Updating a manufacturing website

Until recently, most American manufacturers didn’t have much use for a comprehensive web & brand strategy. The need just hasn’t been there – until now.

Manufacturers today are discovering that with the right strategy their previously underutilized, untouched and, unloved website can be transformed into a forward-reaching, powerhouse recruitment and service differentiation tool.

With the total costs of US manufacturing dropping (compared to Asia), US manufacturers are seeing revenue growth ahead. A different future than what was forecasted just a few years ago.That change however, exacerbates a problem that manufacturers have been increasingly struggling with over the last several years:

Finding, recruiting, hiring, and retaining good entry-level, career-minded people.

It’s not a secret that most manufacturers are in a constant struggle to find good, quality, career-focused, long-term employees. The resurgence of US manufacturing in the past 10 years has not only made finding the solution more urgent, it is exacerbated by the need for entry-level workers walking on the job with a higher set of skills compared to their counterparts from the previous decade.

The competition for that dwindling talent pool is fierce, and yet your manufacturing brand (website, internal/external communications strategy) hasn’t been touched since 2002 – if at all!

The most common way a prospective employee checks out the company is via the website (especially the computer/code savvy ones). The site and overall experience however, is old, out-of-date, unimpressive, and uninspiring, and creates more questions than answers, and oftentimes eliminates your business from serious contention before you ever knew you were being considered.

If your first impression was that the company in question was old and out-of-date, what would you think about the company culture, their ability to innovate, and subsequently your ability to be a part of something extraordinary, a place to start and develop your career? Not terribly encouraging. Maybe you apply, more than likely you’ll just move along to someplace more compelling.

Manufacturing Spotlight: UGN

Manufacturing Industry Website and Brand Development: A Case Study:

Our client, UGN had this challenge. CEO, Peter Anthony, recognized however that the solution wasn’t something that would be solved entirely by HR. This was at its core a marketing problem. Unfortunately, like the majority of medium-sized manufacturers, they didn’t have a marketing department, and as an OEM auto-parts manufacturer they didn’t need one.

Peter recognized the heaviest lift in the communications channel is the first impression and thiers needed a dramatic change.

First, we completely redesigned the website and brought it up to current web standards.

Second, the core messaging had to change. Even though UGN had an identifiable and proprietary logo, their Brand had not been thoroughly developed to support a focused web-based communications strategy. After weeks of interviews throughout the organization,  the brand strategy was reorganized to highlight the values of UGN as a cohesive team, the high quality of their products, and perhaps most importantly, emphasize the incredible work UGN does to develop the new hires into long-term employees.

Our proposed strategy sought to capture, engage, and elevate the conversation of employee value and their stories.

UGN is unique that they are well ahead of the curve when it comes to manufacturing communications. That is a formidable position when outbound communications creates a significant advantage toward recruitment.  

The key to success in manufacturing communications is having a partner who understands digital design, brand development, employee/company culture and how it all ties together.

Revamping your website is a good start, but without a serious attention to how your business communicates and what it’s communicating, the solution is only skin deep.