Fenner Drives Case Study

"Our website is for people to find and learn about our products. Today, an online search is the first research people do. Our goal is to ensure they find us 24*7*365 and have a digital experience as close as possible to physically handling the product via photos, 360 degree images, and CAD models followed by the ability to purchase products online. CAD downloads are driving huge traffic to our website. We are seeing more and more downloads - already 600-900 per month - and we regard all of these as qualified sales leads (the CAD download is a qualifier that turns a contact into a prospect). For our sales team these leads can be new prospects or from existing customers, alerting us to the start of new projects. Offering CAD downloads is now 'table stakes' for industrial suppliers and don't even think about doing it yourselves as we did the first time around – with CDS's SaaS solution we are providing a far better user experience with infinitely better analytics."
Frank Fatato, VP Product Management, Fenner Drives

Customer Profile

Fenner Drives is a worldwide leader in the design and manufacture of added-value, problem solving products for power transmission, motion transfer and conveying applications – from high performance composite V-belts to keyless bushings. With over 200 employees and ISO 9001 certified production facilities in Manheim, PA and Wilmington, NC, Fenner Drives possesses a wealth of manufacturing, technical and commercial expertise. Frank Fatato, VP of Product Management for Fenner Drives, recently partnered with CDS in the hopes of finding a solution to several issues with their website that he felt were adversely affecting sales and customer satisfaction.

Problems

CAD Models – Fenner Drives customers are design engineers who spec' in our products as components in their designs. Using one of our CAD models saves them time and helps ensure accuracy. If design engineers can't quickly and easily find the CAD model they need they may simply go elsewhere and we lose the sales opportunity. Providing CAD models is therefore essential for customer satisfaction and sales support. Fenner Drives previously built and maintained CAD models on its website, but experienced the following challenges:

Our CAD engineers used to build the models in a limited number of formats and we had those on our website – customers would often call asking for different formats which we'd create individually and email or send a CD to the prospective customer. This consumed significant time from our internal engineering resources and distracted them from their core mission of designing new Fenner Drives products.

  1. We had a less than optimal user experience that required double user registration – one for website access, one for CAD downloads. This was an integration problem that was inconvenient and annoying to our customers.

  2. CAD models couldn't be viewed in a web browser – our previous viewer required download and installation on the user's local machine and had many issues that we had to contend with.

  3. Our previous solution wasn't able to provide detailed user analytics for each CAD model download.

  4. Our website was organized by product line – as one customer put it, "you had to know the products to find what you needed". This worked for existing customers but not for new prospects.

Adapting to the changed industrial selection and buying process – Today, an online search is the first research people do. Many customers now research, select and order products online, often without even talking to a supplier. Fenner Drives' website needed to adapt to this new reality in such a way that product search was intuitive and easy to use and our website influences the process so our products are selected.

Staying current with technology - we recognized that we needed a CAD download tool that is not just at today's technological leading edge but also likely to stay up-to-date and keep our website effective in the future.

Solutions

We chose CDS for their proven software technology, the expertise of their team and their flexibility to our needs. CDS's online CAD solutions were completely adaptable to the look and feel of our website and readily integrated into our new website. A CDS competitor we looked at required a second sign-on and couldn't provide the analytical data we wanted. Specifically CDS solved the 4 challenges listed above:

  1. Users can choose from multiple CAD formats – all generated automatically by the CDS ModelServer. User requests for different formats have disappeared since we launched the CDS Solutions.

  2. We now have a streamlined single sign-on user experience – the integration capability of the CDS ModelServer enabled this. User complaints about multiple sign-on have been totally eliminated.

  3. CAD models can now be viewed in a web browser – users are now provided with an excellent 3D 'digital experience' of Fenner Drives products.

  4. We have comprehensive and detailed analytics on what is downloaded and by whom. This valuable sales lead data is automatically synched to our CRM system.

Our new website navigation is flexibly organized by markets and by applications – it uses the language of each market and application area so users can reach a product detail page (and the relevant CAD model) by multiple routes through this navigation or simply by searching for a product code.

Another important advantage from CDS is that our product and CAD information is now centrally managed for ease of maintenance and syndication to multiple locations including our website and even 3DModelSpace.com – the CAD search engine – which is drawing large numbers of new high quality visitors to our website.

Results

Industrial product selection and procurement has changed - our customers now research and select products online. Our website is for people to find and learn about our products. Our goal is to ensure they find us 24*7*365 and have a digital experience as close as possible to physically handling the product via photos, 360 degree images, and CAD models followed by the ability to purchase products online.

We've empowered our customers to intuitively and easily find and select the right product from our website, and via CAD downloads incorporate it directly into their CAD designs. It's now much easier for designers to narrow down their search to the right product, quickly find technical information, and download the associated CAD model. Customer feedback has been extremely positive and to date no customer complaints have been received by Fenner Drives. This is a testament to the reliability and dependability of the CDS technology and team. We unreservedly recommend CDS – not only on the technology and team but also on cost and value delivered.

The CDS solution has been a great success. CAD downloads are driving huge traffic to our website. We are seeing more and more downloads - already 600-900 per month - and we regard all of these as qualified sales leads (the CAD download is a qualifier that turns a contact into a prospect). For our sales team these leads can be new prospects or from existing customers, alerting us to the start of new projects. Providing online CAD downloads is now 'table stakes' for industrial suppliers (like accepting credit cards!) and don't even think about trying to do this in-house as we did the first time around – with CDS's SaaS solution we are providing a far better user experience with infinitely better analytics. Our future plans include adding product configurators to our website that will further improve the customer experience.