Growth Hacking “A Practical Application”
What is growth hacking? Do a simple google search and you will get the usual fandangle explanation followed by the standard Silicon Valley case studies. When reading these its hard to find what relevance there is to a Irish based manufacturing SME but peel all the jargon back along with the “techy type” case studies and you will find that the ethos can be adapted to any business environment, by any business.
In January 2017 Keltech employed a staff of 100. Now nearing the end of Quarter 3 2017 the Keltech workforce stands at 180 people with further hires expected over the coming months.
Our customer acquisition numbers over the past 24 months have been the highest in our 30 year history.
In 2014 Keltech rebranded. Along with the rebrand came a new strategy. We decided to focus on 4 main areas where we already had a long history of manufacturing, through ongoing development in our people and processes we would become the true experts in these fields. The 4 sweetspot areas are; Acoustic Enclosures, Overhead Guards & Cabins, Telecommunications Cabinets and finally Reservoir Tanks.
The first step on the journey was to meet with all existing and potential customers and conduct what I like to call a “pain diagnostic”. The pain diagnostic was a simple face to face meeting conducted with our clients where we discussed the current pain/challenges facing the product we were supplying/proposed to supply but also on a wider scale the current pain/challenges their business faced in general. These were not sales pitch meetings rather fact finding missions.
This was a hugely rewarding experience and the amount of rich data absorbed was immense. With the collated data the keltech senior team began to recognize with some common trends/pains that our customers were feeling even though most were operating in different sectors.
Acoustic Enclosures Growth Hacking
Our acoustic enclosure customer’s pain related mainly to sound attenuation. As equipment such as power generators and industrial pumps had traditionally been operating as open sets (no sound attenuation required) the customers knowledge and core competency related to machine performance and output. The legalisation of sound attenuation was relatively new and hence the technical skill set of how best to achieve the required DBA was something the customer required assistance with.
Reviewing this pain keltech saw the opportunity to use it as a growth hack. The inclusion of sound attenuation support to the customer was added to our scope of supply. The customer was again free to concentrate on their core strength “the machine” whilst relying on Keltech to supply a solution that works in unison with their equipment and meets all regulatory sound requirements.
Keltech have pushed clear of the competition and in the process have unlocked significant growth in this area in recent times as customers now seek out our support from design stage right through to ongoing production supply.
Reservoir Tanks Growth Hacking
It became quickly evident after our many reservoir tank customer meetings that one new major pain was standing out above all the rest; “Internal Reservoir Tank Cleanliness” was hot on the lips of every customer.
Keltech a manufacturer of reservoir tanks for 20 years at this stage reviewed the pain and created our next growth hack “the supply of reservoir tanks internally cleaned and ISO certified through our uniquely designed washing station”
The customer base both existing and potential latched onto this new area of expertise immediately. Within 12 months of the washing process inception Keltech had more than doubled reservoir tank production from 150 to 400 per week. The trend continues and present day Keltech are closing in on the 600 per week mark.
What the Silicon Valley type case studies fails to mention in most cases is that growth hacks are short term, quickly competitors enter these newly created spaces and look to replicate your successes. Growth hacking works but only if you are prepared to continually work at it creating ongoing customer centric solutions which are relevant to the current market. The next 24 months will see Keltech invest over €500,000 on specific reservoir tank R&D and capital equipment.
Growth has been swift recently but this isn’t a light switch type success story, Keltech has been on this journey almost 4 years; the snowball has been getting bigger and is now gaining real pace!
Enjoyed reading this post or want to find out more? I will be attending this year’s Toys4.0Engineers this Friday the 22nd or alternatively you can contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or 00353864681333
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