IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE LIFE EASIER FOR ITS dealers and customers, Knaack Manufacturing—a maker of jobsite storage and truck and van equipment—has launched a Web-based design tool called Vehicle Solutions for people outfitting their work vans with storage. “The tool allows users to create their own custom designs and then transfer the file to a local [van storage] dealer for a quick quote,” says Will Rose, vice president of marketing for the Crystal Lake, Ill.–based company.

Customizing a work truck is a time-intensive process that requires extensive product knowledge, says Rose, because designs are typically drawn by hand, and changes take time. But this new tool simplifies the process, and revisions can be done with a click of a mouse.

Users simply log on to the company's Web site, and register. One of the most important aspects of the site is the question that asks for truck model. At the moment, the tool lists truck models going back six years, which should capture over 90 percent of the work trucks in the market. After users select the model, they design the van in four steps: trade, module, accessories, and review order. “The system is all mouse-driven, so users just follow the icons,” Rose says.

What does Knaack hope to gain from this tool? “We want several things,” Rose says. “If our distributors do more business, then we do more business. But if we can increase the satisfaction for our end users, we can also increase our overall business metrics.”

Learn more about markets featured in this article: Mankato, MN.