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Streamlining Inbound Marketing:
Falconer Electronics Develops In-house Quote Tool
Falconer Electronics has been a successful manufacturer of custom Wire Harnesses and Ground Straps since 1985. Yet, like many companies in the contract manufacturing arena, attracting new customers who fit their core competency became a challenge. As Roger Hall, Founder and President of Falconer Electronics explained, “There is a tendency to try to be everything to everybody. Someone knocks on your door, you respond, and you end up chasing things that aren’t really in your wheelhouse.” By embracing eCommerce and Inbound Marketing strategies, however, the company is changing this tendency, and focusing on its core strengths.
“To start, we decided to make an investment in creating two robust software tools to help streamline the purchasing process for our customers,” Roger revealed. The Ground Strap Quote Builder and the Wire Harness Estimator were created as a result. Because of the simplicity of their design, and the relative few inputs for configuration, the Ground Strap Quote Builder was an easier task. “Customers input data regarding specific requirements, and then receive a near-instant email quote on those customizations. The entire five-step process is simple and takes about 60 seconds or less,” he outlined. The five inputs are: RoHS compliance (yes/no), width and length of braided wire, A and B side terminal selection, terminal orientation (selection from seven illustrations), and finally, the specific quality needed. The Quote Builder includes video instruction with each step.
The Wire Harness Estimator works in a similar fashion, but as Roger advised, “Due to the near infinite number of variables in building a wire harness assembly, this tool provides an estimate only.” The tool allows the customer to enter their wire harness assembly information which includes adding actual manufacturer part numbers into the program. Once complete, the user receives an estimate instantly via email. “This creates immediate engagement with the customer,” he elaborated, “which typically converts to a Request for Quote soon after.”
According to Roger, the tool works great for new customers who want to compare prices with their current vendors. In addition, new product developers, engineers and those in purchasing who need a ballpark price promptly, find the Wire Harness Estimator extremely helpful. The development experience has been helpful to Falconer as well. “By creating these tools, it’s really helped us narrow down what we do and given us a more concise focus,” he continued.
“As a wire harness or ground strap assembly manufacturer, you don’t have a proprietary product per se,” Falconer Electronics eCommerce Consultant Curt Anderson suggested, “but you have a proprietary process.” He refers to what they are doing with these tools as, “scaling your proprietary process,” and he added that, this fall, Falconer will piggyback with some marketing firms to do workshops with other companies in their area. “In the workshops, we’ll be exploring how these tools help create a sales funnel to narrow focus so that you’re not chasing leads or product lines that aren’t a good fit.”
Curt explained Falconer is really trying to change the old school, back and forth, quote process. He sincerely hopes their efforts are a beacon for others. “Our goal is to encourage other U.S. contract manufacturers to embrace eCommerce strategies, as well as explore offering an online quoting tool to help reduce the cumbersome RFQ process.” He is convinced that allowing customers to make an easy and efficient buying decision lends to a healthy competitive advantage. “Especially as we all work together to strengthen the foothold of USA Made products in this highly competitive global market,” he concluded.