Enhancing customer experience and driving innovation
SKUs on VTEX (and counting)
The transformation has positioned the leading fire apparatus company to enhance customer experiences and drive innovation.
Pierce Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Oshkosh Corporation, is a leading fire apparatus company headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin. Specializing in manufacturing state-of-the-art customized fire trucks and vehicles, Pierce serves fire departments nationally and globally through a robust dealer network.
When fires threaten our communities, we depend on the bravery of local firefighters to save the day. And those courageous heroes rely on the support of exceptional equipment. Pierce Manufacturing Inc. is part of Oshkosh Corporation (NYSE: OSK) and a leader in manufacturing state-of-the-art customized fire apparatus.
Headquartered in Appleton, Wisconsin, Pierce Manufacturing is one of the foremost fire apparatus companies in the United States, catering to fire departments across the nation and around the globe. The company’s fleet of fire trucks is exclusively sold through a robust worldwide dealer network. Even the finest fire trucks rely on replacement parts and service, and Pierce provides them through its “Pierce Parts” website to help its dealers maintain the fleet of approximately 70,000+ fire trucks.
Pierce Manufacturing’s aftermarket parts division is committed to providing its customers with the highest level of support. Although its legacy parts catalog platform served the needs of the business for many years, the number of customizations and variations necessary to fit the needs of different business user personas grew over time. From a product management perspective, Pierce needed to consolidate and streamline the customer journey.
The company’s team then conducted a thorough evaluation process that included VTEX and other leading B2B commerce platforms. VTEX emerged as the leader due to VTEX’s modern architecture and out-of-the-box capabilities, which enabled the company to customize and extend the platform to meet its unique requirements while on a SaaS solution. According to the organization, what set VTEX apart was its API-first, headless architecture that decouples frontend customer experiences from backend commerce services.
Pierce’s customizations were a testament to the complexity of meeting B2B needs. The platform needed to provide a tailored experience for each dealer, encompassing aspects like payment terms, catalog access, and quoting workflows. Laser-focused on its dealers’ needs, Pierce ensured that the newly crafted online journey met all these expectations.
With VTEX, Pierce simplified the checkout process, prioritized the customer experience, and cemented itself as one of the industry’s top providers for B2B aftermarket parts online. Pierce Manufacturing now provides its dealers and customers with convenient access to shoppable part catalogs, searchable fleet inventory and bill of materials (BOM), technical resources and illustrations, warranty, services, and support tickets, and all the account history and self-service features for each role in customer organizations will need to maintain, operate and supply its Pierce vehicle fleet maintenance at peak performance.
Many capabilities we previously had to customize for customers, VTEX provides out-of-the-box, or we could easily plug in an application.Kaela Kucera, ecommerce manager, Pierce Manufacturing
The Pierce and VTEX teams, working with VTEX’s solution provider Echidna, built a modern commerce aftermarket portal serving its network of dealers. Pierce Manufacturing has leveraged VTEX capabilities to bring its B2B digital commerce site to life, such as:
The ability to provide dealers and their customers access to this depth level of data is a differentiator for Pierce.
VTEX enables us to leverage one platform rather than try to combine multiple tech stacks into one platform.Kaela Kucera, ecommerce manager, Pierce Manufacturing
Leveraging a composable, MACH-certified architecture, the Pierce Manufacturing team could customize, reuse, and create custom components for its storefront. VTEX’s native CMS provides ready-to-use components based on React, GraphQL, and Node, enabling Pierce to build and launch for rapidly deploying high-performance stores. VTEX’s Solution Architecture team worked with the Pierce and Echidna teams to design and validate the architecture and integrations and find the best ways to utilize the platform’s capabilities.
With VTEX’s modular architecture, we have a user portal, an electronic parts catalog, a content management system, microsite functionality, and more. This allows us to manage one site instead of multiple software products, creating a seamless customer experience.Kaela Kucera, ecommerce manager, Pierce Manufacturing
Pierce Manufacturing’s new digital commerce tech stack has been a game changer for the organization and its customers. With VTEX, the company has modernized its commerce operations and delivered numerous benefits:
Echidna, the systems integrator who helped implement VTEX for Pierce Manufacturing, was instrumental in bringing the new site to fruition. With a close focus on UX and usability, Echidna led design efforts alongside Pierce and ecommerce leadership to craft a modern online experience best to serve the various roles of its dealers’ organizations. “The partnership approach between Pierce, VTEX, and Echidna was a huge part of making this project a success,” said Kaela Kucera. President of Echidna, Mike Pierce, said: “We’re immensely proud of our joint efforts with Pierce Manufacturing and VTEX. Understanding the intricacies of how businesses function and then assisting them in transitioning to contemporary commerce strategies is always thrilling.”
With a unified vision and joint execution, we’ve established for Pierce an ecommerce architecture that is tightly integrated and orchestrated with enterprise operations. Built on this strong foundation is a digital portal poised to serve and delight Pierce’s aftermarket dealers for many years to come.Mike Pierce, president, Echidna
Pierce is now building on the successful launch of its new site with plans to enhance product detail pages (PDPs), personalize the buyer journey to provide interactive experiences and bolster the site’s search capabilities. The company’s plans extend beyond municipal fire truck operations, with the next VTEX project creating a B2B site providing replacement parts to Oshkosh Airport Products, focused on supporting Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting (ARFF) vehicles that play a vital role in airport emergencies.
Through its strategic partnership with VTEX and Echidna, Pierce Manufacturing is positioned to drive innovation and elevate customer experiences within its aftermarket business. By harnessing the capabilities of VTEX, the company is revolutionizing its B2B digital commerce operations, unlocking the high potential in the market.
For us at VTEX, it was essential to understand the business model and operational processes and to build a strong partnership with Pierce’s Digital Technology team. Our common goal from day one was to help deliver an outstanding B2B experience for their customers.Alfonso Suarez, solution architect leader, VTEX
*All information and numbers seen in the text above were provided and approved by Pierce Manufacturing.