Case Study Essay
Toromont Industries is one of the largest heavy-construction equipment dealers in North America. Despite heavy competition, Toromont has found a niche as a company that sells a service–instead of selling expensive equipment, the company contracts with customers to supply and maintains equipment for the life of the contract. Though Toromont has carved a niche, the competition, Komatsu, John Deere and Caterpillar, is leaning toward customer-service oriented business by selling parts online over the internet.
In an attempt to stay a step ahead of the competition, the company hopes to offer the best customer service via a new online system for ordering and tracking equipment, as well as tracking customer accounts. This system would hopefully offer customers more interactive service than any of Toromont’s competitors currently offers. By updating the system, customers would have access to statistics such as oil quality and maintenance that would enable customers to reduce downtime or worker injury, would be able to get answers quickly and order parts, knowing immediately the turn-around time for delivery.
Crucial to the plan is that senior management wants the interactive customer service running as soon as possible and that the system will offer much more than generic information, but customer-specific information. In addition, the system would be able to email and page customers and technicians and offer customers real-time price quotes, sales data, an area to update information and check statuses. To do this, the new system would need to access information housed in Toromont’s AS/400 midrange computer; however management does not want to rewrite software, nor does it want the new system to interfere with current data.
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