Buckeye Shapeform of Columbus, Ohio, has found a way through the Internet to boost sales of its specialty metal and plastic products.
More tightly focused Web site content has helped Buckeye's uniform resource locator rise to the top of more online searches, officials said. In 2008, a visitor's average viewing experience increased to more than 5.5 pages from 2.5 pages in 2007, and conversion actions jumped to more than 110,000 from about 10,000.
During 2008, the site generated more than 1,000 potential leads, 60 new clients and nearly $100,000 in fresh business, and produced results faster than Buckeye's typical sales development cycle of 12-18 months, President Ken Tumblison said.
The company's four divisions make enclosures, plastic knobs, seamless tin-plated steel containers and deep-draw metal products for original equipment manufacturers worldwide.
Buckeye launched its Web site in 1998, reworked it in 2001, and in 2007 partnered with the ThomasNet unit of Thomas Publishing Co. LLC of New York. Previously, Buckeye had marketed through the publisher's print registers and Web site.
The redesigned Buckeye site was launched in February 2008, featuring an easy-to-use online catalog and better display of products in more than 16,000 configurations.
Buckeye plans to incorporate ThomasNet's computer-aided design solution, which allows an applications engineer to design, download and insert three-dimensional CAD drawings directly into projects.
Product configurations include more than 10,000 knobs, so relevant information helps identify proper configurations: This is a huge benefit to both our internal sales staff and potential customer, Tumblison said.
We feel strongly about the opportunity to grow revenue in our knob business considering the consolidation in the manufacturing sector, he said. There are not many knob manufacturers left. Our challenge is to get our name out there.
Buckeye operates five injection molding machines with clamping forces of 44-200 tons to make instrumentation knob shells and skirts, mostly from ABS pellets. The company also has used polycarbonate, polypropylene, clear acrylic and some structural foams. Other molded products include card guides, bezels, standoffs and flip feet.
The firm uses a computer-numerically controlled routing machine and bending table to mill and bend flat sheets of high impact polystyrene, PC or Kydex thermoplastic for enclosures.
The plastic enclosure segment represents less than 2 percent of our revenue stream, Tumblison said. This is a relatively new product offering and is viewed as a potential growth area. Buckeye also does contract manufacturing of plastic parts for a local company that makes and repairs gas meters, he said. In 2008, resin-based products accounted for about 10 percent of the firm's sales of about $6 million.
Buckeye employs 50 and occupies 80,000 square feet.
Buckeye Stamping Co. Inc. acquired Shapeform Inc. of Plain City, Ohio, in 1996, relocated Shapeform to Columbus in 1997, and since has done business as Buckeye Shapeform.
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