Engineering Firm Goes To Market With Promotional Arm

April 18, 2002
| By Katy Rent |
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MUSKEGON – Word-of-mouth advertising would seem to be a technique used by the technologically handicapped or those starting a small business without much revenue. But it probably wouldn’t make sense for a business full of engineers – obviously technologically inclined people – to not use other means of advertising.

But that wasn’t the case, at least until recently, for a Muskegon firm.

Engineering Dimensions Inc. (EDI) had always used the word-of-mouth technique until it recently added Director of Business Development Al McAvoy to the staff to take the company to a different level.

“We would always make contacts through past customers or do a number of jobs for the same company and we didn’t see a need to advertise. Now, in order to stay with and ahead of the competition, we need to get our name and services out there,” said Mark DeVries, president.

As a “one source” engineering company, EDI provides “one-stop engineering” for its customers. With staff in varied backgrounds from automation, civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical and controls, industrial, and environmental quality, EDI can virtually build a company from the ground up.

“With all that this company had to offer they thought it was important the customers knew how it stood out from the competition and what it was capable of. That is one reason I was brought on,” said McAvoy.

EDI split from SPX in 1988 and has been growing rapidly since then. As part of a large corporation, DeVries and Vice President Mike Lemkuil saw the importance of putting integrity and value into everything they did.

“For us it is important to operate under professionalism and integrity,” said Lemkuil. “We have our name on the things we do and we want to be proud of each and every thing we put our name on. It is not about how big the project is, it is about helping the customer and doing a quality job.”

Since adding a sales and marketing department, the company has changed the look of it promotional materials. “Al has designed brochures, media guides, and even a presentation we give to potential customers,” said DeVries.

EDI also is accessible on the World Wide Web at www.engineeringdimensions.com.

In the past the engineers would establish word-of-mouth contacts in the area. They were responsible for being out in the community, in companies’ plants and staying in constant contact with customers to maintain good relationships.

Now, although the engineers still maintain relationships with their clients and are involved in what is happening with companies in the area, some of the marketing pressure has been removed and placed specifically in McAvoy’s area.

“Instead of being reactive to what came our way, we now have the ability to be proactive and choose what comes our way. And that will, in turn, cause us to be more successful in the long run,” noted McAvoy.

Another goal for the sales and marketing force is to bring the company into new markets and new places.

“In the past we have been associated with only working with metals, foundries and hard goods, but we are capable of doing so much more. Now, with the marketing capabilities Al has brought to us, we are able to demonstrate all of our abilities and therefore reach into new marketplaces,” said DeVries.

With a goal of doubling in size in the next five years, EDI has some work on its hands, but DeVries said McAvoy’s help will be invaluable. “It may be a little pressure but we are looking to him to bring us over the top and we think with all of our employees working toward this common goal we can make it happen.”

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