Always Think Internet

Oct. 1, 2002
THINK Internet. That's the phrase that should pop into the mind these days when there's a need to research and order new equipment. Suppliers are learning

THINK Internet. That's the phrase that should pop into the mind these days when there's a need to research and order new equipment. Suppliers are learning the value of posting component specifications and applications on their Web sites so that customers can save time. They've also discovered that customers want to see on-time catalogs when they visit the sites.

Following are some companies that are making it easy for customers to preview products and specifications without having to leave the office, or even make a phone call. In today's economy, time is money and any means of saving time is useful.

TVS Products, Broken Bow, Oklahoma, doesn't complicate its site with a lot of useless information. Products and their specifications are the name of the game. The company displays information and photographs of products and their applications. Buttons for each product category are arranged on the home page.

Valves, valves, and more valves fill the pages. TVS Products manufactures valves and other products for the petrochemical, natural gas, pharmaceutical, pulp, paper, and other various industries. Products include excess flow valves, excess check flow valves, check valves, back pressure valves, transfer pullaway valves, vacuum vent valves, and safety shut off valves.

A click on a product photo leads to diagrams and specifications, as well as available sizes.

An e-mail page supplies the contact, and the company address and telephone numbers are listed on the home page.

ArvinMeritor, Troy, Michigan, is making the ordering of truck and trailer product literature easy for visitors to its Web site. The new ordering process, introduced this year for its motor carrier and dealer customers, uses a simple process where users can order DriveTrain Plus product profiles, brochures, informational “Issues and Trends,” and service and maintenance manuals.

The content is updated as new materials are revised and created. To order, go to the Web site and click on the Truck and Trailer Products section. From there it's another click to the Tech Library, which contains product brochures, maintenance and service publications and specifications, and vocational warranty information for components for commercial vehicle systems. The final step is to click on the Order Literature Online section. Customers also can print an order form and fax or mail their requests.

Products include axles, brakes, compressors, clutches, drivelines, and transmissions.

Kenworth, Kirkland, Washington, has new Web pages on its site that cover the company's PremierCare parts and services. To reach the pages, select the parts and service button on the home page. The section features toolbox, products, catalogs, distribution network, specials, and parts news.

The toolbox offers information on PremierCare applications used by fleets, along with access to the SmartSearch and Service Unit Locator applications. The SmartSearch application helps users search for parts in three different ways — by supplier, by product, or by part number. The Cross-Reference index allows fleet managers to enter part numbers, no matter the truck make, and find the equivalent part offered by a Kenworth PremierCare dealer.

The catalog, which adds new parts frequently, lists more exterior and interior parts and other accessories than listed in the catalog's print version.

The service section focuses on various service programs, including the preventive maintenance program and its online maintenance manager application, which is used to track service and operating costs on fleet trucks. Users of the Maintenance Manager system can access this system with their password.

Knappco, Riverside, Missouri, has made its equipment catalog available online. Customers can view product descriptions, images, and ordering information for Knappco's line of manholes, fill covers, access ports, hatch covers, swing check valves, and weld rings. The catalog, found in the what's new section, also includes a closer look into the nuts and bolts of Knappco's approach to quality and customer satisfaction. Included are testimonials and sidebar stories about the people who make and use Knappco products.

About the Author

Mary Davis