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Case Study - Creating a One-of-a-Kind Online Resource for the Steel Industry

Client: Carpenter Technology Corporation
Reading, PA

The Scenario: Utilizing the Internet to reach new customers

Against the backdrop of the e-business explosion, Carpenter, a manufacturer of custom alloys, recognized that its extensive paper database of technical information regarding its products was a unique resource within the marketplace and one of the factors that differentiated the company from its competitors. As a result, Carpenter decided to explore ways of converting this technical data into a searchable, electronic format, suitable for the World Wide Web.

The Challenge: Recognizing the need for specialists

The highly specialized nature of the information content presented several challenges for the Carpenter team. First of all, early efforts demonstrated that an understanding of the information content, as well as the online delivery mechanism, was needed to develop a viable electronic tool. In addition, the established methodology for developing and maintaining the data in a print format was not an ideal match for online use.

The Approach: Allocate appropriate resources and establish viable processes

  • Conduct comprehensive national vendor search to uncover firm experienced in managing materials information and in the development of materials databases – Qualified partner was found in Wyoming
  • Work closely with Carpenter team and external vendor to create content-specific search functionality to fully capitalize on the richness of the available information, including proprietary visual aids developed by Carpenter
  • Establish new internal processes for gathering and maintaining data in a manner more appropriate for electronic delivery

The Result: A one-of-a-kind online resource for the steel industry

  • A fully functional online database accessible through all Carpenter web sites that includes thirteen different ways to search for an alloy, as well as the ability to conduct head-to-head comparisons among alloys
  • Streamlined internal processes including the elimination of a 2000-piece customer mailing to disseminate updates and changes to the printed alloy data sheets
  • A unique internal training tool that enables new Carpenter employees to learn about the company's extensive product offerings

Examine the finished product yourself at www.cartech.com (from the home page, select "Technical Information").

Copyright 2002 Lim, Norris & Associates, Inc. All rights reserved.