New Technology Allows Easy Access to Engine Stats
MILWAUKEE (May 8, 2012) — Each year, when spring arrives, homeowners across America resume old, familiar rituals such as cleaning out the garage, picking up yard debris, and going to the local garden center to pick up a bag of “weed & feed” for the lawn. Tuning up the lawnmower is another early spring ritual to complete. But, for too many of us, the mower tune-up often starts with a frantic search for the operator’s manual that was misplaced after the last tune-up was done. Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) would like to put an end to ‘missing operator manual frustrations’ with the introduction of its industry-first serialized quick response (QR*) code labels.
Earlier this year, Briggs & Stratton initiated a phased rollout of QR labeling on engines manufactured for use in North America. The serializedQR labels will enable homeowners with a smartphone to access engine-specific information quickly and easily. The Briggs & Stratton® 550e and 550ex Series™ engines are the first models in Briggs & Stratton’s consumer engine line up to be marked with the new labels. This June, Briggs & Stratton will begin phasing in QR labeling on other popular models in its North American line up.
The new serialized QR label is designed to be easy-to-read and will be placed in an easy-to-find location on each engine. “Once you scan the QR code with your smart phone, you will be directed immediately to information that is specific for the engine that’s on your mower. Searching for your model will not be necessary.” said J.P. Benjamins, product marketing manager for Briggs & Stratton. The QR label, which can be scanned by popular smartphone applications like ScanLife, will deliver the consumer to a customized mobile website with engine specific information including:
- Operator’s Manual – Maintenance and operations instructions for your engine
- Illustrated Parts List – An easy-to-use reference for locating part numbers
- Dealer Locator – A GPS-enabled tool that directs you to the Briggs & Stratton dealer near you
- Customer Service – Dial directly to a customer service representative in one click
To implement the new QR codes, Briggs & Stratton formed a cross-functional team that included representatives from the marketing, sales, operations and information technology (IT) departments. Rather than using QR technology to deliver static, point-of-sale content, the team focused its efforts on creating a best-in-class, post-sale experience for consumers. Making it easier for consumers to access the most frequently sought engine-related information, including operations and maintenance instructions, was a key goal of the project. “Our focus is to help consumers after they bring home their new equipment. If you have a Briggs & Stratton engine on your mower, riding tractor, pressure washer, or generator, we want you to have a great ownership experience,” explained Benjamins.
The QR project has also provided Briggs & Stratton a new opportunity to work more closely with its equipment manufacturing customers and retail partners to increase customer satisfaction and minimize issues related to product returns. “This is truly an innovative approach to combining smartphone and QR technology. By using the serial number, we have the potential to deliver targeted information based on the brand or retailer of equipment that the Briggs & Stratton engine is powering,” said Mike Boeselager, manager of the QR code project for Briggs & Stratton.
Briggs & Stratton previously introduced QR codes on its line of packaged maintenance parts in 2009, and added Power Codes (serialized QR codes) to its Vanguard™ family of engines earlier this year.