers wants and needs to prescribe the correct products. Through the previously completed product data management, I was able to create a tool that took 1-2 hour consulatory process (phone call & writing of a quote, having to think of the appropriate combinations) to a 7-Step Virtual Consultant that can be completed in 5 minutes! Not only did this significantly increase the productivity of our sales personnel, but it allowed almost anyone to write their own quote - including the customer.
Customer Service & Sales
One of the most important aspects of a successful business is timely responses with your customers and ensuring that warm leads stay warm. In the case of many businesses, they continue to operate in an archaic method where all emails are lumped together into one inbox, or in multiple inboxes that do not allow other colleagues any insight. Having tools to assign customer emails to a specific individual within the organization, and even having automations, can drastically improve the average response times and ensure that potential sales are not lost.
In addition to selecting the appropriate softwares, the most important and time consuming task was at hand: data management. Over the past few decades, many hands had been involved in operations and not all of them followed a shared, organized, mindset. This ultimately led to a significant operation of data management, reorganization and standardization so that it was easily accessible for anyone moving forward to find the information they needed and to create public facing documentation that followed a similar branding pattern.
As expected, camera technology had significantly improved over the years and our product photos were long overdue for an updating. Our photos also featured older designs and resolution quality that simply isn't suitable for what most people expect in today's internet environment. We also needed updated product photos to show the combination of parts now featured in the Virtual Consultant. I took on the task of creating a home based product photography studio in one of my spare bedrooms, which facilitated a staging environment that could stay for long periods of time without interruption.