Rochford Ltd.
Allen Power
PlusParts ASP
Rochford Garden Machinery Ltd.
An online spare parts shop based on PlusParts was created for the British garden machinery wholesaler Rochford containing over 30 brands from a large variety of different suppliers.
Die Rochford Garden Machinery Website Startseite Rochford Ersatzteilsystem
The Rochford Garden Machinery website
Rochford spare parts system start page

Ausgangssituation: Dynamisches Handelsunternehmen mit Pioniergeist
Retailers still occupy a very important position in the British garden machinery market and so the traditional wholesalers (distributors) in Britain still represent an indispensible link between manufacturers and retailers. Rochford is a dynamic company which, in recent years, has managed to generate an impressive increase in turnover. In order to expand upon their spare part distribution activities with dealers, Rochford commissioned us to create an on-line parts shop based on the PlusParts system. The aim was that Rochford customers could find and order any spare part from any desired make. An on-line catalogue as comprehensive as this one, containing almost 500,000 items for over 4,000 products from over 30 brands was, at the time, unique in Europe.

Herausforderung: Ein Shop für mehr als 30 Marken
A parts catalogue system for wholesalers poses a whole new challenge as opposed to a parts catalogue system for single manufacturers. This is mainly because spare part data from a huge array of different manufacturers has to be integrated within a standardised system. This not only poses a problem with respect to the quantity of data that is used but also in terms of the different data formats. Manufacturers normally just have to process the data for their own brand which normally come in a standardised format. However, the challenge of this particular project was to integrate data from all the relevant brands, that came in many different qualities and formats, into the PlusParts system. In order to do this, the original data first had to be standardised to meet a minimum degree of quality whilst ensuring that as little information as possible was lost in the process. It was also important that attached documents and additional information such as replacement data were similarly accessible in the Rochford system as in the manufacturer's (source) system. Another criterion was that it should not matter whether the manufacturer used article numbers or reference numbers in his diagrams or if a reference number in the diagram happened to refer to several different items.

Parts diagram at Rochford Garden Machinery

The enormous quantity of parts diagrams also posed another important challenge; before opening the on-line shop, a comparitively small team was responsible for processing and importing more than 10,000 parts diagrams into the system. In addition to that, the extremely complex discount system that Rochford applies to its spare part sales had to be incorporated into the on-line shop. This meant that the system now lists and manages a total of 1.5 million discount rates. The system will have to be continually kept up to date, which means that Rochford will need to continue to ensure that all the data it receives from manufacturers can be updated and managed as efficiently as possible.

Umsetzung: PlusParts als technische Basis für die gesamte Onlinepräsenz

The creation of the spare part shop also marked a complete relaunch of the company's entire on-line presence which meant that the B-2-B site's entire technical infrastructure was newly developed on the basis of PlusParts. The new website concept includes a parts shop, an online shop for garden products and a community area. Each element of the site is either entirely based on the PlusParts framework or designed to interact with this standard. The relauch meant that the parts shop was completely integrated into the website. Rochford customers can not only find and order spare parts but also have access to interesting additional services such as the quotation generator and warranty application module.

Extras: Umfangreiche Importfunktionen für das Backoffice
Order management
In order to help Rochford efficiently integrate spare part data and diagrams from every manufacturer into a single system, it was necessary to develop different methods and add special maintenance tools to the PlusParts backoffice. There are four different methods available to Rochford employees for importing a supplier's spare part data into their system and updating it:

1. Real time coupling with the manufacturer's PlusParts system
If a supplier runs his spare part system using PlusParts, e.g. AL-KO or Allen, all data between the supplier's system and that of Rochford can be directly exchanged. The advantage is that the new data will immediately be listed in the wholesaler's spare part system as soon as the supplier updates his own database.

2. Data importer for external systems
We now offer importers for a number of spare part systems belonging to other manufacturers. This lets you transfer all data, including all the diagrams and hotspot information, from the external system into PlusParts.

3. The SVG parsing module
The SVG parsing module lets you analyse and add hotspots to vector-format exploded-view diagrams in the PlusParts backoffice. The system simultaneously creates a bill of material during the parsing process. However, using this method as opposed to the importer means that each individual diagram has to be re-edited. We have updated our parsing module for the Rochford project so that diagrams that are only available in pdf format can be parsed, provided the pdf file was created from a vector-based format.

4. Editing manually using OCR software
This method works for all parts diagrams. But because this method takes quite a lot of time, you should only consider it if the other three methods are not possible or if one manufacturer only has a few products. In this case, the three previous methods may not be very efficient.

Rochford Garden Machinery Ltd. is one of the leading British garden machinery wholesalers. The company's product range features all brands that are relevant for the British garden machinery market. Rochford even imports some brands exclusively. For more information about Rochford Garden Machinery, please visit

For immediate download:
PlusParts brochure
as PDF file.