Please describe your organization.
Duralee Fabric is located in Hauppauge, Long Island. We’re a B2B [business-to-business] company providing fabrics, trimming, and custom furniture to the trade.
What is your position?
I am the Chief Information Officer [CIO].
What business challenge were you trying to address with Hudson Integrated?
We needed a complete redesign of our website, which went live in January 2013. Our previous website was not well enabled for e-commerce, and we needed a custom shopping cart for our transactions.
Please describe the scope of your work with Hudson Integrated in greater detail.
Hudson Integrated developed the entire company website for us, including content management and e-commerce functionalities. Our customers now have the ability to self-serve in terms of creating users for their companies and employees. We have a custom search engine that Hudson Integrated developed with a third-party. The search engine came as part of a toolkit that Hudson Integrated fitted into different parts of our site in order to enable different types of searches.
The site was custom-developed in .NET. We gave Hudson Integrated a set of wireframes and specifications on the basis of which the cost of the project was agreed on. We’ve worked with three other vendors on the site, but Hudson Integrated was our main developer. Their team acted as the bandleader, while our other partners wrote the APIs [application program interfaces] for the Enterprise Resource Planning system used to submit inquiries and orders, as well as manage our image searching system. Hudson Integrated worked with these companies within a fairly short period of time, making a custom website, with a custom shopping cart, search engine, and administrative tools. This was all done from scratch.
More recently, they’ve worked on improving our SEO by comparing our site to those of our competitors. They have also looked at the types of searches that result in visits to our page. Hudson Integrated is changing some of the tagging in our pages to make them more compatible with the kinds of searches we want to attract.
In addition to this, we’ve also put in some hooks on the site to gather Facebook metrics for visitors who don’t log on. We can see where those people are spending their time, and use that information in numerous ways. A Facebook user belongs to a community in which they share content. We can take that information and put it up against the profiles we have for people in our line of work. Designers will be more likely to have designer friends in related businesses. We can reach out to people in those demographics and advertise to them. We’ve worked with Hudson Integrated as well as with another marketing firm for this purpose. They’ve helped us put hooks into our page and track what our users are doing.
How did you come to work with Hudson Integrated?
We interviewed a few candidates before settling on Hudson Integrated.
Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in financial terms?
The total development cost of the website was $160,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in May of 2012. The site went live in January of 2013, but it was available for internal demos in December, 2012. We’ve enhanced it since that time, creating many additional features.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Could you share any statistics, metrics or other feedback from this engagement?
When the site was initially launched in 2013, people loved it. One of our key measures of success is e-commerce. Our previous site had only rudimentary e-commerce capabilities, and prior to 2013, we only received between 5-6% of our sales revenue from the website. Once the site built by Hudson Integrated went live, we tripled that percentage, reaching around 16-17% of our total sales.
We now offer many more features through which users can make searches, manage projects, pay bills online, enter credit card details, and so on.
In 2015, we had 1.1 million sessions, 427,000 users, and 6,383,000 page views on our site, which comes down to half-a-million page views per month. We’re trending even higher for the current year. We receive these stats from both Google Analytics and from Hudson Integrated themselves.
How did Hudson Integrated perform from a project management standpoint?
Hudson Integrated was able to hit deadlines, which has been key for us. They never commit to something that they won’t be able to deliver.
What distinguishes Hudson Integrated from other providers?
Hudson Integrated is a small group, so they can be very flexible, versatile, and responsive to our requirements. They are leading us in a number of ways. For example, in 2013, when we launched our site, it would work fine on desktops, but performed poorly on small devices. Consequently, in 2014 we embarked on a process to make the site more responsive. The entire platform was recoded as a result. Hudson Integrated told us that they didn’t think it would be a good idea to bother with building a separate mobile app, but instead we should make a responsive version of the website.
I belong to a group called The CIO Council. During a group meeting, I discussed the work we were doing with Hudson Integrated and asked the fifty people present how many of them were building responsive websites. Out of all of them, only about five or six said they were starting to look at this. An equal number said that they’d heard about the concept, but hadn’t done anything about it. Most of the people at the meeting had no idea what we were talking about. We were early in the game with respect to mobile responsiveness, but our site was completely optimized, from our shopping cart to every other functionality. This was completely due to Hudson Integrated.
Is there anything Hudson Integrated could have improved or done differently?
We sometimes have resource issues. Hudson Integrated is growing, and they have other clients. It hasn’t been a big problem, and in fact was addressed a year ago, when Hudson Integrated hired some people to meet our demands. This is more of an observation than a complaint.
We ask that you rate Hudson Integrated on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the best score.
How would you rate Hudson Integrated for the quality of their service and deliverables?
5 - They’re responsive, and their quality of work is very good.
How would you rate them for scheduling, as in meeting deadlines and compliance with project timelines?
5 - We haven’t blown any major deadlines.
How would you rate them for cost, as in value and conformance with project estimates?
4 - Hudson Integrated’s price is competitive for our type of work, and they’re strong in terms of tech abilities. One area in which they are lacking is in graphic design and visuals. We sometimes had to go through a few more iterations than I would’ve liked.
How likely are you to recommend Hudson Integrated to a friend or colleague?
5 - I wouldn’t recommend Hudson Integrated for very small projects, but rather for serious development work. Not that Hudson Integrated wouldn’t take on smaller projects, but their strong point is being able to do custom work and develop things that would not be obtainable through the standard, out-of-the-box website developer.
How would you rate your overall experience collaborating with Hudson Integrated?