“I’m so glad I contacted IMEC. I felt they listened to what we needed and helped me find a solution. If I was the one doing this, it would have taken me months, I guarantee I wouldn’t have a website by the end of the year that functions like this. It was super easy. They were a godsend.”
Success in Operations
Sangamon Reclaimed, a hand-crafted furniture manufacturer, changed ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic to a new entrepreneur, Amanda Compton. New to entrepreneurship and manufacturing, Amanda acquired a great local business, but her vision was to expand nationally. This requires an active and engaging ecommerce presence. The challenge for Amanda was dealing with an outdated website that did not accurately represent the quality products that Sangamon Reclaimed offers, was not user-friendly, inventory management and transactions were not easy, and there were limited shipping options. Amanda remembers, “I had to go in and pull every single order and then go through and find their shipping address and then go through it. It was just a very, very high touch process and if we’re going to grow, I don’t have time for that.” Amanda knew the very next step toward making her vision a reality was to upgrade the website and online store, so it was easy to navigate, track inventory, collect payment, and offer a variety of shipping options. She initiated a conversation with IMEC to get assistance.
Amanda’s timing in reaching out to the IMEC team was perfect, as IMEC had just launched its Grow Your Future program. This program provided small and mid-sized Illinois manufacturers with fully-funded projects designed to drive revenues and growth within their business.
Growing into a nationwide company, especially in a post-pandemic market, requires an ecommerce site with the necessary features and functionality that will set it apart from others. It made sense for Sangamon Reclaimed to take advantage of the Start Selling Online project through the Grow Your Future program.
To ensure that Sangamon Reclaimed had a high-performing ecommerce platform, IMEC partnered with B2Btail to fulfill this project. The team began with a full audit of the old website, then proceeded to develop a fully functional online storefront for direct to customer sales. This included properly setting up bank routing and connectivity to basic payment collection methods for accounting, product implementation, creating a new look and feel for the website, training on inventory management, and the ability to offer different shipping options. Compton was pleased with the company’s digital makeover; she noted: “In order to grow, and to really be able to get our services to people outside of our city, we needed help and I didn’t have time to do that. So IMEC came along and said, ‘Hey, we have experts in this, we are going to support you in this.’ They just came right alongside me and now we have this beautiful website that you see.” The new website and ecommerce platform puts Sangamon Reclaimed closer to their goal to scale nationally – and its ease of maintenance gives them a competitive edge for marketing and Search Engine Optimization.
- Anticipated new and retained sales: $11,000
- Anticipated cost savings: $8,000
- New and retained jobs: 5