By Dave Wilks | Mar 15, 2017
Digital parts catalogs
Industry: Software & Media
Products: Digital parts catalogs
Digabit develops software that digitizes parts data so manufacturers can easily update information, link information, and distribute parts catalogs. The idea was born of a meeting with Sage and an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) executive. The executive was frustrated with paper parts catalogs and technical documents. Digabit provided a solution in the form of Documoto.
Documoto is composed of three components: an authoring and publishing solution, Cloud Library for storage, and Cloud Storefront where customers can find parts.
With the authoring and publishing solution, manufacturers can convert CAD drawings and data into interactive parts catalogs. The solution leverages a relational database that integrates with the manufacturer's engineering and ERP system. Manufacturer communication teams can "easily create, modify, and maintain printed and electronic parts catalogs," says Sage.
The Cloud Library provides a secure place to store spare parts and equipment-related support materials. Manufacturers have complete control over who can access the cloud library.
The Cloud Storefront provides a web location where manufacturers can offer a searchable, modern, and efficient way to order parts. "Documoto allows you to automate parts ordering and allows dealers and distributors to place orders from anywhere in the world at any time," Sage says.
Sage sees a transformation in the manufacturing industry, a transformation based on the way the world works today. Citing the book, The Effortless Experience, Sage explains, "If the customer had to pick up the phone and call you . . . it makes them four times more likely to be disloyal rather than loyal."
People expect "to have things just be easy," he continues. But many "old timers" in the industry feel that they provide such excellent customer service that people want to call them. "They are wrong. They're losing customers."
Digabit can help manufacturers streamline operations, save time, and increase profits by digitizing parts data to create dynamic parts catalogs. Manufacturers can update parts information in real-time and maximize content reuse. "This also helps eliminate bottlenecks between engineering and publications and automate much of the publishing process," says Sage.
Customers of Digabit report seeing tremendous results. One customer "saw a 50 percent productivity increase in creating parts manuals and managing content. In addition, they are using our Cloud Storefront capabilities and have reported a greater than 60 percent increase in online parts sales."
Locally, Digabit counts RTD as a customer. They use Documoto in the maintenance department for greater accuracy when ordering parts needed for repairs.
Sage sees Documoto as a way to reach customers who were traditionally served only by aftermarket vendors, a large market with high profitability. Manufacturers without Documoto lack the mechanisms to reach people. "That's really what our platform is all about," says Sage. "Giving them the ability to reach their dealers, their customers, and their distributors directly on the Internet in the way that people want to do business, which is without having to pick up the phone."
Sage says he is looking forward to an updated Documoto user interface and improving the experience for the customer ordering parts. In addition, Digabit plans to expand the Cloud Storefront options and e-commerce order capabilities.
Challenges: Market awareness. "We know that we have a good product," says Sage. "Our challenge now is to expand our brand awareness in our market and show potential customers that we have a proven and reliable solution that works and can revolutionize their parts catalogs and aftermarket sales."
Opportunities: Sage says more and more B2B buyers want to conduct business online. "To capture that business, manufacturing companies need to stay ahead of the competition and use technology to their advantage. We have a huge opportunity with manufacturers to provide them with a solution for them to do this."
Needs: Talent. "At Digabit, we believe that software is a talent business, so we are always searching for the most talented individuals to add to our team and push us to the next level," says Sage.
The company launched on the Western Slope, but the company grew and Sage realized that he needed to tap into a deeper pool of technology talent to produce a product like Documoto. "Denver's really thriving as a tech community and we're starting to see a lot of good talent attracted to the industry, " he says of the move to Englewood.