Distributor of Construction Supplies

Situation

  • The organization offers thousands of products to the construction industry with very short turn-around times
  • There is an 800+ page printed catalog that is updated and produced every 2 years with 9 months of lead time required for updates
  • Additional supplemental catalogs are printed to introduce new products between catalog printings
  • The existing website lacks the ability to:
    • Display specific products to different sets of users
    • Integrate with the back-office order management and fulfillment system
  • The amount of work required to maintain multiple independent catalog files, PDF catalogs and a fully functional e-commerce system would be a potentially unmanageable strain on resources from both a time and cost perspective

Objectives

  • Design and launch a database portal that supports a streamlined catalog development process
  • Develop templates to help produce the main catalog through a central database
  • Develop the capability to produce print-on-demand mini proofing catalogs for specific customer and prospect groups
  • Develop a system that can integrate updated information through batch files

Approach

  • Architect the overall customer experience feedback strategy and associated
  • Analyze the needs of the master database and catalog system
  • Develop the data models and requirements to orchestrate print catalog
  • production, e-catalog production and the e-business platform; and also to allow for batch file data feeds into the back-end system
  • Develop web design concepts based on the completion of a creative brief
  • Develop and integrate a customized SEO strategy and tactics
  • Develop templates for the website, e-commerce, and printed catalog
  • Migrate the data from the existing catalog into the database
  • Update all content with the most current product data, information and images
  • Roll out the e-commerce system and publish the new printed catalog
  • Integrate website and back-end system by developing data outputs and inputs (to and from e-commerce/existing back-end) and automating batch file processes
  • Provide ongoing SEO and technical support

Results

  • Drove more traffic to the site within the first 6 months of launch than the old site had in the 5+ years previous
  • Increased search engine performance from appearing on the fourth page of search results to the first page; second position performance for like terms
  • Orders increased by more than 600%
  • First post-project catalog took 25% of the time of prior catalogs
  • Helped grow the business enough so that it required three warehouse moves and one expansion to handle increased demand
  • Full e-commerce, customer portal and ERP enablement project immediately followed as a result of this project’s success