Linker Machines, a small family owned business, wanted to increase sales by expanding its customer base to the international marketplace. The company manufactures automatic linking and peeling machinery for small to medium-sized sausage producers.
The company was started in 1938 and purchased by Jean and Robert Hebrank in 1994. Linker Machines, which operates out of Rockaway NJ, has a long standing reputation for product reliability. Its customers are predominately U.S. based and its primary marketing is done through its web site and trade expositions.
Jean Hebrank, president, Linker Machines, contacted NJMEP after reading NJMEP’s marketing materials. She explained to NJMEP Field Agent Joe D’Urso, “Linker Machines needed assistance in bringing its products to market, specifically in the international space. Linker had been using CDs to reach the international market. The CDs did not portray Linker as a technically advanced company. They also took too long to reach the potential customer and were costly.”
To help Hebrank achieve her objective, NJMEP brought in Paul Hebert, the owner of PFA Designs, a strategic partner of NJMEP. PFA Designs is a corporate communications design group with expertise in multimedia and web based media. NJMEP managed the project. The new site needed to be user friendly and provide potential customers with access to product information. As Linker was reaching out to the international community it was imperative that they have a way of demonstrating its equipment 24/7 as potential customers did not want to travel to view its equipment. To accomplish this, Linker created videos. This feature would allow potential customers to view the linkers and peelers while in operation.
Hebert, working with NJMEP, Jean Hebrank and Michael Hebrank, Director of Sales and Service, created a layout for the website and populated it with the client supplied materials – copy, images and videos. The project took 14 months from initial contact to completion. Once the materials were provided, PFA was able to deliver the project within a short period of time. “Paul Hebert was very easy to work with and we are very pleased with the final outcome,” reports Hebrank.
Linker Machines received a completely redesigned website that met the company’s objectives—a user friendly interface and 24/7 access to product demonstrations, that would increase its visibility and accessibly in the sausage industry, especially in the international space. Hebrank tells us, “The website enabled us to reach out to many countries and provide a viable means for demonstrating our equipment to potential international customers. We have been able to identify $40,000 in new sales that are a direct result of our investment in the new website.”
“I can’t say enough good things to express what it was like to work with Joe D’Urso and NJMEP. The entire process of redesigning the site was efficient and the new features have helped us meet our objective of increasing international sales,” adds Hebrank. Linker is developing new products for both domestic and international customers and potential customers and the company has reached out to NJMEP for engineering assistance.
For a small family owned business, success can be measured in many ways. For Linker Machines, it is the ability to identify new markets and to develop the appropriate tool to reach that market; when that effort results in greater visibility and an increase in sales, it is “success” by any measurement criteria.