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Bishop company drives up growth and profitability


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Founded in 1946, the Bishop Company is the industry-leading distributor of top-quality tools and equipment for professional arborists and landscapers. The company's clientele ranges from private tradesmen to authorized retailers across the United States.

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Bishop company drives up growth and profitability

  1. 1. IBM Software RetailSmarter Commerce Bishop Company drives up growth and profitability Building a smarter e-commerce platform with IBM and Zobrist Founded in 1946, the Bishop Company is the industry-leading Overview distributor of top-quality tools and equipment for professional arborists and landscapers. The company’s clientele ranges from private Business challenge tradesmen to authorized retailers across the United States. Bishop Company wanted to increase sales, bring products to market faster, and cement its position as an industry leader Challenge in the outdoor tool and equipment sector. Bishop Company was no longer able to find technical support to The company needed to refresh its legacy e-commerce platform to provide its online improve and enhance its outdated e-commerce platform. Confronted customers with an intuitive, informative, with low online sales and a lagging economy, the company knew it was and intelligent shopping experience. time to take action to revamp its e-commerce platform. Solution Bishop engaged Zobrist to implement “We weren’t able to bring products to market fast enough,” says eZcommerce, a complete e-commerce Keith McCormick, President of Bishop Company. “We’ve long held a solution based on IBM WebSphere® position as a market leader in our retail sector, and in order for that to Commerce. The system empowers business users, ensures long-term continue, we realized that we had to bring our e-commerce platform up support, and provides scalability for future to date.” needs. Bishop Company also wanted to end its reliance on paper processes, in particular expensive catalog production. “We stock over 2,500 different products, so our catalogs were extremely expensive to produce, both in terms of time and money,” continues Keith McCormick. “We had to employ a number of staff to take telephone orders. Compared with online sales techniques, it was quite inefficient, but our e-commerce platform wasn’t up to the task.” Bishop Company wanted an e-commerce site that could meet the expectations of the younger generation of tech-savvy online shoppers, convince long-time print catalog customers to place their orders online, and reinforce the company’s status as an industry leader. In order to achieve this, the company needed to refresh its legacy e-commerce platform to provide its online customers an intuitive, informative, and intelligent shopping experience.
  2. 2. IBM Software RetailSmarter Commerce A powerful e-commerce platform Business Benefits Bishop engaged IBM Premier Business Partner Zobrist to implement eZcommerce, a complete e-commerce solution based on IBM • Increased e-commerce channel sales WebSphere Commerce software. “We liked the way that the revenue by 200 percent in the first two months after launch. WebSphere solution empowers business users,” says Keith McCormick. “One of our key requirements for the new platform was long-term • Increased e-custom from existing support and scalability, and Zobrist’s offering ticked all those boxes.” customers by 75 percent and new customers by 25 percent. Earlier this year, Bishop Company launched the new • Gained round-the-clock monitoring and website, which has swiftly become a go-to destination for an extensive technical support, ensuring high service availability. line of professional arborist and landscaper products. The quick-to- market development capabilities of eZcommerce, combined with its sophisticated marketing and merchandising capabilities, enable Bishop Company to efficiently promote key products and react with greater agility to market trends. “The new e-commerce site has many new features that we’re really excited about,” comments Keith McCormick. “There’s now an easy- to-access ‘compare’ box that allows customers to drag and drop the products they’re interested in buying. We’ve also streamlined the checkout process to minimize card abandonment and drive up customer conversion rates.” eZcommerce is highly flexible, allowing Bishop to customize the site according to the needs of different types of customers. Authorized retailers can see the wholesale price for all products once they are logged in. The platform also provides the ability to intelligently showcase the products and special promotions that are most relevant to each customer segment. “We are very pleased with the work that Zobrist has done. While many contractors wanted to simply build us a website, Zobrist took a whole package approach that provided us with the e-commerce store, access to technical expertise, a marketing plan to boost our online presence, and ongoing 24/7 support,” says Keith McCormick. “Their ability to deliver on all of these areas was a major factor in our initial decision to work with them, and is the main reason why we continue our relationship with 24/7 support and maintenance.” Driving business growth After the implementation of the solution from IBM and Zobrist, Bishop Company has seen how a professional e-commerce website can be a key enabler of business growth. “Within two months of the new WebSphere platform going live, we saw a 200 percent increase in online sales,” says Keith McCormick. “The majority of this custom was from customers who’d only placed telephone orders in the past; they’d simply been waiting for an
  3. 3. IBM Software RetailSmarter Commerce e-commerce site that was easy to use. The remaining 25 percent of that sales increase was from completely new customers, which definitely Solution Components demonstrates the potential of a marketing strategy that integrates all Software aspects of the business.” • IBM® WebSphere® Commerce Servers Today, Bishop Company’s 2,500 products are all catalogued online, and • IBM System x3650 M2 RM the company has full visibility of orders and customer interest. “When • IBM Power Systems™ 520 running I factor in the cost of the staff required to process catalog telephone IBM i orders, I anticipate that the e-commerce channel substantial long- IBM Business Partner term cost savings,” says Keith McCormick. “The response to the site • Zobrist redesign has been tremendous, from long-time catalog customers and brand new customers alike. We definitely think we’re moving in the right direction.” “With eZcommerce, Planning for the future we’re well-positioned Based on the immediate positive impact of the new e-commerce to realize this vision, platform, Bishop Company is investigating the possibility of making our extensive enabling authorized dealers to promote their own branded versions of as an alternative to turning customers away when product assortment even an item is not carried in their brick-and-mortar store. more widely available and easy to shop for.” “The site would be branded for each dealer, with sales processed through the ecommerce system and commissions issued to the dealer who referred the sale,” says Keith McCormick. “With — Keith McCormick, President, Bishop Company eZcommerce, we’re well-positioned to realize this vision, making our extensive product assortment even more widely available and easy to shop for.” Bishop Company remains fully satisfied with its IBM solution. “Now we have the professional e-commerce platform we need to take our business to a new level,” concludes Keith McCormick. “Thanks to Zobrist and IBM’s investment in Smarter Commerce, we’ve gained a commerce roadmap that’s helping us to increase our profits and ensure that we’re well-placed to realize our future goals.” For more information To learn more about how Smarter Commerce solutions can help your business, contact your IBM sales representative or visit Zobrist Consulting Group, Inc. To learn more about products, services and solutions from Zobrist, visit:
  4. 4. © Copyright IBM Corporation 2012IBM CorporationSoftware GroupRoute 100Somers, NY 10589Produced in the United States of AmericaJanuary 2012IBM, the IBM logo,, Power Systems, System x and WebSphere aretrademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictionsworldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or othercompanies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyrightand trademark information” at document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changedby IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBMoperates.The client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actualperformance results may vary depending on specific configurations andoperating conditions. It is the user’s responsibility to evaluate and verify theoperation of any other products or programs with IBM products and programs.THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS”WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDINGWITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FORA PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OFNON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the termsand conditions of the agreements under which they are provided. eZcommerce isnot an IBM product or offering. eZcommerce is sold or licensed, as the case maybe, to users under Zobrist’s terms and conditions, which are provided with theproduct or offering. Availability, and any and all warranties, services and supportfor eZcommerce is the direct responsibility of, and is provided directly to users by,Zobrist. Please Recycle UVC12352-USEN-00