Nucor Building Systems, a division of Nucor Steel, manufactures and supplies custom pre-engineered metal-frame buildings to a network of over a 1000 authorized builders across North America. Nucor employs a large team of software development experts and is known as a technology leader in their industry.
In the days before the building configurator eQuote, Nucor Building Systems’ clients had to complete orders for custom pre-engineered metal-frame buildings with desktop software. Nucor’s sales team devoted a lot of time and energy to supporting, updating, and maintaining the system.
But what most concerned Nucor was that the software wasn’t accessible enough to members of their builder network.
Nucor had to send those builders disks so they could download the software. They then had to send all those same members more disks anytime there were updates. And if a builder needed to make a change in an order that had already been placed, the series of phone calls and follow-ups would often be long and complicated.
In 2010, the company decided they could offer their clients a better experience by moving the application online.
There were two main challenges:
The solution would eventually be eQuote, a web product configurator that builders could upload their project details into. Using this information, eQuote would then guide users toward completion of the order process.
But before getting started on that main project, Nucor wanted to make sure the collaboration with Aptera would be effective in developing complex applications. So the company decided to tackle a smaller challenge first. Instead of developing a large configurator for designing entire buildings, the team would begin by creating an ecommerce site where builders could order individual building components.
Today, it’s known as Nucor Steel Store, one of the most popular sites for building supplies on the web.
With the runaway success of this initial project, Nucor and Aptera proved they were ready to take on the larger task of creating an online building configurator. Developers from both companies worked side by side to create the application agile development, just as they had with Nucor Steel Store.
The building configurator the team created, known as eQuote, not only provides a better experience to Nucor’s clients. It also makes life much easier on the employees who are responsible for fulfilling building orders.
With eQuote, Nucor has a system that’s much easier to support, maintain, and update.
Most important, though, eQuote provides builders with a set of tools they won’t want to live without. The ordering process requires builders to fill out between 50 and 70 pages of details. Once the process is complete, the builder can access the full list of parts and materials to make any necessary changes. And eQuote also creates diagrams of the buildings that guide construction.
Having this information on hand makes builders more competitive by, among other things, making it easier for them to bid large projects. Giving their customers access to such useful tools is one of the ways Nucor ensures its builders keep coming back to purchase more buildings.