By 2013 G.L. Huyett had instilled elements of a business many times its size – a robust IT function to manage data and program software for application, an in-house advertising agency producing some of the best marketing materials in the industry, and engineering support for its manufacturing in order to provide custom solutions. A strategy was hatched to leverage these elements and to double the company size.
The plan had several key aspects – to build an online presence and sell via e-commerce, to significantly leverage technology to improve customer experience, and to expand product lines. In late 2013 www.huyett.com was launched as an e-commerce site. Significant enhancements were made in 2014, including the introduction of a five percent discount for orders over $100 for online purchases. The endeavor required an extensive re-engineering of pricing structures to ensure that G.L. Huyett’s distributor customers were protected from retail customers using the site.
Meanwhile, technology was being implemented to improve the customer experience. Dashboards and visual aids were developed to ensure fast response to customers, and queues are now measured in hours at the taker and company level to ensure that G.L. Huyett customers do not have to wait for responses. Enhancements were made to nearly all business processes to slash processing time and eliminate inspection rework.
Product labeling and customer interfaces were improved, including the development of “The Pack List That Can Change Your Life,” – a document delivered with each order that reduces receiving time significantly for our customers. Later, the development of delivering tracking numbers via email was perfected as an automatic process, with the customer able to opt out at their discretion.
Meanwhile, the Huyett Advertising Department was producing highly-engineered product catalogs with extensive technical content that was also published on huyett.com as an online resource. A regional sales team – known as G.L. Huyett’s “House of Representatives” – was also developed to canvass the majority of the continental United States. The team is highly trained not only in product and engineering, but also in professional sales techniques.
Simultaneously, many new products were being introduced. In October 2015, G.L. Huyett purchased Precision Specialties of Collierville, Tennessee, near Memphis. The acquisition added an array of new products that could be sold across the industry, most notably engineered fasteners manufactured by A Raymond Tinnerman, AVK Industrial Products, and Oetiker. The addition of the branch allows G.L. Huyett to better serve customers in the Southeast and Gulf Coast Regions.
In January 2017, G.L. Huyett purchased MAK-A-KEY®, a brand and key stock product line from ITW Shakeproof Industrial Products. This was followed in January 2018 by the purchase of Handi•Chek, a packaged fastener line. In July 2018, G.L. Huyett purchased AZ Lifting Hardware of Phoenix, Arizona. That purchase added yet another branch and an entirely new product lines of lifting, rigging, and suspension hardware. In the near future, these product lines will benefit from being shipped from both our Tennessee and Arizona locations to reduce lead times and freight for customers east of the Mississippi River.
Meanwhile, refinements and improvements continued in the on-line experience. In 2017 web customers were provided with 24/7 access to material and RoHS/REACH compliance certifications from their on-line account history in a self-directed manner, and in most cases, for free. E-commerce now accounts for more than 20% of total company sales, and over 100 new customers login and order every month.
G.L. Huyett is poised for significant future growth, and with the Culture of Excellence in place, it has emerged as one of the best places to work in North Central Kansas. The future is very bright, and we need Free Agents to support our growth plans.