Whether your work is mostly from a local garage or out in the field, there is one thing every mechanic is sure to encounter – battery failure. Many times, it’s the first thing to check on a job, even if it’s just to eliminate battery failure as the source of a problem.
However, when you’re dealing with everything from motor vehicles to heavy equipment and machinery, you want to ensure that you have the right tools and information to identify the proper replacement battery needed for the job, wherever you are.
How does a technician find the batteries they need when they could be looking for practically anything? We’ll tell you…
Covering 1.7 million parts with 4.4 million attributes and 8.7 million interchanges, ShowMeTheParts is the largest public parts database on the market. However, this database can also be pared down to fit specific needs without losing the depth of its content. For Exide Technologies, that means using ShowMeTheParts to help its retail partners find the right batteries for their customers, no matter the application.
As one of the world’s largest producers of batteries, Exide supplies products for private label brands as well as its own. By working with aftermarket tech leader Vertical Development, the company was able to utilize ShowMeTheParts for access to the data needed to create a turn-key solution for retailers adding batteries to their stores.
More importantly, by using a digital format for delivering product data, Exide is able to provide retailers and customers with more information than is possible with a print catalog and ensure that the information is always up-to-date.
When Mid-States Distribution Company partnered with Exide for their Durastart label, sold through their cooperative of 43 independent farm, ranch and home stores throughout the U.S. and Canada, they looked to Vertical Development to help them create a simple, but powerful, searchable online catalog to serve their customers’ needs: DurastartBatteries.com.
Mid-States’ member stores carry products ranging from power equipment, agricultural and automotive equipment, and sporting goods to clothing and footwear, pet supplies, and honey bees — a tremendous variety to serve the needs of their rural customers. Having such a wide range of products means that customers could be looking for batteries to fit anything from marine products to tractors.
Mechanics expect their local retailers to be a one stop shop, whether they’re looking for something to fit a car, truck, RV, bus, piece of construction equipment, farm implement or power sport product. A physical catalog of batteries covering all of these would be enormous, and with new equipment being released constantly, a print catalog would always be out of date.
Although print catalogs continue to serve an important purpose, like in the case of natural disasters and power outages, they work best alongside a digital companion. To that end, Exide worked with Vertical Development to create DurastartBatteries.com, a mobile-friendly website that covers all of the battery offerings available through any Mid-States’ member retailer.
What does this mean for technicians? DurastartBatteries.com is always up-to-date, so mechanics looking to order from a Mid-States’ member retailer will always have access to all the information they need to find the right battery for the application.
Naturally, in-store stock may be limited due to space, but DurastartBatteries.com helps with this as well. The database has specifications including dimensions, warranties, reserve capacity and cold cranking amps, letting technicians match up the battery without having it in front of them. In many cases, photos and additional documents are available as well, giving technicians everything they could possibly need to make a purchasing decision.
Since the website is based on ShowMeTheParts, mobile compatibility is built-in, making the site as simple to use on a smartphone as it is on a full size computer. That means it’s just as easy for a technician to find a battery while they’re at work in the garage or out in the field standing right next to the piece of equipment as it is for an employee to look it up in the store.
Put it all together and DurastartBatteries.com creates a dynamite solution for mechanics everywhere to easily find the batteries they need.
About the Author
Jay Wright is president of Vertical Development, Inc. He founded the company in 1983 as a programming firm specializing in custom accounting and business inventory software systems. Sensing a need among Aftermarket manufacturers for catalog management software, Jay directed the focus of the company to that field, developing database publishing solutions to help distributors and manufacturers manage their parts database. Under his guidance, Vertical Development has grown from a systems vendor for a small group of companies to the industry’s most recognized catalog system vendor with the greatest market share. Jay holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Management and Computer Science from Iowa State University.