How eight MORSCO brands evolved to meet customers’ needs with Optimizely's B2B Commerce Cloud
A deeply rooted, century-long commitment to providing high quality products
Though MORSCO was founded in November 2011, its roots date all the way back to 1917. MORSCO derived its name from one of its powerhouse plumbing supply brands, Morrison Supply Company, whose nickname was MORSCO for decades after its inception.
Throughout the course of nine decades, Morrison had become the strongest independent plumbing supply company in the Southwest. By 2011, Morrison had aggressive goals to expand and become the nation’s leading plumbing and HVAC distributor by assembling the very best regional businesses and people in their industry.
The expansion kicked into gear in January 2012 when MORSCO added 13 new locations in Southern California and acquired Express Pipe & Supply. Just as they set out to do, over the next few years MORSCO opened more locations and assembled the best talent by acquiring more businesses.
Today, MORSCO is a leading U.S. distributor of commercial and residential plumbing, waterworks, heating and cooling equipment (HVAC), and pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) and is comprised of a family of eight long-established local distributors. MORSCO distributes more than 100,000 national and private label products to more than 40,000 customers.
Episerver B2B Commerce Cloud is one of the leading eCommerce platforms for B2B. Insite understands the complexities of B2B right out of the box.
Darren TaylorChief Marketing Officer MORSCO
Responding to customers’ changing expectations
For decades, distribution businesses have been run on relationships. People buy from people. People trust people. As technology has advanced, customers’ expectations have evolved. Customers still expect strong relationships, but they also expect to be able to leverage technology to do business.
That’s why for distributors like MORSCO, digital transformation is essential. To survive and bring their business into the future, MORSCO had to respond to changing customer expectations – they needed solutions that would serve customers exactly how they wanted to be served, 24 hours a day, seven days per week.
Changing customer expectations and competitive pressures drove MORSCO to build and invest in a robust ecommerce strategy. Prior to 2015, none of MORSCO’s brands were leveraging an ecommerce platform. The company knew they had to make changes.
Key priorities in leveraging ecommerce
When they first launched their journey into ecommerce and transformation, MORSCO’s key priority was to make it easier for customers to conduct business with them. In addition, they wanted to improve organizational efficiencies and provide better service at a lower cost for both the customer and the company as a whole. Traditionally, MORSCO sales representatives spent valuable time and resources completing tasks like checking orders, generating quotes, checking invoices and more – things an ecommerce platform would excel at.
Efficiency and ease of doing business weren’t the only goals MORSCO set for ecommerce. The company also knew that with the right strategy and the right technology, ecommerce would set them up to grow share of wallet with current customers and acquire new customers through digital marketing.
Meeting the complexities of B2B
There are multiple complexities involved in MORSCO’s business. The company is made up of multiple brands, serves a diverse set of customers and provides a large breadth of products. When MORSCO began their search for the right ecommerce platform, they needed technology that was built for the complexities.
MORSCO needed to build an experience that would accommodate complex online transactions, specific to a customer’s particular wants or needs. They needed to provide their customers more control over what, when, and how they could access account information, including invoice retrieval, order status and other information.
They recognized that it wasn’t just about deploying a simple website. For MORSCO, building an eCommerce solution was about bringing relationships and processes together. They needed to serve customers that had multiple roles and multiple processes with different authority levels and budgets.
Launching ecommerce for Farnsworth
In 2017, MORSCO launched its first online experience for the Farnsworth brand. Leveraging Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud, MORSCO transformed a rarely accessed, archaic product information library into an easily viewable and downloadable product catalog containing vital information like installation guides, warranties and spec sheets. The site enabled customers to easily search product information, get real-time product availability and accelerate the ordering process through online cart and checkout functionality.
Not long after its implementation, the Farnsworth solution delivered remarkable results for the company. With critical and otherwise time consuming tasks like quoting, invoices and proof of delivery being handled online, the solution saved associates hours every week. Less than 6 months after implementation, more than 25% of Farnsworth orders were being placed online. In addition, overall sales increased by 10% just one year after implementation.
MORSCO’s online solutions
Following Farnsworth, Morrisonsupply.com was the next site to launch. By the end of 2017 MORSCO had six of MORSCO’s eight brands online. Today, all the brands leverage Optimizely B2B Commerce Cloud.
Each of MORSCO’s online solutions offer a personalized experience that includes:
- Access to more than 200,000 products with technical documents organized into customer-specific catalogs
- Real-time pricing and local availability
- Access to invoices, proof of delivery and other account information
- Integration with a customer’s purchasing system and job management tools
- 24/7 access from a desktop, tablet or mobile phone
Rising up to the challenge and beating the competition
From the beginning, it was never about deploying a simple website. It was always focused on making customers’ lives easier. MORSCO’s online solutions deliver ease of digital self-service while enabling more complex transactions that require the personal attention of sales associates.
Overall, MORSCO has driven more than 1.5 million new digital self-service events online. The transformation wasn’t just about checking the box with a website. MORSCO transformed their entire company by recognizing exactly what their customers wanted.