LAYING THE FOUNDATION
RFC became the first voestalpine company in the United States in 2000 when it was acquired by global steel and technology company, voestalpine AG. One of about five hundred voestalpine companies worldwide, voestalpine AG, is headquartered out of Linz, Austria, along with sister roll forming companies from around the globe, giving RFC a global presence. Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, RFC now has 8 locations, more than a hundred roll forming lines and adjacent technology processes, and four-hundred and forty employees.
“RFC’s existing website had been dormant and on an antiquated CMS system for quite some time. Lacking a brand upgrade from voestalpine brand guidelines, it also lacked the messaging and SEO that would attract main decision makers based on search engine ranking, as well as education on who RFC is and what we have to offer from a highly technical, yet proprietary standpoint across several vertical markets,” says Kim Bentley, Marketing and Brand Manager, voestalpine Roll Forming Corporation and voestalpine RFC Aerospace. The new website was the foundation to RFC’s aspiration of building a larger online digital marketing presence. While RFC is known as a nationally leading, high-quality, custom roll former, voestalpine AG is known as a global leader in the steel and technology industry. “Company image should represent that of a global player and the quality we produce. How RFC’s potential customers perceive our company image is a direct association with the quality of metal components and assemblies its customers will receive,” says Kim.
ENGINEERING THE EXPERIENCE
Branding, user navigation, content flow, SEO, web form enhancements, and accessibility were all primary goals for RFC’s new website. The Case Studies page highlights RFC’s branding colors and tagline while offering educational information on different topics. The high-volume custom roll former highlights RFC’s adjacent technologies and processes, in-house tooling, and engineering across several vertical markets.
“The Roll Forming Technology page not only attracts those looking for a custom roll former, but also educates people about the roll forming process and its advantages over other metal fabrication processes.” Presented within the framework of RFC’s tagline, you can drill down from any menu topic on RFC’s new website and their tagline becomes prominent, ‘We Engineer. We Form. We Solve.,’ for their customers. Now, a supply chain professional looking for an Aerospace custom component manufacturer can jump off from 3 different places on the website menu: ‘Markets,’ ‘Technologies,’ or 'Services and Solutions’ based on the value add, in their mind, they are looking for in a supplier.
Making the homepage clean and easy to navigate, the ADA compliance feature, and employer branding on the Life at RFC page are all favorite aspects of the new website. “My favorite features on the new site are the Blogs, Case Studies, and Careers pages,” says Hatfield Media Front-End Web Developer, Ted Moso. “The navigation is easier to use and looks better on the new website, also. A better user experience overall, it’s more presentable, intuitive, and easy to use. Working with RFC was a nice experience. I had a chance to communicate with some of their team members and I can tell that they are all very genuine and hard-working people,” said Ted. Human Resources also had some goals in-regards-to enhanced job search navigation, employer branding build-out, and custom web and event forms. “Web form inquiries are picking up month over month due to the updated CMS system and SEO services, both part of our larger marketing strategy,” says Kim. “We have minimized spam from our web forms, further automating them into our CRM, as well as separating our HR and Sales web forms to minimize the burden on cross functional colleagues sifting and routing information to various departments, along with increasing efficiency in response time."
FORMING FASCINATING VISUALS
Other favorite features of the new website are the Aerospace and Material Handling animations which showcase the high-quality RFC offers in their metal components to their customers. Branding was very important while creating the animation to show the viewer the specialized capacity of RFC, not just as a manufacturer and supplier, but as a company comprised of the development of new technologies. The animation looks needed to be a mix between realism and stylization to differentiate from animations used by other companies.
“I tried to showcase the technology behind RFC while also elevating their message using very dynamic animations with emphasis on the branding. That's the reason why the animations are very minimalistic in style. We chose to use the white, gray, and blue from the color palette branding of RF Corp,” says Hatfield Videographer Douglas Grillo. “Working with Kim was great,” says Douglas. “She understood all the involved phases and the time needed to create the animations. She was very supportive from the beginning of the project, and we were in constant communication with weekly meetings and emails. These projects lasted several days, but they never felt exhausting because of Kim's professional attitude and background in video production.”
The videos help to show the direction the company is heading with very innovative products such as custom metal components that integrate with robotics systems in automated fulfillment warehouses. “The animation videos rooted on our website helps us to tell the story of how we engineer, form, and solve per vertical market. We have stripped a lot of information out of the part profiles and revised the look and features of the systems or end products we supply into to showcase exactly what we do without breaching any confidential information with our customers and in-house process technologies,” says Kim. “The videos have also helped from an internal employer branding standpoint, educating our employees about what they help to produce and contribute to the world on a daily basis, giving them pride in their jobs.”
SOLVING FOR SUCCESS
RFC is unique in that it produces both open and closed profiles (tubes) and offers in-house services such as engineering and tooling, along with its many adjacent process technologies complimentary to the roll forming process and in-line roll forming processes to meet the innovative nature and product launch timelines of its customers.
“Co-engineering and high-volume capacity with the tightest tolerances and highest quality standards, while forming custom metal component and assembly solutions, allow our customers to remain one step ahead in their marketplace,” says Kim. “Customer service is key. RFC has a competitive advantage with global parent company voestalpine AG due to a global network of sister companies who also have competitive advantages and can meet customer needs on a global scale.”
A lot of the metal parts RFC produces integrate with robotics and automated technologies. “There are many industrial automation companies out there innovating the landscape of how we get through our daily lives with our metal components integrated into their designs,” says Kim. “We want to remain the preferred integrated metal forming solutions provider in our niche industry. Ideas are realized when technology and people come together. We engineer. We form. We solve.” RFC’s five core values are: ‘Customer Success Is Our Success,’ ‘We Care’, ‘Embrace the Challenge', ‘Own It!’, and ‘Winning Together.’
ROLLING OUT THE RESULTS
“The new website educates those main decision makers of who we are and who we are not on the front end of prospecting, when it comes to a supplier they may or may not be looking for. We believe it allows for more conversions on our web form based on page navigation summary data,” says Kim. “We’ve had positive feedback from both potential and current customers about the look and layout of the new website. We even have sister companies wanting to know who did our website and animation videos. We were sure to give Hatfield Media all of the credit! In the future, we hope to continue to explore how other features can benefit our customers further.”
“I strongly believe company image should be a direct reflection of the quality of products and services a company offers. For RFC, this means our company image should be a direct reflection of the experience, service, and quality of metal components and assemblies its customers will receive. Overhauling the website was the foundation to a much larger digital marketing strategy along with the incorporation of explainer animation videos. Thanks to Hatfield Media with their website, SEO, and video animation services, we are seeing the fruits of our strategy taking shape with a good return and forward momentum. We are very thankful for our partnership,” says Kim. “Hatfield was highly responsive, transparent, and trustworthy. No matter if we were working with sales to web designers to project managers to SEO experts to video animators, we experienced a consistent level of high-quality responsiveness and quality of product or service.”