Running a truly progressive small business involves balancing multiple priorities. As a contract manufacturer, a commitment to having the right talent and resources to produce quality work and meet customer expectations is a given in today’s competitive environment. Focusing on a next generation of top line growth, however, is where many fall short.
EFE Labs’ leadership had a clear vision and defined objectives with regard to revenue growth, but the organization did not have a mature, developed marketing apparatus to achieve its business objectives.
To achieve this, they knew they needed to find a proven sales and marketing resource and trusted partner to create and ultimately execute a plan that would support the organization’s profitable growth.
“Sales and marketing are not our forte,” says EFE’s President, Kip Anthony. “Most larger, product-based organizations have a bench of sales and marketing resources. As a contract manufacturer, we simply do not have this. Since marketing and sales are not part of our core competency, it made sense to identify and outsource these requirements to a qualified expert and build a strong partnership.”
Anthony was familiar with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) program, which supports manufacturers throughout the country. As a result, he sought out and met with the Delaware Valley Industrial Resource Center (DVIRC), the Greater Philadelphia MEP affiliate, and started working with DVIRC’s Business Growth team nearly five years ago.
DVIRC set out first to assess the situation, understand the management team’s vision, and implement marketing and sales solutions that drew from the strength of its cross- functional Growth Services team.
“The engagement began with a primary research effort to build an understanding of EFE’s competitive environment and capture their customers’ perceptions, wants and needs,” says Chris Scafario, Director of Sales & Marketing Consulting Services for DVIRC.
Next, DVIRC built a meaningful brand promise as part of a comprehensive positioning effort, developed a new website with a stronger visual identity, and coordinated the rollout of public relations campaigns.
Moreover, Anthony says DVIRC helps EFE stay abreast of changing marketing solutions and practices. In fact, over the last few years, EFE has turned to DVIRC for a long list of Business Growth Services.
“It’s a clean loop, an integrated solution,” Anthony says. “And after completing these projects, it made sense to move forward with Lead Generation as part of the larger sales and marketing effort.”
“DVIRC’s Business Growth Services team has grown into our sales and marketing team,” he adds. “[They are] an extension of our business, and a reliable, trusted partner.”
The benefits of this relationship have been as significant as they are cumulative. The primary research led to an increased awareness of EFE’s role in the marketplace, while the enhanced value proposition, new online presence, and more active outreach enabled the company to accurately and effectively position itself to take advantage of its strengths.
Market segmentation, meanwhile, was a key part of the eventual Lead Generation service. DVIRC identified key growth markets, built a deep list of target companies and key decision makers, and then the Lead Generation team deployed a focused prospecting effort.
During the ongoing Lead Generation program, DVIRC identified a life science manufacturer with mechanical expertise that found itself in need of a partner to enhance its electrical design and manufacturing capabilities. DVIRC learned that this prospect had made attempts to develop its ability in house, but it was concerned about the resulting liability.
EFE’s capabilities, meanwhile, enabled the prospect to bring a new opportunity to market within its desired timeframe, while still delivering the margins and product capabilities it required.
This prospect ultimately became a key part of EFE’s impressive 28% overall growth rate in the last fiscal year. Anthony states that DVIRC drove one half of that growth—which he estimates to be $1 million—through their ongoing activity.
DVIRC works with companies that many other consulting groups might not want to work with, but that’s where a tremendous amount of employment, innovation, and entrepreneurship take place. Manufacturing is an incredibly important part of our economy, and they serve it well.
“Across the board—from brochures to website development to lead generation—DVIRC helps to differentiate EFE and enables us to grow and mature as a brand,” Anthony says. “And they offer a seamless transition from their efforts to our sales group.”
“Our long relationship with EFE offers great evidence for this kind of engagement model,” says Scafario. “By operating as Anthony’s surrogate marketing team, we can bring him cost-effective expertise that simply isn’t available to most small and medium-sized manufacturers.”
With over 50 years of industrial and manufacturing experience, EFE is a leading, solutions-based contract manufacturer based in Horsham, Pennsylvania. EFE’s unique “win-win” commitment toward collaborating with its customers across diverse markets results in the firm’s ability to deliver superior product design, development, manufacturing, and testing capabilities that will surpass most similarly structured organizations.
EFE’s industry-leading commitment to quality is evidenced by UL, ISO, IPC, and other certifications. From startups to the Fortune 500, EFE has proven its ability to deliver measurable value to organizations of any size. To learn more, visit EFE online.
“I don’t know of any other organization that is staffed with people who know manufacturing the way DVIRC does—people who understand what is needed to make a product and to deliver value as a manufacturer. They’re a friend to manufacturing. They help manufacturers mitigate risk and move forward in terms of top- and bottom-line performance. We’re fortunate to have DVIRC on our side.”