What They Do: Manufacture and distribute firearms
In Business Since: 1972
Headquarters: Provo, Utah
Interviewee: Kenny Barlow, Sales & Marketing Manager
The Dark Ages
North American Arms faced a problem; a problem that Kenny describes as “literally the Dark Ages.” For an e-commerce website, their website did nothing that an e-commerce website is supposed to do. It would take orders and that was it. North American Arms would receive an email with all of the customer’s information, and then their accounts receivable employee would have to go in manually to their software program where she could enter in all of the customer’s info—name, shipping address, phone number, etc.—create a sales order, and process the credit card. Throughout this process, the customer never received any sort of confirmation that their order had been processed, let alone even received. Can you imagine, as a customer, ordering a product and never receiving a word on confirmation that your product was on its way? It wouldn’t inspire much faith in the company, would it? So how could North American Arms streamline their sales ordering process and increase interactions with their customers?
The answer: develop a website that will handle the whole sales ordering process and send confirmations and updates to their customers.
North American Arms understood that their employees were spending way too much time processing a single order, thereby wasting time and money that could be used elsewhere to benefit the company. They also recognized that they may be missing out on returning customer probability because of lack of the lack of communication. North American Arms felt that by creating a website that could handle all of this for them, they could save a lot of time and money and make sure their customers were happy.
The 21st Century
Enter Pete Rakozy, SiteSmash CEO. But Pete wasn’t the only website development CEO on the scene. Kenny had already spoken with 3 or 4 big companies to get an idea of what they could offer. But Kenny still took Pete around the office, showed him how their current process worked, and then asked, “Where do you fall in all of this?” So they diagrammed the current process and looked at the software they use and how it could be integrated into a website, and Pete responded, “We can do this. It doesn’t matter what it takes; we can do this.”
From there, Pete went out and found other companies that could help them integrate their current software into a website. Building the website would be easy, setting up the e-commerce would be easy, but integrating their current software was going to be tricky. Pete found a company that would work, and they began the development process. Within a month North American Arms began to see changes and be able to implement some of the changes into their processes. Kenny had a list of exactly what he wanted his shiny new website to do, but throughout the development process, he found things that wouldn’t quite work with the internal policies, procedures, or structures, so he would come and say, “This is weird. Can we tweak it to do this instead?” So the site was set live and Rob—SiteSmash’s CTO/in-house space cowboy—made 4 or 5 tweaks and, since then, the website hasn’t needed to be fixed or tweaked since April 2016. Kenny explained, “This website is the one thing in our company that hasn’t had a problem. It’s crazy.”
“Letting us interact with our customers better than we did. That’s awesome. This website lets us interface with our public leaps and bounds better than we ever could.”
One of North American Arms’s favorite things about their new website is that it increases communication with their customers. But not only has it done that, it has saved a lot of time.
- Saved at least ½ an hour per day on credit card processing alone
- Saved another 4 hours per day on processing sales orders
“So that’s what I like. They basically said, “we can do this.” It didn’t matter; they were going to swing for the fences and get me what I needed to make a website that brought us out of the dark ages and into the 21st century.” -Kenny Barlow