Customer spotlight: Royal Brass & Hose
Read how Royal Brass & Hose is putting the product information management (PIM) system at the core of its e-commerce operations and accomplishes more with less in the marketing department.
- $70 Million Annual Revenue
- Family-owned for 70+ years
- 200 Employees
- Manufacturing Industry
Family-owned Royal Brass & Hose has been the leading distributor of hydraulic hoses, fittings, assemblies, tube bending, and tube fabrication in the United States for over 70 years. With a focus on customer growth and satisfaction through exceptional service, RB&H has consistently adapted to new market demands.
Inriver is so much more than just getting content to our website. It is the core of our e-commerce journey. Before inriver, we thought we were okay, but now we know that we are in a much better place. It has opened our eyes to the endless possibilities with product data. Inriver is truly a huge game-changer for us.
Misti White, E-Commerce Manager, Royal Brass & Hose
The top priority at RB&H has always been nurturing a personal touch with customers. That’s why, when e-commerce first emerged 20 years ago, RB&H maintained its traditional operations and resisted the new digital wave. But more recently, as customer behavior and demands solidify around e-commerce, RB&H has had to adapt and find ways to embrace digital channels without losing the personal touch.
However, RB&H quickly found that it wasn’t well-equipped to embrace e-commerce. Low digital maturity meant the company lacked sufficient product data from suppliers and that introducing new products required a tedious, error-prone manual process.
It turned out that our ERP hardly held any product information at all. And when it did, it had errors and was inconsistent. Technically, the information we had was unuseable.
Misti White, E-Commerce Manager
Implementing a new ERP system didn’t solve RB&H’s product information problems. And the fact that they didn’t have a taxonomy in place to organize a product catalog in an Access database only added to the digital challenges. Rather than building a marketing model from scratch, RB&H started looking for more dedicated product information management solutions to drive its shift to e-commerce.
Royal Brass and Hose decided to make inriver the central source of product data for its business, putting the product information management (PIM) system at the core of its e-commerce operations. After just a few weeks of implementation, the e-commerce team at RB&H is able to handle 2,200 products and 25,000 parts/items within inriver. And over time, these capabilities will grow to as many as 90,000 parts/items.
We are so excited! Inriver is the best thing since sliced bread for us. Or any type of bread, really.
Misti White, E-Commerce Manager
Once a part or item is created in the RB&H ERP system, about eight fields (including the item number) are exported to inriver using a fixed connector. This process puts RB&H on a path to getting product content in good shape and enriching material for the e-commerce channel. Now, RB&H’s e-commerce journey that is significantly more efficient. They can make mass exports and update thousands of items in minutes instead of changing fields in the ERP one at a time over the course of several days.
“With inriver, we can do fast product data exports to our customers. In the past, that would have been strictly manual work, taking three to four weeks for each customer. Now, we can do it in a matter of minutes.”— Misti White
Looking ahead, RB&H is making big plans for expanding inriver usage. Once the PIM system is built up to be the single version of the truth, RB&H will begin training internal users outside of the marketing team so that sales reps can use the Content Store to create flyers for specific sales meetings. As the digital journey continues, RB&H will be able to launch a new Virto e-commerce site populated by inriver.
The e-commerce team is also evaluating inriver syndication features to help meet content requests from customers who, in turn, use it to populate their own marketplaces. And the ideas aren’t stopping there. RB&H is also looking to utilize the inriver print solution for catalog production.