Cutco Undergoes a Timely Digital Transformation

A cross-platform web and mobile application that revolutionized the Cutco selling experience.

The Client

Cutco

Founded in 1949 and headquartered in Olean, NY, Cutco is the largest manufacturer of premium kitchen cutlery in the United States. The cutlery and kitchen accessories company’s products are made in America, guaranteed for life and mostly sold through direct sales.

The Challenge

Cutco’s salesforce of over 65,000 was placing orders with a web-based application hosted in a legacy data center. The system required paper-based orders, order oversight and follow-up validation. It was time-consuming to use and maintain from an IT standpoint, and prone to human error.

The Solution

FiveOut, a Sirius digital agency, worked with Cutco to develop the Cutco Orders Application, a web- and mobile-based application hosted on an Amazon Web Services (AWS) platform. The solution replaced a web-only experience and legacy infrastructure that had been provisioned for peak demand all year round despite seasonal shifts in the company’s mostly college-aged salesforce. The timing was ideal as the solution modernized the Cutco selling experience, enabling Cutco sales representatives to effectively sell without face-to-face demonstrations.

The Benefits

  • Sales representatives can search for products by name or image, alter specifications easily, and add them to carts in a modern, e-commerce fashion.
  • Support tools make it easier for even new sales representatives to make smart sales decisions for higher margins, and make it virtually impossible to submit an invalid order.
  • The mobile- and web-friendly solution eliminates the need for laptops to place orders.

An Order Solution To Support All Levels of Sales Experience

When the work began in 2019, Cutco sales representatives were relying on a static, legacy infrastructure-based application provisioned for peak demand all year. It was a fragile system that required careful planning and manual orchestration on the part of Cutco IT. It also required sales representatives to manually look up product numbers and calculate costs—including discounts and incentives—on a personal computer with web access. “Our main objective when reaching out to Sirius was developing an ordering system and the shopping experience for our representative community that understood and supported all levels of representatives, from entry-level all the way up to our career representatives,” said Cutco Sales Development Manager Dave Bush.

With Sirius’ help, Cutco performed a thorough analysis of their infrastructure and business objectives followed by a migration to a modern infrastructure on an AWS platform with a user-friendly, mobile- and web-based application. The application includes tools such as a “bonus advisor” and “order health indicator” that replace error-prone tasks such as paper- and calculator-based order entry. “The old Cutco order form was a bit like filling out a tax return in the way that you had to reference and copy values from box 1b to 2d, divide by 3b to get to total 4b,” said FiveOut Senior Digital Consultant Christopher Pugh. “All our efforts were geared toward making sales easier for reps while also helping them understand how to make those sales more profitable. In theory, that should help retain reps.”

The application also helped Cutco representatives virtualize sales appointments at a time when face-to-face demonstrations dropped significantly due to the pandemic. This was also a time when prospective customers started spending a lot of free time on home-based hobbies such as gourmet cooking. “The Cutco Orders App allowed us to move directly with that without skipping a beat,” said Cutco Sales Development Manager Steve Spry.

FiveOut Managing Consultant for Mobile Ryan Ricigliano explained the new sales process. “They’re mostly selling from their cell phones. They send their prospects a link to a presentation and click through the slides, videos and other content. They’re giving the same pitch they would in person, but doing so over a videoconference or clicking their way through a demo and talking through it on their mobile devices.”

Today, Sirius and Cutco are finalizing even more enhancements to the Cutco Orders Application, including a credit card reader so that customers will be able to swipe, tap or chip their cards for purchases, decreasing mistakes from manual input and adding an extra layer of transactional security. Cutco and FiveOut are also working on adding interactive virtual demonstrations.

The Results

  • The solution’s serverless platform scales automatically, allowing Cutco to pay for what they use seasonally. Also, the solution is cloud-based, so there is no additional data center infrastructure for Cutco IT to maintain.
  • Cutco’s new decoupled infrastructure allows for rapid code change and deployment, as well as automated and improved scalability and elasticity.
  • DevOps principles are baked into Cutco’s AWS services to allow Cutco to realize more rapid development, faster testing and rollback, and flexibility to perform deployments when new code ships.
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Sirius is a national integrator of technology-based business solutions that span the data center and multiple lines of business. At Sirius, we combine strategic vision with the creativity of our FiveOut digital agency. Our experts have digital expertise in commerce, mobile, digital strategy, and design. Contact Sirius today at 800-460-1237 or visit us online to schedule a discussion of your needs and learn how Sirius can help you manage your operations, optimize your IT, secure it all, and transform your businesses.