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BTB 38: New TPO, A Win for Dealer and Customer Base

After close to two years in the works, Tigercat’s technical publications department has officially released the new and exciting Technical Publications Online (TPO).

— Chris McMillan, senior technical illustrator

Using EzParts software, Tigercat parts catalogues are now available to the dealer network online, with many more useful features that benefit the dealer and ultimately the customer. The more information Tigercat dealers have at their fingertips, the stronger the level of service for the Tigercat customer base.

Training sessions were held to familiarize dealers with the new TPO parts system, a group of people sitting at a conference table watching a man explain a powerpoint.

Training sessions were held to familiarize dealers with the new TPO parts system.

Years ago, technical publications staff along with IT, were able to convert all parts catalogues to digital format and make them available online to all Tigercat dealers. This conversion allowed dealers to search for specific pages and part numbers without searching through thick parts books. While this format worked well for many years, it was time to take it to the next level.

In 2012, Tigercat decided to purchase EzParts software and began the integration of the parts catalogues into the new system. Before officially releasing the new TPO online system to all dealers, parts manager Brian Jonker chose BC distributor, Parker Pacific, to test the new online system and provide feedback. With twelve locations using the software for approximately nine months, it allowed Brian and I to gather feedback and make changes that would benefit the end user.

The next challenge was to provide necessary TPO training to our dealers. Two successful training sessions were held, one for Tigercat’s Canadian dealers and one for US dealers. Brian found the training sessions to be valuable, not only for our dealers, but also for the Tigercat parts department, “To have some of the dealer parts personnel have the opportunity to meet the people they deal with on a day-to-day basis is a bonus to these sessions. Spending time with each other only helps foster stronger relationships and that trickles down to the customer. Everyone has a better understanding of how much we are all working on the same team for the same cause.”

In early September, a TPO training session was held in Kamloops, BC, where 25 employees travelled from all over the province to attend the sessions. The following week another dealer training session was held at the Tigercat facility in Ailey, Georgia. Steve Barrow, senior product support advisor for Tidewater Equipment attended the training session and appreciated us coming down to Georgia stating, “The class was informative and helped our parts people better understand how to use the new TPO system. They taught us how to navigate through the site, making it much easier to use and understand. The links on the parts pages and notes are very useful. The training staff did a great job in presenting the information.”

A parts illustration.

Parts illustration uses “hot spot” callout to link to the parts list.

The ability to search by the customer’s specific machine serial number makes it much easier to find what you are looking for as other irrelevant machine parts disappear and only the information for your specific machine is shown. With Tigercat dealer parts personnel being more trained and informed on the new system, the process of ordering parts is expedited. Dealer parts personnel are able to more easily, quickly and efficiently search for inventory and pricing information. Consequently, the information is communicated back to the customer more swiftly.

While TPO has proven to be a valuable tool for Tigercat dealers and ultimately the customer, we have just begun to implement all of the features available. In the coming months, dealers will be able to check availability, not only in our Brantford parts warehouse, but also our warehouse in Georgia. By integrating with our ERP system, quantities on hand, as well as price additions and changes, will be updated in real-time. “TPO is going to open up an increased level of information to our dealer partners,” comments Brian. “It will give them information that they otherwise would have had to directly contact us to get. Providing more information, better functionality and a more manageable site will allow them to be self-sufficient, in turn, allowing Tigercat to have more time to deal with other challenges our dealers or customers may face.”