Classic Construction Models is family-owned company located in Beaverton, Oregon. For over 30 years, they have produced museum-quality collector pieces of various machinery from Caterpillar and other brands. The business has been incredibly successful, but it was also running on a very old process. New products were announced on their website, which was still being manually updated through editing HTML files. When customers wanted to place an order, they had to call or email a sales representative to do so. Since all models are produced in limited number, they had to carefully monitor their physical stock, and manually update the website to ‘archive’ a model. Being a small company, this created a lot of time-sensitive manual work for their team.
I was approached by them to help create an entirely new web presence, and modernize their sales process. This would include:
- Transition their blog to an in-house solution.
- Creating a searchable archive of their product line, stretching back 30 years.
- Creating a storefront for users to easily locate and pre-order products.
- Automated inventory control to archive products when stock was depleted.
- Integration of a secure payment gateway system.
- Allow this to be easily maintained by their in-house sales team.
After evaluating their needs, we decided that a WordPress solution would best fit their goals. For the storefront, we chose the WooCommerce plugin to easily integrate everything into a unified dashboard.
We then began the long process of manually entering the information for every model they had manufactured into the store database. This captured an image gallery, specifications, manufacturing dates, retirement dates, and manuals for each item. Once this was in place, we imported their existing content into the site, including their old blog entries.
The final step was to create a WordPress theme that allowed the photography of their products to shine, and allowed their customers to easily see the specifications of their kits. Documentation was created to help the sales team easily understand how to update stock levels, and process the online orders as they came in.
After nearly 8 months of work, the new storefront was launched. Customers loved the new easily viewed and searched product catalog, and up-to-date information. Within the first few weeks, the internal sales team were successfully adding new products on their own. “I can’t believe it’s this easy” is a phrase that I heard more than once from both customers and staff, which made me quite happy.