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Mechanics Corner: New mobile apps make parts ordering easy

Andrew Murdoch for Progressive Dairyman Published on 30 September 2016

As we’ve seen with so many industries, technology continues to evolve within the agricultural equipment industry each and every day. And today, whether you’re in the field or at home, you can now quickly and conveniently order parts and accessories for your equipment by tapping into online shopping platforms and mobile apps.

In fact, all the tools you need to order machine parts and manage your fleet now rest in the palm of your hand.

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With online fleet management capabilities, reference tools and access to the manufacturer’s machine-specific parts catalogs, you can easily match your machine with the right parts, then email or order parts directly from your local equipment dealer any time of the day, all from your computer or smart mobile device. Best of all, the new apps make customer feedback easy.

When it comes to ordering parts for your farm machinery, it’s important to keep in mind that while you might call a part one thing, your local equipment dealership might call it something completely different.

By using the newest online tools, you eliminate guesswork because you can now access the same electronic parts manuals your local dealer uses to look up parts, including assembly diagrams, part numbers and a host of search and reference tools.

This means you can call your local dealership to identify the exact part number your equipment needs, searching by model, then serial number.

Then, by viewing the same picture or diagram your dealership views, you can drill down to where the part is located on the machine, exactly what part or machine component you need, and finally the part number.

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By accessing the same electronic parts catalog your dealer uses, you can not only identify the part number you need quickly and easily, you can also view potential add-ons for the repair. Then of course you can bring those component part numbers into your dealership and work with the parts and service professionals to ensure you get the right product for the repair.

Many online stores will also give you the option of handling the entire transaction online, including placing the order through your local dealer, viewing inventory status, selecting your preferred shipping method and even purchasing the parts online using a major credit card or using an in-store account.

These new online ordering options give you the convenience of submitting orders 24/7 – no need to catch the dealer when they’re open – and confirming accuracy through the detailed schematics that can be printed out to provide a reference sheet while you make repairs, or called in to your dealer to confirm you’re getting the correct part.

Mobile apps that act as an extension of these online stores also allow customers to store the most important information about their machines, such as serial numbers, service dates, hours of use and previous part orders.

This means you can now manage your fleet maintenance tasks with your smartphone, anticipate when routine wear parts will need to be replaced, submit a quote request to your local dealership or call the dealer directly.

Here are a few more examples of what you can do with the newer mobile apps:

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  • Email order requests to ship order, pick up or quote only

  • Bookmark parts diagrams and data for future reference

  • Manage, organize and store equipment data from a mobile device

  • Access tools that help you make quick buying decisions

  • Stay current by checking product alerts and videos

  • Personalize the mobile experience with customized account settings

  • Select a local dealer by zip code or locator map

Increasingly, dealers and customers alike are using these online tools to help identify and order the right parts associated with routine machine repair and maintenance.

In fact, many dealerships will show customers how to locate their specific farm equipment and set it up within the tool, so if a part on that machine breaks, they can quickly identify exactly where the part is located on the machine and identify the part number. Dealers can then verify that part number is correct, locate the part in inventory and have that part available for immediate pickup or delivered to you.

As consumers, we need to embrace these new forms of technology because they’re here to make our lives easier. Whether you’re looking to purchase parts for farm machinery, buy a new pair of running shoes or book a family vacation, mobile technology allows us to stay connected with the things we love 24/7.  end mark

Andrew Murdoch is a Ecommerce manager with New Holland.

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