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FROM THE EDITOR IN CHIEF
In 2017, ease of use is most important
busride.com VOL. 07 • NO. 2
Richard Tackett Editor in Chief email@example.com David Hubbard Associate Publisher firstname.lastname@example.org Stephen Gamble Art Director email@example.com
This month, BUSRide Maintenance is spotlighting the development of the new online parts store from Motor Coach Industries (MCI). Dustin Caldwell and Brian Hanna of MCI walk us through the reasons the company initially wanted to redevelop the store; what other websites influenced its development; how customers will benefit; and what features MCI envisions in future phases.
Judi Victor CEO & Publisher Director of Sales firstname.lastname@example.org Mitch Larson Business Manager email@example.com
After reading the article, be sure to visit MCI (Booth #735) at the UMA Motorcoach EXPO in St. Louis to test-drive the new online parts store!
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Also in this issue:
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• Releases on the latest products and services from Easy Access Industrial Design and Mobile Climate Control
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Thank you once again for reading BUSRide Maintenance!
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Richard Tackett Editor in Chief BUSRide Maintenance Magazine
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ON THE COVER: Official BUSRide Maintenance Field Test: MCI Online Parts Store The new online parts store from MCI increases ease-of-use for customers By Richard Tackett
DEPARTMENTS From the Editor in Chief Products and Services
BUSRide Maintenance Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, STE 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 busridemaintenance.com BUSRide Maintenance™ Magazine is published eight times annually by Power Trade Media, a division of The Producers, Inc., 4742 N. 24th Street, Ste. 340, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Subscription rates for non-qualified subscribers, single issue prices and pricing for reprints of 100 or more are available from: info@busride. com. All articles in BUSRide Maintenance™ Magazine are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. Copyright 2016 by Power Trade Media. No advertisement, sponsorship or description or reference to a product or service will be deemed an endorsement by Power Trade Media, and no warranty is made or implied. Information is obtained from sources the editors believe reliable, accurate and timely, but is not guaranteed, and Power Trade Media is not responsible for errors or omissions. Opinions expressed in BUSRide Maintenance™ Magazine are not necessarily those of the publisher or sponsors or advertisers. Content addressing legal, tax and other technical issues is not intended as professional advice and cannot be relied on as such; readers should consult with their own professional advisors.
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BUSRide Maintenance Field Test:
ONLINE PARTS STORE By Richard Tackett The mission statement of Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Des Plaines, IL, is to be a worldclass provider of buses and aftermarket service. While the company makes strides every day to improve its world-class vehicles and parts availability, it’s become increasingly clear to MCI that it needs to compete not just with other top bus equipment manufacturers – but also against the very best online experiences in consumer business. This is the philosophy behind the re-launch of the company’s online parts store, the new partsstore.mcicoach.com. “Our online parts store is currently a text-based system where users can enter information in order to find the parts they’re looking for,” says Brian Hanna, customer service manager for MCI. “Our competitors are starting to add images and other features to their sites, but we want to be an industry leader on all levels. If we are going to be the best, we realized we had to be on-par with the best shopping experiences on the internet.”
BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | FEBRUARY . 2017
Research and development To accomplish their goal, MCI staff began examining the internet’s most highly-rated commerce sites in correlation with the company’s “world class” business objectives. Their intention was to create an online experience that’s comparable to, or even better than, the best in the automotive industry. Hanna says that MCI believed its then-current web interface was deterring customers from online purchases, and the new online store is part of a company-wide initiative to improve the complete customer experience whether on the phone or online. MCI obtained the services of Netsphere Strategies for coding the functional commerce parts of the site, and partnered with Graphtek for site design. Right now, customers will experience superior inventory searches, on-point suggestions, unprecedented visuals and high quality photography of the actual part, expedited shipping options and estimates, improved automated order tracking and more from their desktop, tablet or smartphone. Other enhancements will be rolled into additional phases throughout 2017 and beyond. “Netsphere did a really good job of helping us understand what could be put into our initial release, as well as what should go into future releases, of the online parts store,” Hanna says. “They really helped separate pieces of the site that were easier to develop, as opposed to more difficult-to-tackle features.” After a number of face-to-face meetings in Chicago with Netsphere Strategies and Graphtek dating back to May 2016,
MCI’s team had created two lists – a list of features from other websites which they wanted to incorporate into the new MCI online parts store, and a list of features that drive the MCI customer experience. Experience-driving features include more intuitive ordering, visuals to correspond to part numbers and other customer-focused benefits. “For instance, our new website allows the customer to review expedited shipping options and costs and select the best option for them,” Hanna says. “That was not the case with the previous version of the website. In the new store, we’ve made as much information available to our customers as possible, including shipping warehouses and alternate warehouses in the case of a backorder.” More than anything, MCI was interested in providing convenience. “The web offers so much more in terms of visual verification,” says Dustin Caldwell, senior marketing specialist at MCI. “With photos, customers can see the part that’s in their hand, read the specs and even blow up a schematic. That goes much further than a phone conversation.” The new PartsStore.mcicoach.com All active parts that MCI currently sells are available through the online parts store. There are some special-order parts that require a call for now, until future phases of the web store eliminate that need. “There are some inactive parts that we still display on the web busride.com | BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE
store, but those usually point to active alternates that are available for purchase,” Caldwell says. “In the case of special order and no longer available parts, we’ll do whatever we can to locate a part for any customer in need, but that will also require a call. Other than that, everything else is active for purchase.” There are currently around 5,000 parts with images on the MCI online parts store, covering the company’s top stocked and critical items. Each part can be viewed from up to six different angles with zoom functionality. Over 30,000 parts are available for order on the site, and about 14,000 of those parts are available for immediate shipment from one of MCI’s warehouses. Hanna and Caldwell say MCI is very confident that its MCI online parts store matches the ease of use similar to the online experience of the web’s top vendors, like Walmart or Amazon. “Customers who like to shop online will really sink their teeth into the MCI online parts store,” Caldwell says. “They’ll feel that they’re getting a top-of-the-line shopping experience, because the site is similar to those of other popular online retailers.” “Our competitors’ sites typically offer a text-based webstore, and some of them have rudimentary parts images,” Hanna adds. “They’re nowhere near as interactive as our store.” Never stop improving Future versions of the online store will focus on several new customer-facing features – for example, making the site’s search functionality better. If a customer wants to search for their bus, they will see a category breakdown of all the parts that go on that bus. “There will be even further development down the road to ensure that we’re meeting our goals, and maintaining this as a world-class website well into the future,” Hanna says. “In the coming months and years, we’ll continue to implement features to benefit our customers.” 6
BUSRIDE MAINTENANCE | FEBRUARY . 2017
Motor Coach Industries will be at the UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2017 in St. Louis, MO, February 26 – March 2. Visit Booth #735 to test drive the brandnew MCI Online Parts Store!
Old Site New Site
Responsive – Desktop, Tablet, Phone Part Photographs Improved Parts Referencing Estimated Expedite Shipping Tracking On Popular Parts Publication Part Search - Systems Response Y Schematics Ordering Y Manuals – Parts, Drivers, Schematics Y Service Bulletins Y Category Search Quick Order Entry Y Shopping Cart Y Favorites List Y Order Status Y Item Search Y Filter By Attribute Item Availability Y Hot Products Y Featured Products Alternate/Exclusive Products Available Y Suggested Products Popular Products Shopping List View Y Past Orders Y My Account Information Y Appealing Graphical Interface
Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y Y busride.com
PRODUCTS & SERVICES
Scissor Decks enhance glass maintenance
MCC revolutionizes compressor mount systems
Scissor Decks are spring-assisted manual lift platforms which set up or fold down in seconds. Scissor Decks may be joined together in line or on 90 degree angles for wrap around transit bus maintenance applications. Scissor Decks are available as adjustable height stands or with locking wheel design for smooth or rough surfaces. Available in four variable height frame models Scissor Decks have handrail options to suit every application. They fold flat for easy storage and transport. Additional information on Scissor Decks may be viewed online at www.scissordeck.com. You may also view short video clips by keying in ‘Scissor Deck’ on YouTube.
Mobile Climate Control (MCC) has developed a unique and proprietary compressor mount system which is a patent pending product in the U.S., Canada and the EU. This compressor mount system allows for simple belt tensioning, compressor alignment, and reduced vibration and can be customized for various engine bay layouts and compressors. The major benefits are drastically reduced installation time, reduced belt wear, ease of belt maintenance, and reduced noise and vibration. This innovative compressor mount system can be used in any bus with any compressor and results in improved performance and reduced life cycle cost for the bus manufacturer as well as for the bus operator.
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All the parts you need, all in one placeâ€”online. Introducing the New Online MCI Parts Store
Experience superior inventory searches, on-point suggestions, unprecedented visuals, expedited shipping estimates, improved tracking and more from your desktop, tablet or smartphone. Check us out again, or for the first time at partsstore.mcicoach.com
Want to know more about MCIâ€™s story? Check out our Reliability videos at mcicoach.com
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