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Transforming Business from the Outside In

How Eight MORSCO Brands Evolved to Meet Customers’ Needs


Transforming Business from the Outside In

How Eight MORSCO Brands Evolved to Meet Customers’ Needs

In just 2 years, MORSCO drove more than 1.5 million new self-service events online

One year after implementation, Farnsworth sales increased by 10%

More than 25% of Farnsworth orders were placed online just 6 months after implementation

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. (You can read more about MORSCO’s roots and history here).

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.

Eight Brands, One Purpose

Expressions Home Gallery, Murray Supply Company, Morrison Supply Company, Wholesale Specialties, MORSCO HVAC Supply, DeVore & Johnson, Farnsworth Wholesale Supply Company, Express Pipe and Fortline Waterworks are all committed to becoming the local contractor supply source by consistently providing superior customer service, unparalleled local product availability and premiere customer support.

Today all MORSCO brand websites are powered by InsiteCommerce, here’s how they got there…

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.

Choosing a Partner that Understood 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.

According to Darren Taylor, CMO of MORSCO, Insite is one of the leading eCommerce platforms for B2B. Insite understands the complexities of B2B right out of the box. Ultimately, MORSCO knew that an otherwise complicated initiative was possible with Insite.

Launching eCommerce for Farnsworth

In 2017, MORSCO launched its first online experience for the Farnsworth brand. Leveraging InsiteCommerce, 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 associated 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, 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 InsiteCommerce.

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

“We design our Online Solutions side-by-side with customers and associates to get their jobs done faster, whether on a job site, on the go, or in the office,” said Darren Taylor, MORSCO CMO. “Nearly every customer who tries it uses it regularly to get quotes, check local inventory, quickly order for scheduled delivery and much more. We also invest in training and data so our solutions become an indispensable part of our customers’ everyday lives. With Online Solutions we’re making MORSCO easier to do business with and providing better, faster service, while still maintaining an unmatched level of face-to-face support for local customers.”

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.

“We’re not just checking a box with a website. We’re transforming our entire company – and it all started with recognizing what our customers wanted,” said Darren Taylor.

Overall, MORSCO has driven more than 1.5 million new digital self-service events online.

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