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Winnebago goes high tech and online to sell replacement parts

Winnebago Industries today created Winnebago Industries Interactive Parts – an online 3D interactive electronic parts catalog. The plan by the Iowa-based maker of motor homes and recreational vehicles is to make researching and ordering parts for Winnebago vehicles more accurate, convenient and fast.

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“This project was one of the most complex assignments taken on by our IT department," said Steve Evenson, Winnebago Industries’ director of Parts and Service.

"Winnebago Industries has successfully integrated our mainframe systems, 3D viewer, as well as the shipper’s Web sites for tracking purposes. We created an 80 million-part database to support the Web-based search capabilities for our dealers. This will greatly improve the entire dealer process and their parts-ordering experience.”

With the WIP system, motor home dealers are provided with multiple means for researching and ordering parts, Winnebago said in a statement. Dealers, the company says, can search by model, serial, part number or partial part number, color parts search or description.

Once a part is identified, dealers will know instantly the price and availability, which will allow them to provide an estimate to a customer or place an order by adding it to their on-line shopping cart.

“Visual and interactive technology allows our dealers to simplify the parts process which will improve productivity,” Evenson said. “Getting the right part the first time is a critical element of our long term strategy to create customer satisfaction through the entire time they own a Winnebago Industries’ motor home. I am confident our dealer partners will see the immediate value on this investment.”

Brenda Leighty, a parts associate with Roy Robinson Inc., Marysville, Wash., has already seen a benefit.

“The new WIP system is user friendly and it saves time by not having to jump back and forth from the search screens to check price and availability," she said. "The order detail section allows me to check on order status, get tracking information and freight charges all on one screen. I look forward to discovering more features the WIP system has to offer.”

People in the field consider this an upgrade of value.

“WIP has a lot of neat features that aren’t found in the current system,” said Greg Chambers, parts manager at The RV Corral, Eugene, Ore. “I like that I can search by serial number and get only the parts for that specific coach, or by description. Plus, the price and the availability of the part is known instantly. WIP is going to save us a lot of time.”

You can reach TN's Hawke Fracassa at [email protected]. Follow Hawke on Twitter @HawkeFracassa.

Image source: Winnebago Industries

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