Five reasons why parts suppliers provide online access to their products’ CAD models
Parts suppliers are sitting on a gold mine. Professional designers covet information about product dimensions and specs. Nowadays, engineers and designers scour the web in search of 3D models for the standard products that they need for the projects they are working on at any given time. This prevents them from having to redraw the parts themselves, which in turn improves their productivity and the reliability of their designs.
Consequently, industrial parts suppliers, regardless of their sector of activity, have every interest in providing users with digital data for their products. Imagine the number of design projects that engineering consultants, organizations and freelancers are required to lead every day. The need is huge!
I get the impression that you have already understood why industrial parts suppliers provide online access to their products’ CAD models. Nevertheless, I am going to give you five good reasons for taking action if you have not already done so!
- Offer your products in different formats
1. Offer your products in different formats
The problem that the vast majority of parts suppliers currently face is knowing how to transform their existing CAD models into any format required by their leads and customers.
Your designers or engineers are surely capable of converting your products’ CAD models into other formats to suit the needs of your customers and leads. But at what cost?
A conversion process is required to make your CAD models available in different formats. In an ideal world, the process works and your teams do not need to re-model the part in another format. But sometimes, the conversion process breaks down or is simply impossible.
Even if your teams manage to offer 3D CAD models of your products in several different CAD formats while keeping your data confidential, these types of ad hoc requests prevent your teams from designing new products.
In addition, the designers and engineers who are likely to specify your products in their machine designs generally prefer using THE specific format of their CAD software.
How do you offer your customers native models that can be incorporated into any CAD system?
Enlisting the services of 3D modeling experts simplifies the CAD models that you may wish to publish so that customers and prospects can only see your products’ external geometry, but not what is happening inside! Engineers do not need this information to work out whether your parts will fit the rest of their assembly.
The main advantage for your customers is not only having access to CAD models with a perfectly accurate geometric representation, but a wealth of other data relating directly to the design, such as the part number, description, material, length, diameter and weight.
Once your products have been modeled in 3D, all that remains is to publish your products!
2. Significantly increase your product visibility
Creating and posting content online inevitably goes hand-in-hand with SEO. Offering technical information about your products online will clearly improve your products’ visibility.
As an industrial parts supplier, if you decide to make your products available in 3D on your website, you must ensure that each product contains the technical information that professional designers are looking for, which can then be scanned by search engine robots (title, dimensions, part numbers, specifications, URL, etc.).
When designers or engineers go looking on search engines for product information, a product backed by an effective SEO strategy will feature in the search engine results.
If SEO fails to excite you, remember that you can call on third parties to do it for you (web agency, CAD content platform, freelancers, etc.)
It is a good thing if you are already in the habit of uploading your CAD models to your website! If you have already published models on your website, you can scale your visibility up to a global level by publishing your products on a CAD content platform.
The engineering platform is an excellent leads generator, since it attracts millions of visitors around the world on the lookout for CAD models of industrial products.
3. Save time
When you make your products’ CAD models available, you give engineers and designers a gateway to all the information that they need for their design projects.
Therefore, you save your technical operations department and sales force considerable time, because they no longer need to respond to individual enquiries.
You will be fulfilling requests for technical content from your customers and prospects without even realizing it, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Every professional visiting your website can then download your products’ CAD models with just a few clicks. The only question that they might ask is: “how much does the product cost?”
In this case, it would be a wise idea to add a quotation request button to your product data sheets to increase your chances of conversion.
According to a survey that we carried out among 45,555 professional designers, 88% of designers consider buying the part after downloading its CAD model.
Quotation request forms, just like CAD model downloads, can be used to collect key information about your prospects.
4. Know your target market
Generating leads is one of the primary objectives for industrial parts suppliers. To generate new leads on your website, you have no choice but to serve up content to visitors.
In exchange for giving content, you can obtain information on your visitors by asking them to fill in a form.
As I was saying earlier, the CAD content platform is a real lead magnet, because the engineers and designers using the portal must agree to share a certain amount of information before they can download the required products.
The following is the type of information that you can obtain from professional designers once they have downloaded your products:
- Email address
- First name and surname
- Business sector
- Country and address
- Part number and description of the downloaded product
- CAD format
- Download date
Publishing your products on a CAD content platform gives you access to detailed statistics generated from downloads of your catalog. You can identify your most popular products by filtering statistics according to CAD format, country, language, part number, website, and so on.
You can obtain invaluable information about your target market by discovering the countries, companies, services or business sectors associated with the engineers and designers downloading the products from your catalog.
You can also incorporate all these data into your CRM system by using an API.
5. Deliver a high-quality service to build customer loyalty
The UX or user experience represents what users feel about an interface, object or service. Awareness of the importance of the UX for professionals visiting our websites has continually grown in recent years.
As an industrial parts supplier, what services could enhance the user experience on your website?
- Downloads of your products’ CAD models: visitors to your website can see and download CAD models of a given part number or product.
- 3D viewer: allows your visitors to interact and view your products as images, technical drawings and 3D models.
- 3D configurator: designers and engineers can receive an instant response to a specific need without needing to know your products inside out.
- Quotation request function: parts suppliers can manage their price enquiries both effectively and instantly.
Professional designers spend hours trawling the web for CAD models of industrial products. You might think that it is a waste of time, but they are actually saving time. It enables them to ramp up their design projects.
You can help engineers and designers save time by uploading CAD models of your products to your website or a CAD content platform. Doing so will increase the chances of your products being chosen and subsequently integrated into their designs and ultimately purchased.
There are countless advantages for parts suppliers: improved search engine rankings, greater product exposure, enhanced user experience and more loyal visitors to your website.