How ASC Engineered Solutions™ powers their digital customer experience with product data that enables their partners

Driving customer engagement with accessible, accurate CAD & BIM files

ASC Engineered Solutions™ is a leading manufacturer & supplier of pipe connections, valves, support systems, and field services with locations across the globe. The company formed in 2019 after a merger between Anvil International and Smith-Cooper International, and the new company brand debuted in March 2021, moving forward with a focus on what matters most to their customers: quality, service and support.

Though the quality of their products & services is an obvious focus, the team at ASC has made a commitment to enable their customers and build strong relationships by continuing to strengthen its digital customer experience. To accomplish this, the marketing and product management teams focused on using product data to support their end-users and created a ‘service-first’ marketing approach to help them stay engaged with prospects and surface future project opportunities. 

“We are a technologically enabled company, and we’re committed to continuously investing in ways to further enable our customers’ design and specification processes to make working with ASC products easy and productive.”

— Tim Fox, ASC’s Vice President of Marketing

So what steps did ASC take to propel its Digital Customer Experience to the next level?


ASC Engineered Solutions Digital Customer Experience

In their journey to create a digital customer experience that positions the company as a resource for their customers and helps them generate opportunities, the team at ASC recognized the need to invest in a solution that would be technically sound. They required BIM models that fit seamlessly into their customer’s digital projects and, having 45,000+ unique products, they would need to strategically decide where to prioritize.

To begin, ASC reviewed several product data solution vendors before ultimately selecting Thomas as a partner based on their experience, deep understanding of end-users’ needs, and a proven platform for maintaining and distributing this product information. “The two major pieces in initiating this partnership with Thomas is their innovative approach to content management and the quality of the BIM models themselves,” said Tim Fox, VP of Marketing.

Thomas worked closely with the ASC team to create the foundations of an effective digital product data strategy:

Complete, reliable product content
Well-structured product catalog
User-friendly product selection
Data consistency across sales channels

With a large product portfolio to be digitized, the two teams opted to start with their pipe hangers line, a high-value, high-demand product line that would be a complex build from a technical perspective. This would help ASC understand Thomas’ capabilities as a partner and would help them support customers in designing with some of their most in-demand products.

"Being strategic with how we chose the products to launch gave us a taste of the process and brought a lot of excitement," says Rick Lacouture, Design Supervisor at ASC. "As we rolled out more and more content, we saw people were testing it and starting to like it. The more they see, the more they want and it's very apparent from the way we’ve seen downloads increase.”

Hangar Model BIM ExamplesIn the following five months, Thomas created and delivered BIM Models for 35 figure numbers, 56 custom hanger assemblies, roughly 2,000 catalog SKUs over 10 categories. Immediately, ASC began receiving strong, positive feedback from their customers. According to Suko Sulaimon, BIM & Digital Solutions Supervisor at ASC, “Our customers have given us rave reviews on the hanger models. They love the selectors, the flexibility of the models, and the incorporation of structural attachments you don’t usually see in a Revit field. They’ve been eager to tinker and play with the files and adapt them to their workflow.” 

Customers can now easily search, select, and implement these models directly into their projects without the need to wait for a representative to assist them. This type of self-service is an increasingly important factor in how customers determine where to go to find the products and rich content they need to do their jobs.

Having cutting-edge product data is a cornerstone of delivering a strong digital customer experience, but the teams at ASC Engineered Solutions and Thomas are also strongly focused on how the content lives on the web, how it is maintained, and how to capture feedback from the use of the files.

Customers need to be able to easily locate and engage with product data content and trust that it is accurate. 

To organize the product data on their own website, ASC decided to leverage the Thomas Catalog Navigator to build an easily accessible, easily searchable product database. With functionality like product search and batch downloads, the team took an approach that would help their customers complete their jobs to be done quickly and with little friction. 

“With BIM model downloads, it’s usually someone setting up a technical library and data repository on an internal server, forcing users to look at multiple product lines, product types, and sizes," says Sulaimon. "We don’t want this to be click or time intensive. We give them what they need in a way that’s quickly accessible. With the way the Thomas Catalog Navigator is set up, it’s really user-friendly for someone who wants to go in there and start picking different parts they need to build out a system."

ASC Product Experience Management - Connect

It is also critical to provide this experience not only on your own site, but on the websites of your partners and distributors. To seamlessly update their product data across multiple sites, the team at ASC leverages Thomas Connect, a data syndication platform to maintain data integrity in multiple web destinations while maintaining one source for data truth. This saves the team time, delivering consistent product data without needing to update multiple catalogs. Avoiding data discrepancies that can negatively impact a customer’s experience working with their digital products helps ASC maintain strong brand trust and loyalty.

Finally, to understand how users are engaging with their content and which customer groups they should focus their digital efforts on, ASC reviews analytics provided through Thomas WebTrax. The team regularly reviews which content is receiving interest and downloads from their audience to build business intelligence that guides their outreach, marketing, and customer support efforts. It also helps them identify opportunities for their sales reps in the marketplace as they can better understand which product lines are seeing increased interest and from which industries or project types.

“The marketing & product management teams at ASC do an excellent job using technology to give their customers a helpful, low-friction experience. They really understand the importance of a first-rate digital customer experience that starts with the highest quality BIM models that not only behave correctly in design but are kept up-to-date so end-users are confident in their product choices and system designs”

— David Bandi, Thomas VP of AEC/BIM Solutions

A commitment to customer service, a strategy based on demand, and a willingness to invest in the necessary tools have resulted in a digital footprint that puts ASC ahead of the competition. The company has created an affinity for their product data and has seen their relationships with major customers improve as a result, with growth in repeat user visits as well as month-over-month increases in new downloads.

Their product data is generating early visibility to building projects, providing the ASC sales and marketing teams with insight on the types of customers that are downloading their models. They’re already planning new outreach campaigns targeting these users with BIM-related content and product news.

To build off and grow from this initial success, the teams are working together to create an additional 5,000 SKUs. 

  • asc-logo

    We want to provide the best digital tools experience we can. Content breadth, accuracy, and consistency are critical to not only this goal but also our customers’ success and satisfaction. We want to make their jobs easier and enable them to design smarter. As their trusted partner, we look to support customers’ needs and make it simple for them to use our tools and specify our products, and the team and toolsets at Thomas help us do just that.

    —Jessica Desrochers, Sr. Manager, Marketing & Communications

To learn more about how Thomas can help your business with product data solutions that support your prospects and customers, contact us today.

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