Rowley Spring & Stamping
Rowley Spring & Stamping Corp. was started in Stanley Bitel’s garage in 1954. At the time he had a spring grinder, two coilers, four torsion machines and a dozen bench presses. Today, Rowley has grown from 13 employees and a dozen customers to 170 employees, nearly 700 customers worldwide and 120,000 square feet ofmanufacturing space.
“This is a very powerful marketing tool. I’m paying a couple of thousand dollars to get our name and capabilities out before a very, very large audience, and all our information is right at the buyers’ finger tips, right on his computer. And this is done with minimal effort on our part, no flipping through pages of directories, no investing tens of thousands of dollars on advertising — it’s a very important tool in our overall strategy.”
Rowley Spring & Stamping
Due to offshore competition, the market for US manufacturers has been fierce. Bob Dionne, sales manager, agrees that outsourcing is not going away. The job now becomes keeping current business and competing for new business. He knew he had to find a way to get Rowley Spring & Stamping in front of potential new customers. The tool he found, just at the point when the going got tough, was MFG, an interactive Web service enabling manufacturers to buy and sell custom manufacturing services. Buyers post RFQs at no cost; suppliers, subscribers, quote for business that meets their expertise and capacity.
MFG gave Rowley exposure to companies they didn’t even know existed. “We knew there was work out there, but we had to find a way to place ourselves in front of it. And more foot time and door-knocking wasn’t going to get it done.”
“Now, I use MFG at a minimum of once a week to see who’s out there and who matches up with our capabilities, and when I travel, I may spend a couple of days in Carolina or Texas visiting companies I’ve already established an Internet relationship with. This has greatly reduced my travel time, and we’re constantly finding companies we could not have found any other way.”
He also notes that buyers benefit from MFG in that it simplifies their job. If a buyer issues an RFQ and it’s primarily price-driven, he can look over the bids that are within the price window and winnow the field by drilling down deeper in the suppliers’ profiles. This lets the buyer see the capabilities of the various potential suppliers, and he can see if a particular shop is a two or three person operation that might outsource the job, in whole or in part. But from Rowley’s perspective, MFG has dramatically expanded the company’s reach.
Dionne says that he recently wrote up $80,000 in tooling for one company found via MFG. “This is significant for us, because the tooling/production jobs we’re used to writing up are $10,000 to $20,000. What can I say? MFG has evolved into a very powerful tool for this company.”
Needed a platform that would allow them to understand price and quality comparisons.
Needed help sourcing parts, vetting suppliers, and managing data for an ambitious project.