Qimtek’s website and team helps the custom manufacturing industry win more work from UK manufacturers.
A Vision, a Journey & a Partnership
- A vision: Qimtek recognised a strong commercial opportunity: To be the leading UK online sourcing company for suppliers of custom manufacturing parts.
- A journey: While the legacy .net system technically worked well, after 10 years, the site had plateaued and the offer was diluted. Qimtek needed a much better flexible CMS and front-end design to realise their huge potential.
- A partnership: Qimtek called on Five Mile to help deliver the vision by tapping into our technology, design and product development expertise.
Ask, Listen and Challenge
Change is always difficult, especially if people in an organisation facing it aren’t clear on the reasons why or how it’s happening. Five Mile fundamentally understand this, which is why early on in the Qimtek project we sat with each team in the company, asked questions and listened to their answers and reasons, but pushed them on their assumptions.
During this discovery stage, we invested a lot of time exploring what the site needed to be, what it needed to do, what the strategy was for different types of users, and how Qimtek were trying to reach them.
While this was often challenging for Qimtek, it was a crucial part for the success of the project. We helped narrow Qimtek’s business needs, focused on relevant content and stripped features back, ensuring the core offer was more compelling. This approach also helped Qimtek personnel feel they had a voice in the process which in turn built a connection between the two companies that has grown into real trust.
Learn more about why Qimtek chose Five Mile
Deconstruct, Rebuild and put the User at the Heart of Everything
The first thing Five Mile needed to do was understand and unpick the situation: Qimtek’s business objectives had to be met.
A key part of this was to ensure Qimtek’s tech, organisational and marketing structure was strong enough to carry the necessary changes without compromising their business on a day-to-day basis. To do this, Five Mile’s role was threefold:
Deliver the right tech
To build and improve on the legacy bespoke .net code while ensuring the system was fit for purpose throughout development
To empower customers to carry out tasks intuitively on a responsive site
Make the Offer Relevant & Engaging
To create a site that could be marketed and ‘owned’ by everyone in Qimtek
Adopting a Different Lens to Design a Site With Purpose
Put bluntly, the old site was confusing, had too much meaningless content and wasn’t very informative.
This meant it wasn’t working to it’s full potential: Only 12% of projects posted by UK manufacturing buyers were coming through the online system. Radical changes to the look and feel of the site had to be made.
Crucially, we had to ensure Qimtek were on board with this. They needed to not only understand the reasons behind the changes - such as culling one-third of their content - but we had to ensure they were also part of the conversations as to why: This was about keeping the user needs at the heart of the design in a simple, open and clean way.
Five Mile challenged us on the content. We knew we needed to get the copy or content right before we started anything and this approach made us look at things in a very different way.Karl Wigart, Qimtek MD
The Right Tech for the Job
Once the user need and purpose of the site was clear, we had to get the foundations right and use the best platform for the job: something that was flexible, powerful and could allow Qimtek to grow. We recommended Open source CMS, Drupal.
The challenge was how we incorporated Drupal into the .net legacy system without causing the system to fall over and stopping Qimtek’s business.
The answer lay in an API and AngularJS prototype: we could create various mockups and everyone in the company could get a real feel of the flow of the site, plus we could test how users engaged with it while we developed.
Why Qimtek & Five Mile chose Drupal
Creating a Platform That Empowers a Business Culture
Rebuilding a website for any business is a huge undertaking. The emotion, ideas and hard graft that goes into it sometimes feels never ending. But it’s also a chance for organisations to reinvigorate and even change they way they work, for the better.
In Qimteks case, the new site meant less Qimtek customer support time, which in turn enabled them to better apply themselves to building the customer base. In short, we’ve given them a system that is impacting their bottom line, and one they can be proud of.
Five Mile were never imposing. The project was very well managed between Karl Wigart from Qimtek and Keith Jay from Five Mile, allowing us to focus on what we were doing but still be excited about the new site and feel included.Dean Munkley, Membership Manager, Qimtek
Helping Qimtek Find Their Voice …and Stay Consistent
With all our projects, we at Five Mile have always started with “what are the base elements? What’s the feel?” We then scale it up from there, and then build the pages.
One of the core elements was to create a style guide that would be the backbone for the interface.
↑ 25% longer
↓ down from 65% to 50%
↑ 39% increase in projects generated
A stripped back website with a clear purpose
Embracing open source as part of the tech solution
Game changing features: Drag, Drop & Source, search and UX
Creating a Legacy & Building the Future
Qimtek now have a strong vision and a purpose. Building the new website was a key element in uniting everybody in moving forward. Five Mile helped us generate new ideas and, with Drupal, we go into the next 10 years with a renewed sense of confidence. Why? Because fundamentally Qimtek.co.uk is a great product. And everybody in the business believes in it.Karl Wigart, Qimtek MD
Drag, Drop & Source
- Buyers drag a drawing, drop it into the Qimtek project system
- Manufacturers source suppliers quickly and easily, and suppliers get more buyers
- Not only is it simple for users to engage with, it's also given Qimtek a new product to market and is driving projects for our members
- Improve search and make it fit for purpose
- Meaningful, useful returns on searches
- Users spend a longer period of time exploring the site and discovering relevant information
- Put the ‘user’ at the heart of the build
- A more intuitive experience
- Users positively engage with the site and functions
- Connect and push relevant news to what a user is doing
- Sharing knowledge and industry news
- Users participate in, and helping build an expert community