It can be a crowded market for manufacturers to get noticed and engage with customers. Membership with an organisation such as Made In Britain helps manufacturers differentiate themselves and raise awareness. Once this is done, where does the customer go next in the buying process? In particular engineers who are increasingly moving to an online digital journey.
As the world went digital and continues to rapidly evolve so have the engineers designing the new products and machines for today and tomorrow. Along with the advance of digital technology the expectation of industrial consumers & engineers increased and it gave them more information and purchasing influence than before.
This change is illustrated in reports such as that by IEEE GlobalSpec that states engineers say they complete 60% of their buying journey online now and research by Gartner and Forrester that suggests the online buying process may grow to 80% by 2020.
This change in the buying journey directly affects companies like Power Jacks who manufacture precision lifting, positioning and actuation equipment, which generally is a component part of a much larger machine or system. Such as a steel processing machine, retractable stadium roof, paper machine or an aircraft platform lift. The manufacture of these machines & systems requires engineers to design multi-part assemblies which can be large and complex. Re-drawing catalogue data is not a worthwhile use of an engineer’s time so the ability to download the desired CAD model of the required component is the attractive option and in doing so enters the engineer into the online buying process.
“Having CAD available on a website is a necessity today, however having the right products that are configurable, easy to access, fast and accessible on any device is the expectation of our customers.” says Marketing Director Bruce Hamper.
At Power Jacks rather than just making a library of CAD models available on a website they went further to offer engineers an interactive online CAD library so the engineer can configure the product they need in 3D and then download the model in a native CAD format. Creating an efficient and memorable experience that the engineer wants to repeat for the next project.
The Power Jacks Portal – accessed via the company's website www.powerjacks.com – offers a single point of access to engineering resources, which includes two key services:
- a CAD Configurator, enabling users with a sound technical knowledge of their requirements to select a product type and then tailor it to their specific needs. From there, a CAD model can be downloaded in 3D or 2D in over 100 native formats and a dynamic data sheet generated.
- a Product Selector, allowing customers unfamiliar with a product or with less technical knowledge to enter their application parameters and let a built-in engineering intelligence system recommend the optimum product solution. The system then generates a CAD model and datasheet along with a summary of calculated values.
"It's our way of empowering customers who want to benefit from Power Jacks' capabilities and expertise, and want to do so swiftly and efficiently," says Bruce.
The investment in configurable online 3D CAD is not restricted to just users of the portal. Their website allows users without registering or logging in to use Interactive 3D Previews of models on their product pages. This helps people unfamiliar with the products to quickly learn about the product form and main variants as part of the digital experience.
“The wealth of information the website provides is extensive and provides a valuable companion and engineering tool to the standard product catalogues,” adds Bruce.
“Over the last 12 months we’ve seen a 230% increase in CAD downloads and a 30% increase in sales leads from the website”.
If you are a Made In Britain member or are considering membership and would like to know more about Power Jacks online tools in particular the interactive 3D CAD then please email email@example.com as sharing knowledge and experience between members is one of the many benefits