With so much emphasis on the online world, GenFlex has done what many companies hope to do: build a first-class Web site that serves as a tool for distributors and manufacturers. But they didn’t stop there.
“We wanted to create a Web site that was fun to use - one that someone would want to go to instead of one they need to go to,” said Marty Jolly, National Sales and Marketing Manager for Indianapolis-based GenFlex. “We partnered with our marketing firm (Hart Associates) to create it.”
GenFlex’s site took about three months to build, and it was launched in August 2008. It contains information targeted at each user category when people come to the site looking for information on a specific product.
“We want them to be able to find what they’re looking for, quickly and easily,” Jolly told Roofing Contractor.
With easily accessible product and technical information, Jolly said the Web site (www.GenFlex.com) is designed to be a resource for distributors and contractors as well as a storehouse of product and technical information.
“As a contractor and distributor locator, we want to support those who support us, so we made it simple for end users to find a GenFlex contractor or distributor close to them,” said Jolly, who noted that Web site acts as a user-friendly library filled with instructional videos. “Training is essential in the roofing business, and it’s one of GenFlex’s core commitments. So it just made sense to build training tools into our new Web site.”
The main idea in developing the GenFlex Web site was getting people to interact. “Time is at a premium in today’s world, so anything we can do to save time for our customers, existing or potential, is our goal,” Jolly said. “We’re constantly looking at new interactive technologies that will continue to add significance and value to the people who use our site.”
Making navigating easier is the essential core of GenFlex’s Web site. “We wanted to make it simple,” Jolly said. “Some people come to the site for a specific product; some people come looking for information that’s specific to which they are. That’s why we organized the site by both product and audience. It was an effort to make the site as user-friendly and efficient as possible. It was designed for varying needs and varying levels of knowledge.”
Jolly said he hopes the Web site continues to establish GenFlex as a partner to distributors and contractors, and as an information source for roofing issues and questions. “We want to set the standard for digital functionality in the commercial roofing industry,” he said.
For example, GenFlex makes ordering an easy process on its Web site. “We have two stores, one for samples and literature (www.samples.genflex.com) and another for GenFlex merchandise called GenGear (www.gengear.genflex.com),” Jolly said. “Both allow customers to order any GenFlex items we offer for themselves, their crew or their office staff with ease.” Jolly said not only does GenFlex stand behind the products they make in factories, but also the ultimate end product - a completed roofing system that involves factors beyond the company’s control.
“Our technical specifications ensure that the ‘pen and paper’ piece is taken care of, but once the materials arrive on the roof, all of that goes right out the window if the installer does not have the proper expertise to install them correctly,” he said. “So, training is a priority at GenFlex. We do a tremendous amount of localized, hands-on training, but we also wanted to provide instructional information on users’ desktops for either introductory or refresher purposes.”
Also, GenFlex’s new Web site uses “Joe” to help make decisions. “Joe represents the common sense and simplicity with which we want to do business with our customers,” Jolly said. “Right now, Joe’s on the Web site to make people smile, but he’s got a lot on his plate. You’ll see more of Joe in 2009 and beyond.”
Also, the GenFlex site has a ‘Weather Underground’ feature that acts as a resource for contractors. “In the roofing industry, the weather makes or breaks a day of productivity, which can equal a lot of dollars for contractors,” Jolly said. “Because GenFlex wants to be a resource to contractors, providing instant access to a weather forecast means one more reason for them to use our site.
“We have also found that this particular site has extensive historical information for specific locales, which is another unfortunate necessity in our business -problems and disputes do arise from time to time.” For more information, visit www.genflex.com.