Strategic and LANSA for the Web Put KTM Ahead
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Sportmotorcycle is a growing motorcycle company
that specializes in dirt bikes. KTM recently implemented
an AS/400 LANSA based Internet Dealer Communication
System (DCS) that allows its 260 plus dealers
in the US to place orders for motorcycle parts
and to search for part pricing and inventory information
online. Previously KTM used a Windows system but
the system had met the limits of its growth and
the software was not sophisticated enough. The
Dealer Communication System was developed by Strategic
Business Systems, a LANSA partner specializing
in the solutions to the motor vehicle industry.
Rod Bush, President of KTM, says reactions to
the new system are very pleased. "The comments
from the dealers are very positive. The dealers
are our customers and it is them who we are aiming
to please with this system. They are very satisfied
with the information in the system and the convenience
of placing parts orders."
"Dealers are telling me that compared to other
DCS systems they have to use, the KTM system is
the easiest to use and most practical for their
The Solution and its implementation
The Benefits - reduced costs
and better service
What dealers say about the
Rod explains "A major portion of our business
is spare part sales. This is the most labor intensive
and data processing intensive activity that we
have. To give you some idea, we have over 10,000
line items that we sell."
"Even though sports motorcycling is a recreational
business, our customers really very badly want
to make sure from weekend to weekend that the
parts they need are available. And our dealers
want to service these customers as rapidly as
"We surveyed our dealers and asked them what they
actually want from a system. This is what we used
as the basis to design the system together with
Strategic. Dealers told us that all they wanted
was to be able to access parts availability, access
part prices, and to be able to place an order
on-line. That is really all they wanted. "
"Our primary objectives for the system were to
improve customer service, better efficiency and
increase our sales"
"At that time we used an NT system but the system
had met the limits of its growth and the software
was not sophisticated enough. When we started
our planning discussions with Strategic they advised
us to use an entry model AS/400."
Solution and its implementation
Mike Herlihy, Motor Vehicle System Product Manager
at Strategic Business Systems says, "We chose
LANSA for the Web as our application tool to implement
this solution, because it was the quickest way
for a major developer like us to develop e-business
capabilities for our existing AS/400 Parts Management
Rod continues "With our on-line system using LANSA
for the Web, our dealers are able without any
real additional expense to log on to our web site,
check current parts availability and prices. That
was the main objective that we wanted to achieve.
"We choose our largest dealers first to work on
the system. We did not allow for the possibility
of a mass release. To implement this we started
out with five dealers at the end of January 1999.
Then a few weeks later we increased that to 10,
then to 25 and then the remaining dealers."
"It went very smooth. In the first week, when
only five dealers used the system, we had only
a few small and easy to solve problems. From there
on there have not been any problems. We sent a
mailer to our dealers explaining the system and
inviting them to sign-up."
benefits - reduced costs and better service
"Before we implemented the online order and parts
information system, we used to take a lot of telephone
calls. More than 30% of our calls are related
to availability questions. What we hope to achieve
is to reduce that 30% of unproductive labor and
turn that into productive labor. Rather than dealing
with standard orders, customer service staff can
spend more time on dealing with difficulties or
promoting the product," says Rod.
"We surveyed the dealers before we started to
implement the system. What we found is that about
60% of the dealers had a PC and about 45% of the
total dealer network already had an Internet connection.
Dealers reacted positively to the new abilities
they would have without any additional investment."
"By comparison, several of our competitors in
the motorcycle industry forced their dealers to
purchase proprietary systems and to make large
lease commitments into this.
Especially for multi-line dealers, this is a very
unpopular way of doing business. The KTM system
is free for our dealers."
"We can foresee improvements in productivity and
accuracy as well, but cannot yet quantify these
at this stage. There is some labor savings, because
we eliminate redundant entry of the orders that
used to come by fax."
dealers say about the system
Bud Matto from Matto Cycle in Pennsylvania, one
of the first dealers to implement the system,
comments. "I like it a lot. The system looks pretty
slick. It makes it a lot easier for us to place
part orders. We can actually prove the order before
we send it."
"If the ordering of a part is crucial, then we
will check it out on the web with our customer.
We deal a lot with the racing crowd and having
a part is crucial. "
"A really nice feature of the system is that right
before I confirm an order I know whether something
is in stock and I may switch to another part if
it is not in stock."
"Before, I used a computer hooked up to my fax
machine to order parts from KTM. For KTM I may
easily place daily orders of 40 or 50 line items."
" We are a multi-line dealer and represent several
other brands as well. The KTM system is the best
system we have. None of the other motor cycle
brands we represent offers something as sophisticated
at KTM to its dealers."
"Being an easier company to do business with should
increase sales," Rod concludes. "We now offer
more convenience for our dealers. For example,
we have now found out that some of our dealers
like to place orders and check parts availability
after 9.00 o’clock at night. They simply could
not do this before." "We would like to provide
our dealers with even more information online.
Currently we provide printed parts books, technical
bulletins and manuals. From the questions we get
I suspect that dealers looking for information
cannot always easily find it in the printed material.
The next logical step would be to provide general
information online," concludes Rod.
KTM Press Release in PDF Format