Fresh off the launch of their new website, Emuge’s Information Systems Manager, Derek Belanger sat down with Boldwerks to talk about the project and give his two-cents on what he enjoyed about the working process of designing and developing the site with the Boldwerks crew.
Boldwerks: What do you think about the new site? Does it address all goals that were sought at the outset of the project?
Derek Belanger: We are really proud of the newly renovated emuge.com! It represents a lot of work and a healthy blend of intellectual and creative thinking. Starting out, we had a few goals and we must have done a good job of setting them because we didn’t have to add or drop any.
One goal was to enable quicker, easier content updates. We reached this goal by finely organizing content types (products, services, etc.) so that a template approach to content publication could be taken. Another thing that helped us reach this goal is the use of a great backend content management system (Drupal) which came as a spot-on recommendation from Boldwerks. Short and long run success of a project can be hamstrung by technology limitations - and Boldwerks helped us avoid that trouble and instead pick exactly the right technologies to meet our needs.
Another goal we had was revolutionary for our company. We've always had product catalogs in print or PDF format and we wanted to make the transition to a fully searchable online catalog. We also recognized that taking this step could enable features that where never possible before. Two features especially stood out to us:
- The first opportunity was presenting a complete set of product information. Each of our products obviously has physical and usage information that would need to be displayed on page, but there is also a variety of marketing and technical PDFs, files used for technical implementation (CAD), marketing and technical videos and who knows what else... The compilation of all this information and material represents tens of thousands of database records and even more supporting and downloadable files. There is also the need to help the customer transition from the research to purchasing phase with confidence inspiring messaging and clear steps to the next action. Boldwerks helped us accomplish this for every one of our thousands of products.
- The second opportunity was providing intelligence tools to ease the product selection process. With all the tools and information mentioned above, how would anyone ever find what they are looking for? A customer can do that in our online catalog in about four clicks. Incredible!
Boldwerks: How does the new site benefit Emuge?
Belanger: This basically comes down to one point. We're a brilliant company who really appreciates our customers and now emuge.com helps us prove to the world who we are and how we feel.
Boldwerks: How does the site differentiate Emuge from your competitors?
Belanger: We try not to watch our competitors too closely because that leads to a reactive decision making process and takes focus away from things that are much more important, but we can't help noticing some differences. Many of our observations come through the eyes of our customers. More than any other comment, we now hear how easy to use the new website is to navigate. Honestly, there is no greater compliment because we built this for them and “easy” means we did a good job; but more important it means they like it. It’s also possible that emuge.com has the best online tool selection technologies in the world! If that isn’t distinguishing, what is? About our online tool finder one customer said:
‘Now, that’s how it should be done! Good job on not only getting something people could use, but have it look good. Many companies that have something like this that I deal with (not just cutting tool companies) will put something up, but usually it's either buggy, very crude or gives you incorrect data. Yours doesn't fall into any of those categories.’
Boldwerks: What are the business impacts that are associated with this site?
Belanger: For us the strongest business impact is in good will, reputation, and to some degree, product promotion. You really can encourage customer loyalty with a well-crafted website. We believe we are now doing this better than ever before. Use of analytics to study customer interest and behavior is very valuable, and Boldwerks made sure really great business intelligence tools are available to us. In fact with so much product data and marketing material available on our website we may be able to make significant business decisions based on the telemetry we collect.
Boldwerks: Did Boldwerks meet your expectations?
Belanger: In technological implementation, creative power and quality of character every member of Bold Werks has met our expectations.
Boldwerks: Can you comment on the quality of the work? Would you recommend Boldwerks to those seeking a design firm?
Belanger: Ok, quality… I want to explain this carefully because it is something that is easy to evaluate inaccurately. Building a website is a product and a service. To recognize why this is important, think of the project as a trip in an automobile. Many vehicles would get you where you want to go, some, maybe more, wouldn’t! Still, of the vehicles that could possibly reach your destination, would you be happy with every one of them? Boldwerks will get you where you want to go and make getting there an enjoyable trip. I felt like this was accomplished most powerfully by their patient enthusiasm and willingness to communicate. Building a sophisticated website is a lot of work for everyone; the customer and the developer. This means you have to work together – a lot! It was really great working with Boldwerks …There is no greater quality than this!
Boldwerks: Further Comments?
Belanger: Don’t. Go. Anywhere. Else.