Archive for the ‘Marketing’ Category
While strong underpinnings are an integral key to success in any industry, an ability to weather the storm and grow with the times are also necessary components. American manufacturers capable of accomplishing this then serve as the “go to” business model ~ ever-affirming that a steadfast commitment to provide quality, exceptional products matters most. Kryton Engineered Metals is one such phenomenal manufacturer; here’s why:
Company Faces Challenges Head-On
When Kevin Harberts, CEO and Chairman of the Board of Kryton Engineered Metals started his company in 1982, it was just a dream fueled by a “can do” attitude. Kryton has experienced tremendous business growth over the past 30+ years, but finds himself challenged by the recession that is hanging on in the Midwest. “Growth is hard, and growth is a challenge,” Harberts said. “It requires strategy and patience and an ability to keep both yourself and your entire company motivated and focused on keeping things moving forward in the right direction.” Kryton repeatedly relies on a “make it happen” philosophy to meet customer demands while moving in a positive direction.
Looking for Record Growth by 2017
Business growth is a challenge even in the best of times, but when an economy is mired in a slump it makes the task just that much harder. Harberts looks for Kryton Engineered Metals to double in size by 2017, but he’s not expecting the growth to be easy. “We realize the process is going to be very strategic and is going to require a change in training and an overall change in the culture of our company,” he said. He’s looking to expand his sales base globally now that the company is the major supplier in North America. That doesn’t mean advancing globally won’t be a challenge. Europe’s economy continues to struggle. Metal exports to the region have dropped from 24% of all exports to just 9%. China is predicting a bad year as well, which, when combined with a strengthening dollar, means bad news for metal exports. Strengthening U.S. demand could offset a weakened picture overseas.
The Painted Vision Provides Clear Picture of Future
By providing a clear mission statement and spelling out the responsibilities on the shoulders of each employee, Kryton paints a picture of the roadmap to business growth.
- Teamwork, and
are the values that make up the building blocks of Kryton’s planned growth. The company focuses on exceeding customer expectations by utilizing continuous process improvement and building relationships with clients. “Kryton very much so has its eyes on the future. And, that’s why I liked the idea of instituting the Painted Vision idea,” Harberts said. “It’s a way of getting employees on board and in the loop.”
Business Growth at 12% Over Last Three Years
Through Kryton’s commitment to customer satisfaction on all levels, the company has experienced a 12% rise in profits in the last 36 months. Much of that is due to a satisfied customer base, but a good part of the growth goes back to the creation of the Z-team, a unit of super sales pros that keep the work flowing into the manufacturing group. The rise in sales translates into more modern equipment, better wages and expansion.
A Clean Facility is a Growing Facility
Visitors to Kryton’s manufacturing center constantly comment on the cleanliness of the facility. An organized and clean shop floor lends itself to more efficient production and reflects the pride the employees have in a job well done. Despite the constant hum of machinery and buzz of activity on the manufacturing floor, there is a real sense of teamwork between different departments and shifts.
Social Media and Manufacturing
When we finally made the decision to go all-in with social media for Kryton Engineered Metals I’ll admit I was very skeptical at first. Collectively, we weren’t sure if outreach on social media platforms would provide any real benefits to a company like ours in the manufacturing industry, and we were fully prepared to brush these potential efforts off as a waste of time.
However, we ended up hiring & working with a marketing firm in our area to coordinate these efforts, and in a short amount of time, the results have been outstanding. Despite not knowing the direct, concrete benefits of our online connections, we can see our company’s reach expanding and our online audience growing daily. In just 3 months, we’ve seen our Twitter followers grow by more than 250, our Google+ company page views increase by more than 10,000, and our LinkedIn followers increase by 33%!
As mentioned before, there’s no way of knowing the financial benefits that are directly derived from this type of marketing, and I think that idea is where most of my skepticism came from. As an owner, it’s important to know that what you are doing is producing some desired results on the other end. It’s like that in manufacturing a product, and it’s certainly like that in a business management process.
Fast forward 3 short months, the data and feedback we received made the major difference in my understanding and appreciation of social media marketing within the manufacturing industry.
For example, we established a Twitter profile for Kryton in April 2014, but left it relatively stagnant. Occasional posts were made to the page, but no real efforts were made. As a result, Kryton gained 1 follower in roughly 2 months. Then the marketing firm we work with made some changes to our Twitter presence, posted quality, engaging content consistently, and frequently made attempts to reach out to other related users. The quarterly data we received explained that we had not only increased our followership by 250, but had been mentioned 43 times and retweeted 17 times. The total number followers held by the accounts interacting with us and sharing our information was 171,843. This combined with our followers, means that our potential reach on Twitter was expanded this quarter to 172,093 Twitter users, compared to only 1 in the previous quarter. If that continues at a similar rate, Kryton’s yearly reach could expand to 750,000 Twitter users. If even only 0.5% of those users become followers, and only 0.5% of those followers end up directly bringing new business to Kryton’s doors, that’s 19 new customers that we never would’ve even known existed before. And, that’s just one social media platform.
The benefits of an engaging social media marketing campaign can be represented by an ongoing cycle. The more engagement you can inspire through creative content, and the more interactions you can create through community development measures, the more overall views you’re going to generate for your company. That increase in views is going to generate more followers, and this ultimately opens up more opportunities for engagement and interaction, starting the process over again. And each time that process cycles around, small handfuls of repeat visitors and interested fans begin to break off.
The type of promotion that Social Media platforms permit is vital to manufacturing companies like Kryton, trying to separate themselves from the rest of the pack on a quality-basis. We can now post pictures or videos of specific processes that go on everyday here. We can actually give fans and potential customers a glimpse at our products, at our culture, inside our facilities, and inside our processes.
Whether it’s from an online customer review, a blog post, or a Social Media campaign, viewers can actually see, in a creative, engaging, and concrete way, the great things that we’re doing at Kryton. And we really do make great products! We have a talented, dedicated staff of employees at every level, a great facility, and state-of-the-art technology. So why not share that with as many people as possible?!
The entire world moves further and further towards the digital side of things every day, and the manufacturing industry is not omitted from that trend. We’ve always thought of ourselves as innovators at Kryton, and we truly think social media will prove to be a great avenue keeping us relevant as we continue growing as a company!