Challenging the status quo is difficult for organizations of any size, regardless of whether they’re in the midst of success or failure. Struggling businesses have a hard time investing in activities that won’t generate revenue tomorrow. And successful businesses often have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” mindset. In this case study we share how our Discovery helped redefine a second-generation manufacturing company.
First opening it’s doors in 1967, Aero Grinding, originally specialized in centerless and ID grinding. Ten years later they merged with Centerless Grinder Repair (CGR) and became Aero Grinding, Inc. By 1983 Aero Grinding closed its ID grinding shop to focus primarily on high volume centerless grinding. They focused on growth throughout the 80’s and 90’s adding 80+ machines on under 15 years. Over that same period, CGR transformed from a mobile machine repair service, to a state-of-the-art re-manufacturing facility. They became a Centerless grinding powerhouse with Aero Grinding selling them and CGR repairing them.
With the second-generation now leading the family business, Jason McGee, President of CGR, originally sought out a “face lift” of an outdated website that no longer properly reflected the organization. Initially met with hesitation, perceived as being an “extra”, our Discovery kicked off late-2015. The CGR team excelled at putting themselves in their customer’s boots as we restructured how they sell their services.
Our owners are often hesitant on things they perceive as “extra”. But without direction or guidelines they quickly realized we’d be kicking our tires when it came to our new website. Discovery provided us with objective, outside perspective that made us aware of our own inner-workings and got us really thinking about things from our customers boots. The structure and organization of our new website has been based mainly on our Discovery and would’ve been lacking otherwise.
Over time, the services offered by CGR grew naturally out of customer requests. Their old website lacked many of their most profitable services and quickly became an issue that would not be avoided any further. Our Customer Experience (CX) workshop had us white boarding all of the jobs CGR could be hired to perform. From there, we broke them up into three separate categories that their customers would best relate to. Dedicating time and resources to improving their customer experience proved to be mutually beneficial. Their new Diagnostics section breaks down the services that make them money in a way that’s intuitive for their customers. In turn saving them time on the sales support side and increasing overall awareness of what they can be hired to do, especially for those new to CGR.
CGR was buried on their old website, a common scenario with acquisitions. Three pages deep, visitors would come across CGR’s section of the website only by chance. We explored how other similarly structured organizations attempted to solve this problem before arriving at the solution right for Aero & CGR. During our Discovery we identified several other problems that our work would aim to solve, mainly on the visual front.
CGR is differentiated by their attention to detail, quality of craftsmanship and custom services. Our on-site and in-studio photography best captured these characteristics better than any words ever could.
Establishing the relationship between Aero & CGR was a main goal for our project. This led us to redesigning their logos. Or logo. Our work here focused on creating a mark that would feel comfortable when displayed as a set and could easily stand on their own when split up. The grinding wheel adds balance and reinforces their core business.