Each and every day design engineers and procurement managers across the world search for new suppliers. What have you done to position yourself to have a shot at all of this business? Most likely, your first opportunity will happen without you knowing about it.
That’s right - the first place these folks are looking is your website.
If you just groaned because you have been putting off updating your website for years, don’t worry, you’re in good company. You run a very busy manufacturing business and you most likely aren’t sure where to start.
The following are the five most important pieces of information that design engineers and procurement managers are searching for when considering new suppliers:
1) Capabilities Information
First and foremost, they need to know that you can perform the service they are seeking. This means you need to have very detailed information about the fabricating and manufacturing services that you offer.
In depth content on your abilities around materials used, achievable tolerances, maximum dimensions, quality processes, production volumes, industries served, secondary services and drawing formats accepted. This will let the engineers and industrial buyers know they have found a viable vendor, but it is not enough.
2) Machine List
Frequently your machine list will say a lot about who you are as a business and what you are capable of manufacturing. For example, listing a simple Bridgeport Lathe just lets engineers and buyers know you can do turning, but doesn’t speak to any real specialization.
However, if you have a 5 Axis Haas CNC machine, this lets the world know that you deal in highly complex geometry and very specialized components. List as many as you feel comfortable with and organize them into the services that they provide.
Promote the fact that you have met the criteria for the various certifications you hold. Some potential customers will not consider working with you without the right certifications. Be sure to display these prominently on the website and provide the ability to download or request the documentation.
Everyone loves a shop tour. Admit it, you love giving them, too! The reason you do this in person is to show your capabilities as well as the scope, safety, and quality processes of your facility. Most custom manufacturers tell me “If I get them to the shop, they’ll want to work with us.”
Why wait for the in person visit? Get some video of your plant in operation on your website to give prospective customers that early view of who you are and what you can do for them in the supply chain.
5) Sample Project Information
Engineers and procurement managers want to see the types of projects you’ve worked on and parts that you have manufactured. You know that glass case full of parts you point to and explain when visitors come to the shop? Take that same information that you convey in person and get it onto your website.