INDUSTRIAL AUTOMATION COMPANY DRIVES GROWTH BY IMPROVING CUSTOMER VALUE This patented GRIP TIGHT" bearing is available to customers via Rockwell Automation websites. It is also available to manufacturers within the PARTsolutions enterprise application suite. Rockwell Automation Power Systems Division provides Dodge® bearings, gearing and power transmission components and Reliance Electric" motors and drives for applications ranging from baggage handling to wastewater and air handling, roller coasters and aircraft carriers.
In Search of Growth As with many companies, Rockwell Automation is focusing on growth. "We challenged our management team to come forward with ideas that would help us grow the business. We particularly looked for ways to drive growth that links to improving value for our customers," Clyde Fowler, Director of Information Technology for the Power Systems Division explained.
"Our 'PTplace.com' e-commerce website has provided a successful Web presence and generated significant revenue. So we naturally looked for solutions that could build on that presence," continued Fowler. Customers Request 3D Native CAD Data Dennis Thompson, Manager of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, rounded out the story.
"From our industry research and from the growing requests for data received by our Engineering Department we knew the desire on the part of customers to use our CAD data ... more. less.
was growing. We became convinced that we could help grow the business and improve customer value by helping reduce the effort and cost to design our products into their systems." "When we talked to customers they expressed a clear demand for 3D as well as 2D and a desire to receive our data in the native format of their CAD system. We found many companies that had two or three CAD systems and they wanted our models in each of those native for- mats," Thompson added.<br><br> Taking Action: Make vs. Buy Rockwell Automation's success with developing systems in-house led them to give their first look to delivering CAD data via in-house resources. We knew this would be a difficult, complex project requiring a lot of resources for hosting infrastructure, creating a website, data reporting and building CAD models, plus we would have only had one or two native formats like Pro/E or AutoCAD available for our customers.<br><br> As a result it made good business sense to explore a variety of alternatives including outsourcing, working with CAD companies and using catalogue listing services," noted Fowler. Evaluating Alternatives "We made a list of our requirements and did a methodical evaluation of vendors and their features. Until we found PARTsolutions we were going to have to compromise on some of those requirements.<br><br> PARTsolutions saved significant money, delivered everything we needed and provided valuable additional capabilities that no other vendor offered," Fowler said. " Robust sales lead growth " Complete solution delivered economically " More than 2 million downloadable configured part/assembly files Rockwell Automation, Power Systems Division C A S E S T U D Y Headquartered in Greenville, South Carolina, the Power Systems Division of Rockwell Automation is an $800 million per year business which manufactures Reliance Electric motors and drives and Dodge gear reducers and bearings. Recently Rockwell Automation partne- red with PARTsolutions to offer its part data online.<br><br> "By engaging PARTsolutions, this onli- ne CAD catalogue effort cost signifi- cantly less, we've gotten it online much sooner and we've received many bene- fits such as native CAD models and a database of all of the user transactions for sales follow-up." W . C l y d e F o w l e r Director of Information Technology Power Systems Rockwell Automation Rockwell Automation customers, including small to very large companies like Procter & Gamble, Caterpillar, etc., insisted on having Dodge and Reliance Electric product lines available in 2D and 3D native CAD formats. Rockwell Automation has delivered for their customers.<br><br> The PARTsolutions Difference "The most obvious difference was PARTsolutions' ability to deliver native data in over 85 CAD and graphics formats. When I first heard about PARTsolutions' ability to do that I thought it sounded too good to be true. I went to our in house Pro/E expert and he was similarly skeptical.<br><br> But we tested it thoroughly and it worked perfectly," Thompson added. There were other differences as well. "PARTsolutions' ability to offer a Rockwell Automation branded website as well as a CD-ROM for our sales channels delivered a significant advan- tage for us," Fowler noted.<br><br> "Multiple language support was also important. Many other solutions didn't offer this. We believe this initiative will be a big factor in growing our business outside of North America." Improved Customer Satisfaction "We will have 20,000 stock part numbers in the PARTsolutions database.<br><br> We've completed a high percentage of the parts in the highest demand on the website and we're going to continue to add more of our product lines." "The best measure of our success is satisfying our customers' design engineers and hearing from them that we're doing just that," said Fowler. "We're seeing downloads grow rapidly and we're talking to them and they're happy. We've had over 1,200 companies download parts in the first few months we've been online.<br><br> We think that's a significant number." Rockwell Automation's customers agree. George Fowler, no relation to Clyde, designs machinery for Procter and Gamble in Jackson TN. "I've downloaded Dodge bearings and really like it.<br><br> It saves significant time. All else being equal, I'll specify the vendor that can save me design time. I've used some of the other part download services and PARTsolutions provides better, more usable data because I can get the data in native format." Driving Growth by Connecting with Customers The ability of their online presence to drive growth is clear to Fowler and Thompson.<br><br> "We're still using traditional marketing approaches, but we're going to trade shows with a tool set that we didn't have before. Every one of our downloads is considered a true lead and is dis- tributed to our sales operation for customer follow up," Fowler continued. "We also have a better understanding of who our customers are.<br><br> One of our early leads was from a huge conveyor manufacturer in Detroit with whom we weren't familiar since they buy through a distributor. In addition, we're getting first hand access to many engineering com- panies who do design work for our ultimate customers." PARTsolutions is a registered trademark of PARTsolutions, LLC. All other company and product names are trademarks of their respective owners.<br><br> 2004 PARTsolutions, LLC. All rights reserved. 6040 Ponders Court, Greenville SC 29615-4617 TEL: 864-281-2339 | Fax : 864-281-2122 http://www.rockwellautomation.com "For us the critical issue was in really articulating what we were trying to do and how it fit our business strategy.<br><br> We realized along the way that to drive gro- wth we needed more than a Web- based parts listing. Building awareness was important but we also wanted to find ways to create customer insistence for our products by embedding our pro- ducts in their designs. As a result, this project has exceeded our expectations in terms of the num- ber of companies that have visited the website and the number of downloads.<br><br> I didn't think we'd see this many this soon." "In these types of endeavors we're loo- king for a true partnership. We didn't want to go down a path which had whoever we selected disappearing in a year or two - or changing their mind or changing their business model. There is no question we made the right choice." W .<br><br> C l y d e F o w l e r Director of Information Technology Power Systems Rockwell Automation "I deal with a lot of outside vendors and suppliers and this is the best quality of work I've ever seen. It exceeds any- thing I've ever dealt with." D e n n i s T h o m p s o n Manager, Computer Integrated Manufacturing and Engineering Computer Support Rockwell Automation P A R T s o l u t i o n s , L L C 200 Techne Center Dr., Suite 118, Milford, OH 45150 Tel: (513) 453-0453 | firstname.lastname@example.org www.partsolutions.com C A S E S T U D Y