Company: Budnick Converting, Columbia, Ill. Target audience: Engineers and industrial buyers Key Web executive: Lance Schneider, e-business manager No. of employees who work on the site: Eight Last major redesign: The site officially launched in December 2004 No. of pages on site: About 4,300 Web developer: In-house
Budnick Converting sells and converts adhesive tapes and foams from all of the top industry manufacturers. When customers call in to order, they have hundreds of options and multiple suppliers to choose from. Last year, Budnick decided it would make the lives of tape users easier by creating a Web site that helps them spec out, research and purchase adhesive tapes and foams regardless of the vendor or supplier. Last December, Tapeinfo.com was born. Budnick users who know what they want can search by industry, type of tape, manufacturer, keyword or part number. But the site offers an equally impressive service to users who don’t know what they want. Its killer app—Find-a-Tape—lets visitors search more than 7,000 types of tape in one of four ways. For example, the Build-a-Tape feature lets them build a tape by selecting specific attributes, such as the type of adhesive, manufacturer or color. Solve-a-Tape acts like an online customer service person, asking leading questions about what users are looking for and providing one or more options that can fill their needs. Compare-a-Tape, which gives users alternate, comparable options; and Spec-a-Tape, which uncovers what tapes meet chosen specifications, round out the site. The efforts have paid off. Although none of the information is proprietary—anyone could use Budnick’s site but still order from a competitor—it’s become a new sales channel and the company’s largest lead generator. Less than a year ago, the company only took phone orders. Now more than 25% of its orders are processed online. Even more impressive, more than 50% of all Budnick’s sales leads come from the Web site. “We’re always improving on that, too,” Schneider said. “We recently added capabilities on the e-commerce side that allow our customers to peer into our stock and see how much of something we have on hand. We’re making our customers more productive, and we’ve created a place that fosters ideas.”
Hoa Loranger: When you arrive at this site, you know exactly what they do. No playing games with meaningless taglines and gratuitous language. The site offers multiple tools to help you find products, and you don’t have to be a Web-wiz to figure out how to use it. This customer-oriented design is noteworthy and not often found on Web sites. Kate Everett-Thorp: A perfect example of some of the complex challenges b-to-b sites face on the Web. How do you communicate a specific yet voluminous product line? Tapeinfo.com does a nice job with its Advanced Product Search, Find-a-Tape—a useful tool to inform new and existing customers and upsell additional products to both.