Deploy a flexible, easy-to-use eCommerce solution to support emerging retail sales channels, including the ability to efficiently ship small orders to individual consumers.
Eliminate the need to laboriously rekey orders and manually calculate shipping costs and email tracking numbers to customers by implementing TrueCommerce Nexternal eCommerce.
“Katech has grown significantly and it’s become a necessity to focus more on individual retail customers. Our TrueCommerce Nexternal online store has been a big part of enabling all that.”
— Jason Harding, Director of Aftermarket Operations, Katech
Katech is a premier performance engine and vehicle builder serving the automotive aftermarket, motorsports and corporate markets for over 40 years. Fueled by a legacy of racing victories from Daytona to Le Mans, Katech manufactures a broad range of engine and vehicle components and packages that deliver extreme performance, exceptional durability and outstanding quality.
In recent years, Katech has faced the challenge of evolving from serving primarily large corporate racing customers to meeting the demands of the intensely competitive retail motorsports aftermarket—including parts dealers, retail parts stores, installers and individual enthusiasts.
“Katech has grown significantly and it’s become a necessity to focus more on individual retail customers,” explains Jason Harding, Director of Aftermarket Operations.
Doing Business In New Directions
All Katech’s customers currently buy through its TrueCommerce Nexternal web storefront. Its product mix includes primarily Katech brand parts, as well as select parts from other manufacturers.
“We make our branded parts in-house, sell them, pack them and ship them,” Mr. Harding states. This includes drop-shipped orders to retail end customers, as well as orders of various sizes to wholesale customers purchasing engine and vehicle products for resale. “Our Nexternal online store has been a big part of enabling all that,” adds Mr. Harding.
Off To A Fast Start
Transitioning to multichannel was not easy, but the necessity to do business in multiple directions left Katech no other option. However, few solutions were a good match for the company’s ambitious program.
“Prior to adopting Nexternal in 2008, we struggled to implement our online store,” Mr. Harding recalls.
Nexternal eCommerce enabled Katech quickly get into the e-commerce race.
“We chose Nexternal because it had the flexibility and the features we needed, but didn’t require heavy programming and web design work,” continues Mr. Harding. “Once we entered our product information into the Nexternal system, we were able to get a storefront up and running and making money for us within a couple of days.”
More Connected, To Improve The Customer Experience
The solution’s powerful features helped Katech strengthen relations with its demanding customers.
“Nexternal integrates with our UPS shipping system so the customer knows the exact shipping charge when they place their order,” Mr. Harding notes. “Nexternal also automatically emails customers their tracking numbers, which is really helpful for keeping customers informed so they don’t have to keep contacting us.”
The digital transformation also helped Katech optimize its workforce and streamline operations with better business process visibility.
“With Nexternal, we’re able to process a growing order volume with just a couple shipping people, a small sales staff and our parts department,” asserts Mr. Harding. “We also use Nexternal’s reporting functions quite a bit to track monthly sales, see what’s selling and answer other key business questions.”
Katech currently processes about 100 orders in an average week. Nexternal’s ability to integrate with other systems has been a welcome bonus. Leveraging a third-party integration solution, Katech’s team eliminated the need to rekey orders by automatically moving data between the Nexternal order management system and its Sage 50 accounting software.
“Order entry used to be a very tedious task,” says Mr. Harding. “First we’d have to manually enter the order into the accounting system. Then we’d have to package it all up before we could calculate the freight cost. The customer didn’t know the freight cost until after we processed the order—it was terrible. Now that’s all taken care of automatically.”
Katech’s Nexternal solution also delivers a distinct competitive advantage.
“Being able to pick, pack and ship every order that comes in before 2:00 p.m. same-day every day is something our customers really appreciate,” Mr. Harding points out. “Most other companies in the performance parts industry don’t have that kind of ability to ship product so quickly and efficiently. After implementing Nexternal in 2008, we’ve been able to grow our online store’s sales year over year for the last decade.”
More Supported, To Stay Out In Front
Nexternal’s support team has been with Katech all the way through its deployment and operational cycle.
“Every time I contact them, the response from Nexternal Support is almost instantaneous,” Mr. Harding emphasizes. “We always get great support, whether it’s for a little issue or to help us figure out something new or handle something that’s unique to our business.”