Resources - Features
Metal Stamper Markets in New Ways to Find New Markets
CDs, complete with video files, tell your company’s story better than a brochure could ever hope to. One stamper takes the next step, to Internet advertising.
BY BRAD F. KUVIN, EDITOR
“To compete in today’s market, it’s a given to have solid competencies in delivery, quality and low costs. What sets us apart is creative use of modern selling tools.”
Words of wisdom from Rocco Palmi, president of Ramcel Engineering, a die designer and builder and metal stamper in Northbrook, IL. From its start in the basement of its founder’s home in 1950 to its purchase of three vertical machining centers in 1989 to its implementation of a die-sensor program in 1998, Ramcel has strived to meet the complete engineering and production needs of its customers in the automotive, electronics, computer and other key industries. Today Ramcel spends just as much effort on finding customers by marketing to its strengths—value-added progressive tooling design, an ability to meet just-in-time deliveries and a core competency in building in-die sensors into all new stamping tooling to reduce the costs of die maintenance, eliminate die crashes and maximize throughput.
“We’re focused now on identifying markets where we can apply our core strengths, then researching companies as possible customers to make sure their products can be successfully integrated into our business model,” says Palmi. “We’ve reduced our emphasis on cold calling. We have a full website and a promotional CD that we send to selected prospects. The CD promotes our die-sensor program and our use of automation. And we include animation files to illustrate all of our capabilities, rather than relying only on static pictures.”
Using CDs and Other Electronic Media
Ramcel sends out some 150 of its marketing CDs per year to select prospects, once it’s done a little legwork to pre-qualify companies as good fits for its capabilities. “We hope, for example,” Palmi offers, “that prospects seem committed to staying domestically sourced. Then we send them CDs and invite them to visit our facility.”
In addition to marketing via CDs, Ramcel believes in and purchases online advertising, including purchase of a banner advertisement on the MakeitMetal website (www.makeitmetal.com). “This kind of marketing, on the Internet,” says Palmi, “works great for a company like us, a job-shop provider that sells more of a service than a specific end product. Internet activity helps us identify markets where we can sell to skill sets. In fact, we’ve gained more solid, qualified leads from the MakeitMetal advertising than we have from exhibiting at recent trade shows.”
One new customer uncovered through electronic marketing has Ramcel stamping and assembling parts for the residential-maintenance industry. This type of marketing also landed Ramcel a contract for automotive transmissions, using a highly sensored die on a new press line—a 400-ton Minster press with 120-in. bed and a servo-feed line. The die pierces tiny 0.020-in.-dia. holes in sheet stock 0.032 to 0.047 in. thick, “quite a challenge with a progressive die,” offers Palmi. He also describes recent investments the firm has made in automation that allows the firm to pre-stage parts as they exit the press, for assembly purposes.
“The staged parts, in families, deposit into a container and are automatically counted,” says Palmi. “Then we automatically index the container when it’s full and move an empty container inline. This removes an operator from the end of the line.”