Case Study: Alcoa Aluminum Corporation



Alcoa wanted a totally web based, simple to use engineering and marketing solution to create loyalty to the Alcoa siding and roofing products for their thousands of distributors worldwide that would allow anyone, regardless of computer or engineering skills, to select, engineer and design aluminum siding and roofing solutions.

Alcoa Aluminum (NYSE: AA) needed a solution that was simple and easy to use, with a high level of graphics and straight forward engineers modules that would allow a non-technical individual to easily select the products their potential client required, and would allow the non-technical individual to create an engineered complete parts list with all required products and components necessary to price, assemble and build a complete solution for any home or building.

This solution in turn was required to be able to access the individual distributors existing inventory to determine availability of product and to allow scheduling of inventory and installation. The solution that we offered provided a web based platform that handled all aspect of the project from the initial customer contact and CRM to the customer product selection, engineering, scheduling, inventory and final billing of the job.

The distributor’s sales person could select the customer contact information automatically from a drop down list of client information which would immediately propagate all of the customer fields for all functions throughout the process from initial contact to final billing, automatically insuring a significant reduction in errors eliminating customer / distributor frustration in scheduling and installation.

The distributor’s sales person in their first encounter with the potential customer could select from products from their local distributor’s inventory with their potential customer sitting actually participating with them at their kitchen table or office desktop. All potential products, colors, sizing and selection, was graphically displayed on their laptop coming from an Internet connection if the customer had an Internet connection in their home or business and if they did not, the sales person could work offline from a database that was downloaded from the actual distributor’s inventory earlier in the morning and which they could instantly re-connect with once they had access to an Internet connection.

This graphical interface allowed for the potential customer to become personally involved in the selection of products and created an excitement for how their new exterior would look on their home or business, while creating a bond with the sales person with whom they were working.

The non-technical sales person could then take simple, straightforward measurements of the house or building that required the siding and or roofing which when entered into a simple graphical interface on their laptop which would automatically and instantly do complex engineering calculations, selecting all of the parts and products required for the job, while pricing the labor and materials with the final markup, delivery costs, taxes and permits and everything necessary to provide a final printable contract for the customer that the sales person could print out from a portable printed that they carried in their briefcase.

This insured that the sales person could accomplish everything needed while they were on the first call with no subsequent calls required allowing the contract to be, delivered, priced, and totally completed to be signed by all on the first visit by the sales person with the customer.

They could create the excitement with the customer about the benefits of their product and the beauty of the finished product on their home or business without having to wait for a technical person to come and measure and engineer the final solution. This created a faster and smoother path to conversion for the customer and insured that their competitors did not get to the potential customer before a final contract was signed.