The web could be the answer to boost Britain’s manufacturing output to get it out of the recession, claims a Sheffield web expert.
And businesses that don’t use the shop window of the web could succumb to the slump, says Alan Easter. Those that do can break into new markets and help rebuild Britain’s economy.
One chemical manufacturer is already reaping the benefits of an improved web presence with inquiries up nearly 20 times and new sales to emerging economies.
Alan, whose company Arkom
specialises in scalable websites, said MEL Chemicals had penetrated markets other manufacturers were failing to get into.
“They are now selling into India and China – two of the so-called BRIC countries that business leaders are telling us are vital to Britain’s recovery.
“If manufacturers don’t up their game and market themselves better, not only will they miss out on the opportunities out there, but they could even go under.
“At the moment just under half of Britain’s exports go to Europe, which is obviously an important market, but with all the problems there manufacturers also need to be looking further afield.
“A strong web presence with the best search engine optimisation really can make all the difference between breaking into those vital new markets or stagnating - or even worse,” said Alan.
Only four per cent of Britain’s exports go to the BRIC countries of Brazil, Russia, India and China, compared with 11 per cent of German exports. A figure which has prompted the CBI to campaign for Government help for manufacturers.
MEL Chemicals, which produces and supplies inorganic chemicals for use in everything from water treatment works and catalytic converters to false teeth and fuel cells, saw its monthly sales inquiries rocket once Arkom redesigned the website. The new website has also led to the company selling into India and China.
Liz Hogan, business development manager, at MEL Chemicals, which has its UK headquarters in Manchester, said: “The new website has made a huge difference to the business. We saw sales inquiries go from about four a month to more than 70 in December 2011 and now the inquiries literally come from all over the world.”
“Gone are the days when you just relied on going to trade fairs. They are still very useful, but the website gives you leads everywhere every day, not just in a few places in the world a few times a year
“Businesses have to be more web-savvy these days and realise that the web can do the marketing much more easily and in a much more cost-effective way.
“So our main marketing tool now is the website and it has to be designed in such a way that not only do search engines pick it up, but once they do it is easy to navigate around.”
Arkom build scalable websites, mainly for manufacturers. They can be fine-tuned as often as necessary, rather than having to be re-built from scratch every few years.
Their other clients include Downs Surgical of Sheffield, CCS Electronics of Scunthorpe, Lab M of Bury, GSM Valtech of Wetherby and Advanced Doors of Huddersfield.
“We are working with firms across the north to drive more visitors to their websites and then convert those visitors to enquiries. This two pronged attack works to attract buyers not only in this country, but also all over the world,” said Alan.
“As well as maximising SEO, companies must make sure their website is up to date because basically it is your shop window to the world.
“Politicians keep talking about rebuilding Britain by rebuilding manufacturing, but we need to let the rest of the world know that Britain is open for business. What better way to do that than a website that actually works? MEL Chemicals have proved it really can make a difference.”
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS
Arkom are a specialist provider of web strategy and solutions to manufacturing companies in the North of England. Arkom formed in 1993 and specialise in building scalable websites from their base in Sheffield. Arkom also provide ongoing customer care to fine tune performance to a company’s global marketplace as a part of a long term web strategy.
For more information about Arkom contact Alan Easter on 0844 375 0742 or 0797 456 0825 or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Registered address: Aizelwoods Mill, Nursery Street, Sheffield, S3 8GG.
MEL Chemicals is one of the world´s leading manufacturer of zirconium chemicals; part of the Luxfer Group, MEL Chemicals has production facilities in Manchester in the UK; in Flemington, New Jersey in the USA (MEL Chemicals Inc), and Shimizu in Japan (Nikkei MEL).