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Old 02-06-2012, 08:57 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Am working on a purchase of floor pans and other sheet metal from the NPD site and am not getting very far. Trying to use the wish list and save my choices, but it doesn't work. Then trying to decipher the difference between an "imported" part and "canadian made" part. Hmmm, aren't canadian parts imported??

So what's the story NPD?

Bill
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I think we refer to imported as 'offshore' - and as far as I know I can drive from my shop to any locale in the U.S. without using a ferry...
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:29 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Yeah, I hear you on the "wish list" thing, I like NPD, but I have tried to save a "wish list" few times and was not able to make it work, curious if someone knows a trick?
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:00 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I know this thread is almost a year old. I just hope someone from NPD watches it.
Can I make a suggestion to the website?
1) Post headings in alphabetical order.
2) Make it where you can save your year of search via a cookie. Every time I go to look for something, I have to re-enter my year of car.
3) Don't be afraid to make items appear under multiple headings. Ex: headlight switch can be in electrical and Dash board parts.
4) Put links to associated parts to other catalog web pages. Ex: If I'm buying a headlight switch, place a link to the switch knob and the dash bezel.

Honestly, I can search the paper catalog 10X faster than I can navigate the online catalog.

AS far as placing orders, if my local Auto Zone can do this with 12 stores in my area, how hard is it to tie my browser into my nearest NPD's inventory to see what it in stock, and to place orders without having to call to guarantee they go out that evening on the big brown truck?

Yes, I do a LOT of online shopping!
Oh, and thanks for not having gimmicks like "Like us on Facebook for latest sales...."
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Old 11-20-2012, 11:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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And a way to check on an order, UPS tracking, etc. would be nice.

(never mind, I found it)
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Last edited by Harleydave; 11-20-2012 at 02:42 PM.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I gave up on the online NPD catalog- I have several paper catalogs (one at work, one in the shop, etc) I just call them- they have real live people (from USA not india) and are pretty helpful. Usually they mark the "better" part- not always but the canadian stuff (spectra premium) is really good on some stuff, others not so much. They are excellent to deal with and good to return stuff. If you are near a NPD store- they'll let you look at the part- sometimes even pick through the stack and pick the one you want. I have used their one piece floor (the cheaper one) and it was SWEEET!
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:03 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
I know this thread is almost a year old. I just hope someone from NPD watches it.
I watch as best I can

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
Can I make a suggestion to the website?
We crave feedback.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
1) Post headings in alphabetical order.
That's one of those "6 of one half dozen of the other" deals. Alphabetical order is great IF the term that you THINK should title a category is actually what is used. But if you're looking for "sheet metal", and the website uses "body parts", or you're looking for "electrical" when the site uses "wiring", then you're still totally lost and hunting. The order of our categories runs loosely-the-same as the order of categories in our print catalog. That way, our longstanding/loyal customers can subconsciously channel their catalog instincts to the web. Regardless of how we organize things, a certain percentage of folks will still be lost and hunting. It's a lose-lose.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
2) Make it where you can save your year of search via a cookie. Every time I go to look for something, I have to re-enter my year of car.
We plan to do that, but we're holding off until we finish getting ALL of our active product records CLEAN and STANDARDIZED in such a manner that using the year filter doesn't exclude certain items. If that doesn't make sense, just know that we're close to having our operating application data in a consistant format, at which time we'll flip the cookie on the filter. Coming soon..

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
3) Don't be afraid to make items appear under multiple headings. Ex: headlight switch can be in electrical and Dash board parts.
We do have items coded to appear in multiple categories, but it's tough to identify/catch everything. I'll memo Scott regarding dash switches. We're trying to keep our coding and organization as clean as possible, because of the sheer enormity of our product lines. It's one thing to keep the logistics/location-coding for 20,000 parts straight, but try untangling over 100,000 different parts that are coded in myriads of different directions... Bottom-line, we are constantly refinining the location-codes for all the products in our drill-downs, but understand it's a ton of data compared to most single-marque parts suppliers.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
4) Put links to associated parts to other catalog web pages. Ex: If I'm buying a headlight switch, place a link to the switch knob and the dash bezel.
It's tough and often times counterproductive trying to anticipate what people are going to want to order with different products. That, combined with the fact that we're dealing with over 100,000 active part #'s (and growing rapidly, GTO/Tempest/Lemans launches next month, and a limited range of Mopar parts hits the website soonafter), and what you're looking at would be a project that would likely take a single person YEARS to complete and implement. So if I wanted it done quickly, I'd have to sit multiple full-time hourly employees in front of computers with the task of populating "related parts" fields using their best instincts. And sometimes the related parts may depend upon different options/engines/trans/etc, which further complicates things. So yes, it would be nice, but it's not something we could just pull out of the hat.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
Honestly, I can search the paper catalog 10X faster than I can navigate the online catalog.
Congratulations, you've discovered what I've been screaming for 10 years... No website is faster than a good, well laid-out, paper catalog, when it comes to the "bigger picture" of pondering, researching, and putting together a complete list of parts, and the advantages of having a full page of related products to guide your thought process. It's not just our website, I play around on ALL the websites, and folks.... Shopping online has always been slower than the old fashioned paper catalog and telephone. I know that all of the internet-fans don't want to hear it, but it continues to be true. Yes, you may be able to find a single part faster online. And yes there are other advantages such as photos for every part, and unlimited space for information. But if you really want to sit down and lay out a large order of parts, you'll do it in half the time sitting at a table with a catalog... I don't care who's website you want to run that race against. And please pardon my sarcasm leading into this answer!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
AS far as placing orders, if my local Auto Zone can do this with 12 stores in my area, how hard is it to tie my browser into my nearest NPD's inventory to see what it in stock, and to place orders without having to call to guarantee they go out that evening on the big brown truck?
You've got me confused on this one. Our site shows the in-stock status for every single part. And if you place your order before 2PM (EST), you can pretty much bank on it heading out the door that day. What we don't have is the "nearest NPD" inventory, but we'd be opening a huge can of worms if we tried listing all four warehouse's inventories online and put the customers in charge of logistics... For all sorts of reasons, including credit card processing merchant accounts and shipping-logistics between stores, we have to flow all online orders into Florida first, and then delegate using human-based common sense. I see how Autozone has things set up, but when you go with their "ship" option, you lose all of that from-what-store control.

Bottom-line, you can just pop an email over the site referencing your order #, and request a return/reply email confirming which NPD it's shipping from, in-stock status (we rarely ship any order incomplete, that's our stock and trade!) and that it shipped same-day. Archaic, but it's all I can suggest for now.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
Yes, I do a LOT of online shopping!
Oh, and thanks for not having gimmicks like "Like us on Facebook for latest sales...."
I like all your suggestions... I also wish I had Autozone's IT department, which I would imagine has the resources of NASA's command-central. We're constantly on the move towards more information, and more-timely information. So thanks for the input! And also thanks for not falling for all the "gimmicks", this market is becoming over-run with gimmicks and tricks and smoke-and-mirror promotions. I have no aspirations towards being a carnival barker.

Well, we have been doing some stuff on Facebook, but there's no sales or discounts or other things that roller-coaster back and forth and up and down depending upon what week you need a part. We're just giving away free stuff to contest winners and whatnot. Facebook is kind of a necessary evil these days towards generating organic search-engine volume. It is what it is...

We always have, and always will, defer towards respect for our customers' intelligence and common-sense, and keep things as stable, consistant and straight-forward-gimmick-free as possible.

Rick
NPD
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:18 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69bossnine View Post
I watch as best I can



We crave feedback.



That's one of those "6 of one half dozen of the other" deals. Alphabetical order is great IF the term that you THINK should title a category is actually what is used. But if you're looking for "sheet metal", and the website uses "body parts", or you're looking for "electrical" when the site uses "wiring", then you're still totally lost and hunting. The order of our categories runs loosely-the-same as the order of categories in our print catalog. That way, our longstanding/loyal customers can subconsciously channel their catalog instincts to the web. Regardless of how we organize things, a certain percentage of folks will still be lost and hunting. It's a lose-lose.




We plan to do that, but we're holding off until we finish getting ALL of our active product records CLEAN and STANDARDIZED in such a manner that using the year filter doesn't exclude certain items. If that doesn't make sense, just know that we're close to having our operating application data in a consistant format, at which time we'll flip the cookie on the filter. Coming soon..



We do have items coded to appear in multiple categories, but it's tough to identify/catch everything. I'll memo Scott regarding dash switches. We're trying to keep our coding and organization as clean as possible, because of the sheer enormity of our product lines. It's one thing to keep the logistics/location-coding for 20,000 parts straight, but try untangling over 100,000 different parts that are coded in myriads of different directions... Bottom-line, we are constantly refinining the location-codes for all the products in our drill-downs, but understand it's a ton of data compared to most single-marque parts suppliers.




It's tough and often times counterproductive trying to anticipate what people are going to want to order with different products. That, combined with the fact that we're dealing with over 100,000 active part #'s (and growing rapidly, GTO/Tempest/Lemans launches next month, and a limited range of Mopar parts hits the website soonafter), and what you're looking at would be a project that would likely take a single person YEARS to complete and implement. So if I wanted it done quickly, I'd have to sit multiple full-time hourly employees in front of computers with the task of populating "related parts" fields using their best instincts. And sometimes the related parts may depend upon different options/engines/trans/etc, which further complicates things. So yes, it would be nice, but it's not something we could just pull out of the hat.



Congratulations, you've discovered what I've been screaming for 10 years... No website is faster than a good, well laid-out, paper catalog, when it comes to the "bigger picture" of pondering, researching, and putting together a complete list of parts, and the advantages of having a full page of related products to guide your thought process. It's not just our website, I play around on ALL the websites, and folks.... Shopping online has always been slower than the old fashioned paper catalog and telephone. I know that all of the internet-fans don't want to hear it, but it continues to be true. Yes, you may be able to find a single part faster online. And yes there are other advantages such as photos for every part, and unlimited space for information. But if you really want to sit down and lay out a large order of parts, you'll do it in half the time sitting at a table with a catalog... I don't care who's website you want to run that race against. And please pardon my sarcasm leading into this answer!!




You've got me confused on this one. Our site shows the in-stock status for every single part. And if you place your order before 2PM (EST), you can pretty much bank on it heading out the door that day. What we don't have is the "nearest NPD" inventory, but we'd be opening a huge can of worms if we tried listing all four warehouse's inventories online and put the customers in charge of logistics... For all sorts of reasons, including credit card processing merchant accounts and shipping-logistics between stores, we have to flow all online orders into Florida first, and then delegate using human-based common sense. I see how Autozone has things set up, but when you go with their "ship" option, you lose all of that from-what-store control.

Bottom-line, you can just pop an email over the site referencing your order #, and request a return/reply email confirming which NPD it's shipping from, in-stock status (we rarely ship any order incomplete, that's our stock and trade!) and that it shipped same-day. Archaic, but it's all I can suggest for now.



I like all your suggestions... I also wish I had Autozone's IT department, which I would imagine has the resources of NASA's command-central. We're constantly on the move towards more information, and more-timely information. So thanks for the input! And also thanks for not falling for all the "gimmicks", this market is becoming over-run with gimmicks and tricks and smoke-and-mirror promotions. I have no aspirations towards being a carnival barker.

Well, we have been doing some stuff on Facebook, but there's no sales or discounts or other things that roller-coaster back and forth and up and down depending upon what week you need a part. We're just giving away free stuff to contest winners and whatnot. Facebook is kind of a necessary evil these days towards generating organic search-engine volume. It is what it is...

We always have, and always will, defer towards respect for our customers' intelligence and common-sense, and keep things as stable, consistant and straight-forward-gimmick-free as possible.

Rick
NPD
Rick, I'm an IT guy... Hire me hire me Do ya'll get employee discounts
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Hickory, NC
1966 Coupe
2007 Premium MustangCoupe (V6).. Please don't shun me

Done
Replace Full floor pan
Replace Firewall
Replace Full cowl
Replace Radiator support
Shelby Drop done
Front disc brakes on

Up next:

4 wheel drum to disc conversion, rebuild front suspension/steering, taillight panel, trunk floor,302 and AOD upgrade, wiring harnesses back in, and hopefully only patch panels on the quarters

E=MChuck Norris
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Old 11-21-2012, 11:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Employees do get a discount! But you'd have to relocate to Florida, and then convince my IT Director that you're good enough for him to justify booting one of the other guys out..
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:02 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hey Rick, thanks for the update. Glad to see that the online resource is still growing with added features. After I wrote all this up, I realized I was asking for a tall order! But figured what the heck, ask for a mile, maybe we'll get an inch! LOL!!
Sounds like good job security there. Don't worry though, I just did a walk through your website (what prompted my original post) and came up with almost $10K in parts I need from NPD. If I had the cash flow right now, I'd have your Charlotte store hopping with my orders!

Oh, I've gotta add....if I'm thumbing through my NPD paper catalog at work, they know I'm goofing off. If I'm on the computer looking at the catalog, they think I'm working! LOL
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1995 GT convertible - Black (Son's ride)
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:53 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69bossnine View Post
Employees do get a discount! But you'd have to relocate to Florida, and then convince my IT Director that you're good enough for him to justify booting one of the other guys out..
Eh, I like Western Carolina too much... Oh well.....
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Steven
Hickory, NC
1966 Coupe
2007 Premium MustangCoupe (V6).. Please don't shun me

Done
Replace Full floor pan
Replace Firewall
Replace Full cowl
Replace Radiator support
Shelby Drop done
Front disc brakes on

Up next:

4 wheel drum to disc conversion, rebuild front suspension/steering, taillight panel, trunk floor,302 and AOD upgrade, wiring harnesses back in, and hopefully only patch panels on the quarters

E=MChuck Norris
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Old 11-21-2012, 03:09 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScottsGT View Post
Oh, I've gotta add....if I'm thumbing through my NPD paper catalog at work, they know I'm goofing off. If I'm on the computer looking at the catalog, they think I'm working! LOL
Like I said, internet has its strong points!!

Thanks again for taking the time to give us your thoughts, and thanks for all past, present and future business! We truly appreciate it, and Happy Thanksgiving to all...
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:13 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 69bossnine View Post
Like I said, internet has its strong points!!

Thanks again for taking the time to give us your thoughts, and thanks for all past, present and future business! We truly appreciate it, and Happy Thanksgiving to all...

Rick, are ya'll gonna be offering the one piece TMI headliner?

Also, does your upholstery provider do custom color combinations?
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Steven
Hickory, NC
1966 Coupe
2007 Premium MustangCoupe (V6).. Please don't shun me

Done
Replace Full floor pan
Replace Firewall
Replace Full cowl
Replace Radiator support
Shelby Drop done
Front disc brakes on

Up next:

4 wheel drum to disc conversion, rebuild front suspension/steering, taillight panel, trunk floor,302 and AOD upgrade, wiring harnesses back in, and hopefully only patch panels on the quarters

E=MChuck Norris
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Old 03-19-2013, 09:47 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Rick, are ya'll gonna be offering the one piece TMI headliner?
Yes, but they have not been released yet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wareagle View Post
Also, does your upholstery provider do custom color combinations?
Contact our Ford project manager Scott Halseth in our Michigan store at 800-521-6104 or at shalseth@npdlink.com and he can assist you on that!

Derek
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Old 03-19-2013, 11:42 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Rick,
Love your store. Your catalog occupies a hallowed spot on my toilet tank. Hire the people that designed the Rockauto online catalog. I can find what I need there with no problem.
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