Blake Equipment Boosts Convenience and Repeat Orders with Ecommerce Mobile App 

Blake Equipment is a company never satisfied with the status quo. Serving the northeast United States with water and thermal energy solutions since 1927, they’ve continuously expanded their product lines, expertise and services. Today Blake Equipment offers 120 product lines and has nearly 80,000 SKUs in its ecommerce system.

Challenge: inspire customer loyalty and increase sales efficiency

The company’s objective has always been to make it as convenient as possible for engineers, contractors, purchasing departments and field salespeople to find and order products. They started by adding ecommerce to the corporate website, choosing a system that would integrate directly with their existing Lawson ERP system. For years now, anyone shopping for parts online has had easy access to the latest product pricing and availability. But how could Blake Equipment provide that same convenience to contractors and salespeople who spend most of their days on the road?

President Fred Cuda decided to take the company’s ecommerce a step further. His goal was to offer Blake Equipment customers a similar mobile experience to what they’d become accustomed to in B2C mobile shopping (from companies like Grainger, for example). The challenge would be to do it at a reasonable cost.

Solution: integrated mobile ecommerce app

Most B2B companies who consider native-built apps for iPhone and Android come up against a choice between two evils: bust the budget and hire a development firm to spend months custom-developing a mobile app or purchase a pre-packaged system that provides limited functionality with unaltered ERP system content.

Cuda and Ecommerce Manager Arnie Schachere knew a pre-packaged system wouldn’t have the quality and flexibility they desired, but they didn’t want to develop anything from the ground up either.

The eCommerce21 hybrid mobile app builder from Computer Pundits Corporation offered an enticing alternative to both options. With it, Blake Equipment could offer an app to its customers that would provide both quality product information and quick ordering at half the cost of custom development while still having the ability to customize special features and functionality.

How it Works

Once they’ve downloaded Blake Equipment’s mobile app onto their Apple or Android phones, customers can access product information and images, view their own customer-specific pricing, and place their orders. Schachere’s favorite features include the app’s display of shopping lists by product category, and its ability to scan barcode labels for fast and easy ordering.

The category-specific shopping feature allows users to narrow in on their products by category, so they can readily find and order the things they need even if they don’t have part numbers.

The barcode reader allows customers and salespeople to simply scan labels of the parts they need to reorder. Some customers have invited Blake Equipment to sticker their warehouses to make barcode ordering even more convenient. Blake Equipment includes Min / Max fields on the barcode labels, so customers can keep track of their inventory when they scan in products to order with the mobile app.

Results:

With eCommerce21 at its core, Blake Equipment’s mobile app is a convenient purchasing tool for both customers and salespeople. According to Schachere, “It’s fast and reliable.” Phone calls for customer-specific pricing are down, and ecommerce orders are up.

“Ecommerce orders appear on track to be around double of what they were last year. Although we’re still calculating the exact figures, it’s clear that the convenience of the Blake Equipment mobile app has played a big role in improving our sales, whether the order is placed by our customer with the app or by our salespeople on behalf of their customer,” explained Schachere.

The number of customers using the web store and mobile app is increasing at a good pace, so Schachere and Cuda anticipate continued growth in this area. The app has also become a useful sales productivity tool for Blake Equipment sales people to access product information and place orders for Vendor Managed Inventory (VMI) customers.

About Blake Equipment

Blake Equipment supplies peak performance water and thermal energy solutions, equipment, supplies and services to industries and trades as a specialty distributor and manufacturers’ representative. They provide complete solutions for the industrial, institutional, commercial and residential/light commercial markets, ranging from simple to the most complex of applications. Customers are supported with engineering assistance, start up, warranty, inspection and testing services on engineered projects. Additionally, Blake Equipment provides Shop Services, Custom Fabrication Services and Customer Training. You can access their mobile app here: https://www.blakeequip.com/services/blake-mobile-app.php

About Computer Pundits

Computer Pundits continuously develops new product features and enhancements that allow businesses to benefit from the most feature-rich, flexible and easy to implement solutions to showcase and sell their products. Our customers include wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers of all sizes in over 35 different vertical markets. Our eCommerce21 suite of products offer industrial-strength product information management, seamless ERP integration and mobile-friendly functionality in a turnkey package.