Briggs & Stratton is a Fortune 1000 provider of power and manufacturer of power equipment.
They wanted to launch a landscaping-as-a-service subscription offering to help commercial landscapers solve the challenge of tracking equipment and crews, and sought a subscription management platform to mitigate the inherent billing and management complexities of a subscription business.
Zuora Central platform provides a reliable subscription infrastructure for Briggs & Stratton to automate billing, invoicing, and payment runs and iterate on pricing and packaging to drive customer acquisition.
With Zuora, Briggs & Stratton successfully launched its InfoHub solution in less than 2 months, eliminating time spent on manual processes, and has already launched a second subscription offering.
Briggs & Stratton, the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment, started producing lawn mower engines in 1908. Since then, they’ve added a slew of other products, from residential lawn equipment to commercial engines, job site products, and more.
But, like so many other industrial manufacturers, Briggs & Stratton has started to look beyond products to services to better serve their customers and expand into new revenue streams. They started by outfitting their engines with sensors to report on engine data and piloted their first IoT solution.
But initial response showed that while commercial users saw the potential value in embedded technology, their more pressing issue was resource management: how to efficiently and accurately monitor the locations of crews and equipment.
So Briggs & Stratton pivoted, shifting their offering, features, and channels to develop InfoHub, their first IoT solution. They knew from the beginning it would be a subscription based offering — and, understanding the highly complex nature of subscription businesses, sought a subscription management platform that could support pricing and packaging updates, collect customer data, provision new customers, accept payments, and link revenue to their finance system.
As Carissa Gingras, Director of Marketing Global Support at Briggs & Stratton, noted, “We had a sophisticated system on the back end to bill OEMs, but we didn’t have the infrastructure to take a credit card on a regular recurring basis. This was a real ‘oh my gosh’ moment for us!” They were going through a major ERP upgrade, but timing and capabilities drove the decision to work with Zuora.
“We wanted a streamlined process. Without the right billing system, the process was going to be fragmented,” adds Scott TenBrink, Program Manager of InfoHub at Briggs & Stratton. “We also knew that PCI compliance was critical to protect the overall privacy and security of our customers.”
A large factor in choosing a subscription management platform was time to launch: Briggs & Stratton was introducing the InfoHub offering at Green Industry and Equipment (GIE) expo, the largest industry trade show, in October of that year and needed the new service up and running in time or they would lose a year bringing the product to market.
After implementing Zuora in less than two months, they hit their deadline to launch InfoHub for Commercial Turf, a brand-agnostic landscaping solution that tracks crews and equipment in real time, helping commercial landscapers reduce downtime, increase efficiency and productivity, better manage labor costs (which represent up to 40 percent of a cutter’s expenses, according to Briggs & Stratton), and drive revenue.
With Zuora, Briggs & Stratton has automated billing, invoicing, and payment runs that feed journal entries into their SAP system on a monthly basis. Their e-commerce portal enables customers to self serve. And they can now experiment with pricing and packaging options, including promo codes and incentives.
According to TenBrink, “Setting Zuora up to execute new feature sets and product updates is straightforward and managing the platform is easy.”
InfoHub now has 1500+ customers and is now expanding into larger businesses and even municipalities that have thousands of pieces of equipment, like the City of Chicago Parks.
They’ve already launched one additional product on Zuora: InfoHub for Standby Power. But this is just the start. With access to data, the opportunities are limitless for solving customer pain points, driving product development, troubleshooting problems faster in the field, and more.
As Gingras notes: “We are pioneering this technology pipe into the lawn care segment. Over time that segment will migrate more and more to this model and subscription revenue will grow over time.”
“Our entire IT department and legal department were most comfortable with the Zuora Central platform in terms of overall privacy and security of our customers.” – Scott TenBrink Program Manager – Connected Products at Briggs & Stratton
“Setting Zuora up to execute new feature sets and product updates is straightforward and managing the platform is easy.” – Scott TenBrink Program Manager – Connected Products at Briggs & Stratton