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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Review commonly asked questions about GenAlpha & Equip360

Who is GenAlpha and how can you help my business?

GenAlpha is a team of experts leveraging 100+ years of aftermarket experience and state-of-the art technology to help you increase your aftermarket business, make it easier for customers to do business with you and help grow your overall business through an increased level of service.

We do this through the implementation of our Equip360 platform. Equip360 is our robust eCommerce, eCatalog and Analytics platform designed specifically for manufacturers. It is a configurable SaaS technology platform that integrates to your ERP system and can work within your existing business processes to allow your customers to safely find the right product online, order it and so much more.

The products I manufacture are very unique. How would this work for my clients?

With Equip360, users can search by serial number (or VIN, model number, job number, any unique identifier) to view the associated assemblies and bills of materials specific to the products they own, operate or maintain.

Equip360’s interactive 2D/3D BOM catalogs give users the ability to quickly and safely identify the right parts, access manuals, videos or other associated documentation to reduce equipment downtime and improve the parts ordering process.

“Our data is really messy.” “Our ERP or internal business system doesn’t house all the data we need.”

Every company has data challenges. During our discovery process we work collaboratively with you to identify all the relevant equipment and parts data needed to launch your eCommerce site and then determine all the places where that data is located. Together we determine the best way to extract the data.

Our technical experts can directly integrate into your ERP or internal business system to retrieve things like customer master, item master, sales order, shipment and invoicing details. If API’s aren’t available, we can identify another technical solution to retrieve the required data.

For non-ERP data, we set up a secure FTP website for sharing. It is not uncommon for us to have multiple data source types with the organizations we work with. Equip360 catalog source file types include the following:

  • Bills of Materials (BOM): XLS, DWG, CSV, TXT
  • 2D: PDF, SVG, DXF, DWG
  • 3D: IAM, IPT, IGES,STP, PRT, SLDASM, SLDPRT, CATPART, CATPRODUCT, STL

Will your platform integrate to my ERP system? How would integration work with your platform? Where does the data come from?

Equip360 is designed to integrate to many different ERP systems. While we have direct integration experience with SAP, Oracle, JDE, Infor, Epicor, Baan, Sage, Workwise/Aptean, and Syteline, we are confident there is a technical solution for any integration after understanding your current business systems.

Transactions between Equip360 and the ERP, which are triggered in real-time, are handled utilizing web services. Calls to published business services can be performed over private VPN connections or via publicly accessible end points. Real-time calls from the store front to the ERP may include:

  • Inventory Management
  • Price, Availability, Unit of Measure, Currency
  • Sales Order Management
  • Order/Quote/Credit creation
  • Credit Check Processing
  • Credit Hold Check

Transactions between Equip360 and the ERP which are not triggered in real-time are handled by means of export batch jobs. Certain item master, customer master and order history details are typically handled by batch jobs.

Periodic batch updates are executed at scheduled intervals to retrieve delta changes. Files are transported over SFTP and consumed by Equip360 integration services at a defined schedule.

“My products are very technical.” “Our challenge is that we often need to talk to the customer to help them through the ordering process (they may not know which parts they require).” “We want our customers to call. Our service team is one of our biggest strengths.”

Customers are looking for the fastest and safest way to do their job. Equip360 allows customers that know what they want, or who don’t want to talk to someone, the ability to quickly and confidently order products, check the status of their orders, and retrieve a copy of their invoice online.

A website powered by Equip360 offers so much more than a transaction, think of it as the safest place for an equipment owner or operator to find everything they need to keep their equipment running.

Providing customers with these self service options frees up your customer support staff to work on the more technical and complex customer requests. The goal is to improve the overall customer experience, whether that is online when appropriate or offline when required.

I don’t want customers to see dealer pricing… I don’t want dealers to see other dealers' pricing… I don’t want my competition to see our pricing… I don’t want end user customers to be able to order parts….

Equip360 has both guest checkout and registered user features. One of the first decisions a manufacturer will make is if the site will be available to guests (anonymous users) or only available to logged in/registered users. The guest checkout feature can be turned on or off at your discretion and you control what guests can see.

If the site will be open to guests, manufacturers will determine what guest users can do. Examples include but are not limited to search for product, search for catalog, purchase products or require login to see price. If the manufacturer chooses to display price for a guest user, typically MSRP or List Price is displayed. In most instances, this price is pulled in real time directly from the ERP.

Registered users will be administered by each business and linked to an internal customer account. This account (can be a dealer account, direct customer account or other) is found in the customer master data and any associated item pricing is pulled in real time directly from the ERP. Therefore, after logging in, Dealer 1 sees only Dealer 1 pricing information. Customer 2 only sees customer 2 pricing and so on.

Is Equip360 optimized for SEO?

Yes, Equip360 is designed and enabled for SEO.

A Google sitemap is created for all Equip360 implementations, ensuring Google knows about all pages on your site for easy crawling.

Administrative users have access to modify page titles, meta descriptions and create search engine friendly page names at the product level.

How can you ensure the customer is getting the right part?

Equip360 offers a number of user-friendly ways for customers to find the right part. We encourage our customers to use as many of these tools as possible in order to provide the customer the right part.

  • A user can utilize the global search tool to search by item # (SKU), serial # (or VIN), model #, part description, category, etc.
  • A user can search under the “shop for parts” tab. This allows them to search through predefined categories (that we work with you to set up) to drill down and find all parts associated with a subcategory and any product attributes.
  • We can implement unique interactive 2D and 3D bill of materials catalogs that are integrated directly with the shopping cart.
  • We store supersession, obsolescence, vendor, cross reference and legacy part number data from the ERP to link customers to the current part number.
  • Equip360 offers product comparison and product recommendations

Do you have the ability to implement 2D and 3D parts catalogs that are integrated directly with the shopping cart?

Yes. This feature is inherent in our Equip360 solution and allows equipment owners, operators and technicians the ability to search by serial number, VIN or other unique identifier for a specific BOM, review interactive sub-assemblies and add the right part to the shopping cart from the 2D and/or 3D drawings.

How easy is it to update the interactive catalogs? What happens when there is an engineering change notice (ECN)?

GenAlpha becomes a part of your engineering change process. When ECNs or updates occur for any bill of materials, we need to be notified. Typically we use a secure FTP location for sharing of these files. We read the FTP location to pick up the files, convert them to Equip360’s digital format, and then load them to our site. We work collaboratively to understand your internal processes and establish a cadence and frequency for file sharing. Our goal is to make this as seamless and automated as possible.

Can we assign specific Catalogs to users so they only see the Catalog for their specific equipment when they log in?

Yes. Administrators have access to link registered users to specific equipment. Therefore, when a user logs in, they do not have to search through hundreds or thousands of equipment, they can easily access the specific equipment they own.

How are taxes calculated? How is freight calculated?

For companies that store sales tax and freight in their ERP system, this information would be passed through the integration to the ERP.

Some organizations utilize 3rd party software solutions to calculate tax and/or freight, which may require an integration to the 3rd party software.

Other companies require Equip360 to calculate and store this data based on business rules. GenAlpha implementation and integration experts will work with you to understand your business requirements for tax and freight.

What kind of reporting do I get with Equip360?

Every GenAlpha eCommerce implementation includes our analytics platform – Equip360 Insights.

Equip360 Insights provides GenAlpha customers access to a digital dashboard designed to increase business intelligence and support elevated revenues, customer loyalty, and overall performance of your eCommerce site.

Some of the key features include: Performance Analytics, Customer Analytics, Product Analytics and Customized Reporting. It is a complete tool for analyzing your online business and getting the most out of an eCommerce platform.

What languages and currencies do you support?

Equip360 supports 16 different languages used by our manufacturing clients today. More languages can be added, if and when needed.

  • English
  • Deutsch
  • Français
  • Español
  • China
  • Nederlands
  • Cesky
  • Slovenski
  • Magyar
  • Romana
  • Italiano
  • Pyccknn
  • Slovencina
  • Polski
  • Português
  • Tiếng Việt

Where is Equip360 hosted?

The Equip360 solution is hosted in Amazon AWS, a SSAE No. 18 certified hosting provider.

What does Equip360 cost?

Equip360 is designed to be configurable and can scale according to your business needs and investment opportunity. There are two components to our pricing:

One Time Fees (typically capitalized) include the following:

  • Onboarding – discovery to launch project management
  • Integration – ERP, CRM, Credit Card, etc.
  • Legacy BOM 2D/3D Catalog Conversion

Subscription Fees (ongoing investment) include the following:

  • SaaS Subscription
  • On Going Catalog Conversion

Prices vary based on the number of integrations, number of brands and/or divisions and the number of legacy BOM catalogs to be digitally converted to online assets. We can easily put together a scope of work and a proposal after an initial discovery conversation to better understand your business.

Which industries are currently using Equip360?

Equip360 customers are diversified across the following industries:

  • Plastic processing equipment
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Fire and emergency vehicles
  • Construction and road maintenance
  • Heavy duty / commercial trucks and trailers
  • Digital printing technologies
  • Textile manufacturing
  • Other general industrial

How do I build a business case internally for Equip360?

We are happy to assist with building an ROI model and establishing metrics to support your internal business case. Our customers have found that the business justification opportunities fall into the following categories:

  • Increase share of wallet from existing customers. Increase average order value – customers will see your full range of SKUs and will purchase products they are sourcing elsewhere because of ease. Proactive selling via promotions, up sell, cross sell, SEO and other marketing opportunities also help drive this increase.
  • New customers & new revenue streams. Win new customers in current territories and 2nd generation owners. Global expansion – easier to enter new markets with speed.
  • Efficiency gains – reduced call volume to customer call center for greater than 75% of calls today. Questions related to product price, availability and status of an order.
  • Cost Avoidance – reduced resources required to produce and update catalogs and increased productivity of your parts sales people allowing you to eliminate headcount often needed to grow the business.
  • Increase in new equipment sales- because of a better level of overall service and ease of doing business.

From start to finish, how long does it take to launch Equip360?

Most organizations with a single brand/division and one ERP integration launch in 4 to 6 months.

There are a number of variables that determine a customer launch date. Customers who are replatforming are typically more advanced and therefore can move faster than customers entering eCommerce for the first time.

Each customer implementation is assigned a GenAlpha Customer Success Manager who will collaboratively develop a Gantt chart that will give all stakeholders visibility to the project details and milestones for launch.

GenAlpha is your partner throughout this entire process and will work with you to achieve your business goals and timelines.

How can I get a hold of GenAlpha? I have more questions and would like to see a demo!

You can contact us or request a demo. We would love to talk to you!

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