Expanding the possibilities for a 55-year-old manufacturer

LeeBoy, the most successful manufacturer of paving equipment in America, came to TIP looking for their next step in innovation - a digital transformation.

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Briefing

For over a half-century, commercial road equipment manufacturer LeeBoy has embraced change and innovation, growing from a man with a vision to a globally-recognized leader in their field.  B.R. Lee started in 1964 with a few bits of scrap iron and a ton of grit.  He was country-smart with a simple notion: build it to last, for folks who refuse to quit. Today, his independent spirit and ingenuity continue to drive this company.

Pavers, patchers, brooms, loaders, graders, distributors, road wideners and more are part of the LeeBoy equipment brand today.  All still designed, built and supported in North Carolina. Listen closely and you’ll still hear the heart of America beating inside every LeeBoy machine.

Looking to take their next step in innovation, LeeBoy partnered with TIP to evolve their business and digitally transform it to better meet the needs of their customers and employees.

The Challenge

Despite being experts in equipment manufacturing, LeeBoy was struggling to deliver a consistent digital experience that supported the needs of their customer service department and visitors to the website. Their ERP, Epicor, contained all of the data needed to interact with a dealer portal, yet they were blocked by using multiple platforms, fragmented domains, and a practically non-existent conversion funnel.

LeeBoy needed a connected digital experience that could foster better lead generation, enable their customer service division, and communicate their history-rich products.

The Outcome

We used flexible, scalable, custom-built platform to streamline processes and improve services.

Our approach to the customer, dealer, and employee modernization plan enabled us to define and prioritize LeeBoy’s business objectives. This allowed us to engineer a platform that culminated in a custom-developed CMS-powered digital experience. The new LeeBoy.com is now a sales vehicle build to reach and engage with customers and prospects all over the world. The powerful backend platform now allows dealers to perform tasks online rather than calling customer service.

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A New Digital Experience Inspired by Physical Manufacturing

Practically invisible to the everyday website visitor, LeeBoy has been a part of many company-sponsored events for many years – from the “LeeBoy University”, a yearly fly-in event for their dealers to new emerging technology advances including AI and IoT for their machinery.

Being able to help a half-century manufacturer undergo a digital transformation meant gaining a rapid understanding of their business first. True to the methodology of Design Thinking, we began by immersing ourselves in their process… from a first time visitor to the site to the manufacturing of their machinery to warranties and maintenance. We used this as the foundation for how we could ultimately shape an effective digital experience and develop a platform that interacted with their ERP system to give their dealers the needed tools they had been asking for.

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Crafting a scalable, product-powered digital experience.

Using our new visual styles and UI components to more accurately reflect LeeBoy’s products, we engineered a new architecture and site strategy that would be built using a custom CMS solution built on Django & Python. This gave LeeBoy a highly flexible system that could scale with ease as they continued to expand their products and physical footprint to countries around the world.

Launching the reimagined LeeBoy.com gave them complete control over their new cloud platform on AWS, taking it away from a previous agency’s proprietary backend solution hampered by bugs and restrictions. LeeBoy was locked into a system with the inability to move forward.

What emerged was a robust digital experience that transformed their gathering of information from visitors and a backend platform available to their dealers on demand, all owned and controlled by LeeBoy.

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Engineering a Robust Backend Platform

TIP software specialists invented a dealer platform that interacts with Epicor, their ERP, that was previously only available to employees. This platform now connects LeeBoy with its worldwide dealer network.

A number of different user roles were defined depending on the carried out functions and competencies (platform administrator, dealer leader, additional dealer locations access, and various levels of permission-based access for LeeBoy employees.

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Reinventing the Customer Experience in the Cloud

The new platform provides feature-rich applications with interactive customer experiences.

Some of the various apps include the ability to register equipment, submit warranty claims and follow the progress, interact with a dealer inventory system, follow an equipment status tracker, sign up for LeeBoy equipment demo programs and more modules that bridge the customer to the company.

Categories are organized as a tree predefined by the portal admin.

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Building a Powerful Search Engine

TIP developers engineered a platform search engine, powered by AWS’s Elastic Search.

Dealers and their staffs can be searched depending on geolocation, machines owned and a number of other report building tools, bringing together a dealer network that allows dealers throughout the world to collaborate on LeeBoy products.

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From the creation of an award-winning website to creating a platform that allows us to deliver solutions that increases our dealers’ value and drives operational effectiveness, TIP has played a big role in LeeBoy’s digital makeover.  Their commitment to understanding the complexities of our business is unwavering and the resulting solutions have set us up to thrive in an evolving Asphalt Paving Industry being driven by digitization and advance technology.


Kenitra Horsley
VP/Director of IT Services
LeeBoy

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Architecting an AI-Powered Notification System

We also developed a smart notification and alert system to be sent out inside the dealer platform. Invitations to join the platform, requests and daily reports are sent as email alerts.

The system backend was made on Django/Python and front-end was implemented with a custom CMS along with several modern Javascript frameworks. Data is stored in Epicor and MySQL databases.

The application is fully responsive and works equally good both on desktop and mobile devices.

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Warehouse Scheduling

A separate web app was designed and developed by TIP so the LeeBoy warehouse personnel can accurately update schedules of progress and delivery on each piece of machinery being built.

This app makes it possible to communicate between LeeBoy departments and gives real-time, on-demand updates to the dealer platform so everyone can see and track the progress of the large equipment that is purchased.

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