Veco Precision

Becoming the number #1 co-development partner

How Veco Precision Metal builds a future-proof commercial organization, grows revenue in the digital era and generates 30% of new business out of online marketing.

Veco wants to become the number one co-development partner in the micro-manufacturing of metal components. This case study shows a snapshot between 2016 and 2018, and how they successfully grew their business by transforming its commercial organization.

Veco Precision: the early years

Back in the year 1934, some important innovative breakthroughs took place in filter plate technologies. The founders of Veco Precision immediately took advantage of this opportunity and mastered a – at that time rather unconventional – additive manufacturing technology called ‘electroforming’. It did not take long until they also ventured into etching and laser cutting techniques. Since its establishment in 1934, Veco has built a track record of innovation.

But the world is changing. In order for many companies to innovate today and maintain a position of relevance in the market, miniaturization of products - and the components that go into those products - is more important than ever. Engineers are increasingly looking for ways to fabricate micro-precision metal parts, which can be produced cost-effectively and at industrial scale. Veco can provide this added value to companies through next level electroforming, etching and laser cutting technologies.

On top of that, Veco has a full-scale R&D team that transforms complex design challenges into micro-precision solutions for her customers. From defining the first product parameters all the way up to the creation of the sample and producing it at industrial scale. By offering this level of co-development, Veco can claim it enables innovation for companies in many industries worldwide.

Today, Veco serves customers worldwide from their offices in the Netherlands, the UK, Germany, India and the USA and remains the world leader in micro fabrication of high precision metal parts.

01

Are you utilizing growth potential in new applications and markets?

Are you utilizing growth potential in new applications and markets?

Seeing the exponential growth in miniaturization of products, combined with great ambition, Veco determined that globally, there were many applications and markets still untouched. However: in order to utilize this potential and grow their business, there was an important shift that needed to take place.

At that time, quite a percentage of their customer base consisted of companies with mainly ‘shelf-ready’ metal components that needed little to no R&D. Veco knows that the order size from this type of customers strongly diminishes over time. On the other hand, there was also a small share of customers that did develop their metal components together with Veco. In these cases, the life cycle of the product is significantly longer. This type of customers start small, but grow and become valuable partnerships in the long term.

Veco realized they could no longer depend as strongly on their current customer base as they did. Their goal was clear: to grow revenue from new business by tapping into new applications and serving new clients. But the road to become the number one co-development partner was not paved out. It was in the end of 2015 when they decided to take the leap. This case study shows a snapshot between January 2016 and May 2018, and how Veco successfully grew their business by transforming her commercial organization.

02

Marketing is missing, and Sales is cold calling

Marketing is missing, and Sales is cold calling

Filipe Oliveira da Silva, Group Director Sales & Marketing of Veco realized there were were some important hurdles to overcome.

Filipe: “Our Sales department consisted mostly of account managers that were serving both existing customers as well hunting for new ones. And they attempted to achieve the latter through cold calling! The lead lists were not qualified and we didn’t have enough common ground to connect and start a conversation with prospects. Also, there was little to no Marketing force present. We had to admit that this was not going to work.”

Also, potential customers - engineers - are looking for solutions for their miniaturization challenges that go beyond the forms of metalworking they are familiar with. They are unaware of some technologies such as electroforming. Let alone that they know Veco can co-develop the product with them, saving them time, money and energy. Online visibility of Veco’s technologies and services in search engines like Google was almost zero. If potential customers searched online to learn more about these technologies - which they certainly did - they would not find Veco’s website.

Filipe: “I felt like we were not only ignoring a lot of potential, but also that we were facing the risk of not meeting our commercial targets if we did not change our approach to Marketing and Sales. We missed insight on who our ideal customer is and how we can help this customer overcome challenges. We also had no insight on the behaviour of our potential customers on digital channels. If we would not change our commercial strategy we would keep attracting the same type of customers. I was afraid we would not be able to compensate this later on.”

03

From lead generation to customer retention

From lead generation to customer retention

The goal of Filipe was clear. On the Marketing axis, the very first step to take was to find a way to attract qualified leads via digital channels. On the Sales axis, Filipe wanted to be able to predict future revenue through clear prospecting.

Filipe: “In the beginning, we didn’t have the right processes, people or tooling in place to attract new customers through online channels and nurture them all the way up to the sale. When it came to tooling, we were using only BI software that was connected with our ERP system. This ERP was very much product-oriented: it didn’t help me understand the needs of the customer, let alone how prospects behave on our channels and why they buy. We needed tooling that could fill that void.”

Also, Veco needed to scale up the Marketing and Sales force by adding new people to the team that had the right competences.

Last but not least, the most important point on the agenda was implementing new processes. Filipe: “We didn’t have a clear vision of where exactly to start, but I knew implementing the right Sales and Marketing processes, and aligning them, was the most important part of making this whole thing a success. We needed to find a way of working where Sales and Marketing structurally work together in generating, nurturing and tracking leads. While putting the customer first, not the product! With our highest goal in mind - customer retention and share of wallet - clear processes were our number one priority. We want to help our customers grow with our innovations, and they help us grow through the partnership. I was determined we would reach that goal.”