Stanley’s Brilliant Strategy to Defeat Knock-Off Competitors
Shortly after Stanley Engineered Fastening (SEF) launched their innovative new automotive plastic fastener line, they faced relentless competition from lesser-quality, knock-off competitors. Confident in the superior quality and value of their fasteners in the automotive industry, SEF launched a highly customer-friendly, interactive website. They applied years of fastener technology leadership to create their industry’s most intuitive, self-service resource for their automotive customers, one that competition could not match for many years to come. Once design engineers began using the website, they were hooked because it made them more productive while also reducing their overall system fastening costs.
SEF possesses the fastener industry’s premier repository of engineering, sales and marketing information, but it is housed in disconnected data centers throughout Europe. Key to SEF success would be their ability to continually compile and update pertinent information and make it available to global automotive design engineers in multiple languages. Once SEF deployed their interactive automotive fastening design center, designers fed back that not only has SEF made them more productive but they also design higher-quality fastened assemblies and, at an overall lower cost. SEF chose Solidify’s 24/7 BUSINESS to deliver these challenging fastener application requirements.
Today, SEF’s central fastener eCatalog also gives CSRs instant access to previously unavailable information, saving time, and providing better customer service. Sales reps use it during presentations and sales calls. Marketing links their promotions to targeted eCatalog’ products. Best of all, end-user visits have climbed rapidly; key customers use their own custom eCatalogs to expedite fastener selection and modification requests. Well-qualified sales leads, literature downloads, and new sales quotations are at an all-time high while fulfillment requests have dropped. SEF now says – “we made the right decision to establish our online eBusiness Center and choosing Solidify to provide it. Now, we have turned the tables and we’re attacking our knock-off competition.”
SEF reported: “Just measuring our internal time savings, we more than returned our full investment less than one year after we launched. Given the size of our IT group and the services they could provide, we didn’t have the resources to do this very complex job.”
SEF extracts data daily from its global data centers and enters it into their Solidify information repository, giving employees access to a centralized cloud-based source. Data and version control are permission level enforced. Employees access an internal view; key customers access private catalogs; and prospects access multi-lingual eCatalogs.