KD fasteners - ThomasNet Case Study


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KD Fasteners Secures High-Volume Customers from New Industries to Grow Its Bottom Line. Online strategy from Thomas Industrial Network positions industrial distributor as a leader in the industry, attracting more profitable accounts. Please visit http://promoteyourbusi... for more information about what ThomasNet can do for your business.

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KD fasteners - ThomasNet Case Study

  1. 1. CASE STUDYJanuary 2012 KD Fasteners Secures High-Volume Customers from New Industries to Grow Its Bottom Line Online strategy from Thomas Industrial Network positions industrial distributor as a leader in the industry, attracting more profitable accountsAbout KD Fasteners, Inc.KD Fasteners, Inc. is a small family owned-and-operated distributor of standard and specialtyfasteners of all types, sizes and weights. Their customers are primarily design engineers andpurchasing agents across many industries. KD Fasteners’ parts are rarely noticed by endusers, yet are used to secure mission critical components for countless products. Productsrange from door hardware that attach armor to military Humvees to custom screws that attachcameras onto sky diving helmets, and simple woodscrews used to secure legs to tabletopsand chair seats. The distributor is known for sourcing hard-to-find items too. For instance, theengineers refurbishing Ralph Wilson Stadium, home of the Buffalo Bills, called upon KDFasteners to supply bolts that would not only withstand extreme weather, but still allow for adeep recline of 20,000 luxury seats.Kevin Greschuk founded the Addison, Illinois-based company in 1987 as KD Fasteners andMarine Supplies. At the time, the business provided rust proof and exotic non-ferrous items formarine uses, such as securing railings and tie ropes to boat decks. Such products are ideal forapplications in any harsh, wet condition. Recognizing that this application has a naturalextension to industries like oil drilling, chemical plants, defense and automotive, Mr. Greschukwanted to expand his customer base beyond marine.Challenge: Expanding into new industries and attracting high volume ordersIn order to reach prospects and customers in new industries, Mr. Greschuk knew that hewould have to change his sales approach. First, he changed the company’s name, dropping“marine supplies” in order to broaden the company’s appeal to other industries. Meanwhile,the company’s sales process had relied heavily on print advertising and cold calling, whichfailed to deliver the level of results they wanted. Moreover, the approach was expensive. “Oursales team would make cold calls and leave voicemails that often never got returned,” Mr.Greschuk recalled. “And when we did get appointments, we would spend a lot of timedemonstrating KD Fasteners capabilities. But timing is everything, and unfortunately, ourpresentations were rarely delivered when the prospect was ready to make a purchase.”
  2. 2. Mr. Greschuk believed that the Internet held the key to unlocking doors to both new customersand more profitable orders. He made sure to list the company at www.ThomasNet.com, theonline destination for buyers and sellers of industrial products and services. It was immediatelysuccessful in driving new leads and more traffic to KD Fastener’s website. Yet the companystill struggled to convert that potentially lucrative stream of website visitors into customers.“The issue was getting people to stay on our website and contact us for a quote. We werelosing them,” lamented Mr. Greschuk. “Prospects were having a difficult time finding what theywere looking for on our site and would just leave.”Solution: An online sales channel that works like a crackerjack sales team toattract qualified prospects from new industriesMr. Greschuk turned to Thomas Industrial Network again, this time to develop a better websiteexperience that would a) attract qualified prospects on its own, then, b) entice them to stayand do business.Thomas Industrial Network recommended that the distributor deploy a new Internet strategy,powered by its proprietary technology, the Navigator Platform. This platform allows KDFasteners to display its breadth of over 100,000 different products, attract qualified customersfrom a broad swath of industries, and ultimately lead them to request a quote.Working hand-in-hand with Thomas Industrial Network’s engineers and industry experts, theteam built an online catalog, complete with technical descriptions, photos and other specificproduct details. The technology that Thomas Industrial Network deployed for the onlinecatalog anticipates how design engineers and purchasing agents like to search for componentparts and request quotes. It uses precise product descriptions that reflect the language thatprospects use in their research, like “inconel eyebolts” or “brass bolts.” That sort of specificityis key, because it propels KD Fasteners to the top of an engineer’s typical online search. Nowstandard search engine traffic complements the site visits the company already receives fromits presence on ThomasNet.com.Once visitors arrive at KD Fasteners’ website, the content, functionality and design encouragethem to stay. They can see at a glance that the company can source just about any fastener.Yet the site’s organization is such that visitors are not overwhelmed by having to sort throughsuch a large product catalog. Instead, prospective customers can easily browse among 20product categories, from anchors and toggles, to rivets, to wood screws. Clicking on acategory link, such as “Machine Screws,” lets them browse available sizes, types, materialsand finishing services to make their selection. For those who know exactly what they want,they can search by keyword or part number. Because so many of KD Fasteners’ customersare engineers seeking custom parts for their projects, visitors can either request moreinformation, or create and submit a detailed request for quote (RFQ) at any point in theprocess.Results: From defense contractors to agricultural machinery OEMs, an onlinesales channel generates surge in new markets and large-scale ordersThe results attributed to the new online strategy surpassed Mr. Greschuk’s forecasts, pulling innew prospects from a variety of new industries that place high volume orders.Among them are:
  3. 3.  A $175,000 project for a defense contractor that required a custom-sized bolt for vehicles used in Iraq;  An agricultural machine manufacturer ordered a large volume of specialized corrosion- resistant bolts for an intricate grain conveyer system;  An oil drilling company needed a hard-to-find custom insert lock nut. The customer had already invested 2 weeks looking for a supplier when he found KD Fasteners online. KD Fasteners was able to source the item in just 2 hours.“It’s amazing, the things we sell now that we never sold before,” Mr. Greschuk said. “That’swhat we love about this industry.”The new online strategy has also generated a surge in qualified quote requests, without KDFastener’s team making a single outbound sales call.“I love that buyers come to us now,” Mr. Greschuk said. “The cold calls were incrediblyinefficient and costly. Now our staff is freed up to help service more inbound requests.”With each inquiry, the company also grows its database, efficiently capturing information tocultivate long-term relationships.“Thomas Industrial Network’s web strategy makes us look like a giant in the industry,” said Mr.Greschuk. “They’ve created an online presence that makes us look very professional, credibleand comprehensive – and gives customers confidence that we can handle any order.” ###