We create meaningful brand interactions

At Symmetri, our focus is to create meaningful brand interactions for B2B organizations — interactions that drive engagement, inspire action and motivate purchase. We seek to work with organizations that want to blaze a  new trail to make life better.

 

Brand strategy. The founders of Symmetri came out of Leo Burnett Chicago, and as a result, brand building has always been at the heart of our organization. We have developed brand strategy for nearly 35 organizations over the past 15 years, ranging from $10M to multi-billion dollar organizations. Our brand strategy work has included brand positioning, brand promise development, brand vision and mission, brand architecture and brand identity.

 

Web development. Symmetri believes that a website must meet the goals and objectives of your business, answer the needs of your customer and provide an engaging user experience that motivates extended and repeat visits and recommendation to others. Symmetri provides full life-cycle web development services from discovery, UX, design and development through ongoing support and optimization. We have almost 10 years of development experience using the Drupal content management system and frequently contribute code to the community. Our team members are also knowledgeable in WordPress and other CMS platforms.

 

Digital Marketing.

  • Paid Media ( Display, Remarketing, Paid Search, Paid Social)
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • Technical Audits
  • Keyword/Metadata Analysis
  • Social Media Management
  • Social Listening
  • Community Management
  • Marketing Automation
  • Drip Campaigns
  • Data + Analytics

 

 
$50,000+
 
$150 - $199 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2003
Show all +
Chicago, IL
headquarters
  • 233 N Michigan Ave #765
    Chicago, IL 60601
    United States
other locations
  • 455 E Cady St Suite 302
    Northville, MI 48167
    United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
Our growing client list includes a portfolio of nationally recognized brands across a diverse set of verticals: National Geographic Channels, ZF-TRW Automotive, The University of Michigan, Western Michigan University, Kettering University, The Nature Conservancy, The National Council of Nonprofits, The Detroit Zoo.

University of Michigan Mcubed Drupal 8 Upgrade / Redesign

CHALLENGE

The Mcubed program, housed in the University of Michigan’s Office for Research, distributes real-time seed funding to multidisciplinary, faculty-led teams—stimulating research that might otherwise be overlooked in more traditional grant processes.


SOLUTION

The Mcubed program’s success depends entirely on its portal, allowing users to browse cubes by

category and express interest in joining a project. And it manages the gamified “token” system of funding projects based on multidisciplinary researcher commitment, unlike the traditional grant-writing process. Mcubed 3.0 brought the scalability needed to take the program to researchers and donors nationwide. Symmetri performed a complete website rebuild on Drupal 8.


RESULTS

The Mcubed staff received the President’s Staff Innovation Team Award forimplementing newly developed best practices and creating new inclusive features. During the Mcubed 3.0 funding cycle, 221 cubes have already been awarded as of February of 2019.

CNX Corp Branding / Drupal 8 Website Redesign

CHALLENGE

As a specialist in development services, software products, front-end interfaces, and back-end RPG applications, CNX’s latest innovation, Valance, lets users create modern IBM i web apps on all desktop browsers. Symmetri was asked to redevelop their website with new brand messaging that capitalized on core elements of their business—specifically low-code development and how the Valence solution

helps customers be more agile.


SOLUTION

Symmetri began by establishing a new brand strategy for CNX that would more clearly define why it exists and how it could differentiate them in the marketplace. Through leading-edge technology, class-leading support, and an unwavering focus on moving forward, CNX instilled greater confidence, capability and self-sufficiency in those who create customer experiences. The new website reflected this with a clean and modern design. Additional customer testimonials would reinforce the values and benefits. Together with CNX, we reminded people that they help build experiences users love. The new Valence solution would free them from old-fashioned, unproductive interfaces—allowing their business to work more efficiently.


RESULTS

CNX’s site traffic increased 63.14%, with conversions increasing 305% in the first month following the launch of the new site and of paid search campaigns. Direct traffic increased 123% following the site launch. Quality of visitor metrics also improved significantly during that same period with the average session duration increasing 24% and pages increasing 4.5%. And the bounce rate decreased 17%. 

Hosco Drupal 8 Redesign

CHALLENGE

Hosco is a finishing system components manufacturer with an extensive network of regional authorized distributors and agents. Their previous vendor had built a website using WordPress, which was failing as a business tool. WordPress projects often reach their limit when web design tasks turn into web development needs. Content updates present a daunting task list for large inventory of parts and

descriptions. Creating a distributor location system was proving beyond the capability of the WordPress platform, leaving customers with a bad experience.

 

SOLUTION

Symmetri Technology quickly migrated the WordPress site content to a Drupal platform and built a new theme to match Hosco’s company branding. With their web presence secured, Symmetri Technology then proceeded with the development of new functionality and advanced Drupal integration projects. A custom distributor locator tool was built to help their customer base quickly find a regional distributor for their products. Inventory views on the front facing Drupal website was connected to Hosco’s Fishbowl inventory management system and SolidWorks 3D model part data. These integrations pushed the most up-to-date information into their online product catalog with high-fidelity interactive part models.

 

RESULTS

Google analytics and Hotjar visitor capture tools now monitor the site, showed a 16% increase in website visits and a 33% increase in visitor time on page within the first three months after launch of the new website. There has also been a significant increase in customer engagement through their online chat.

Aspira Drupal 8 Redesign

CHALLENGE

Aspira (formerly RA Outdoors) provides support software and services for state parks, private and local campgrounds, wildlife and fishing agencies, and more. Through their newly created positioning, Aspira is committed to creating a better world and helping communities make a difference—while often gaining loyal and passionate advocates. Symmetri was charged with redeveloping their website to

convey the new name and brand, as well as provide a better user experience for their audiences to receive information and contact their sales team.

 

SOLUTION

After conducting a rapid, multi-day immersion session and design workshop, we created key personas, journey maps, and wireframes. A key design element was using nature-based quotes throughout. The balance lied in having an organic feel while also including appropriate technical information. Symmetri built the site using Drupal 8, a flexible content management system that would enable Aspira to quickly and easily edit and add content as new modules of their software were added. From privately owned campgrounds to publicly operated parks, everyone can now enjoy a more meaningful user experience.

 

RESULTS

The client was thrilled with the new site. It reflected the new brand, differentiated itself from competitive websites, created an engaging customer experience, and clearly conveys the uniqueness of their software and services.

Blue Accounting (The Nature Conservancy) Drupal 8 Website Design

CHALLENGE

Through Blue Accounting, the Great Lakes Commission and The Nature Conservancy jointly support pilot projects across six key areas of Great Lakes health: aquatic invasive species, source water, nutrient pollution, habitat connectivity, coastal wetlands and maritime transportation. Although the Great Lakes provides the backbone for a $5 trillion regional economy, the challenge for leaders was to

manage the world’s largest freshwater ecosystem in a more collaborative, effective and holistic manner.

 

SOLUTION

The Nature Conservancy engaged Symmetri to design and develop a new website for Blue Accounting to help achieve two key objectives—enable the Great Lakes communities to track progress, measure goals, and use existing data—while helping decision-makers get a big-picture view of complex issues in order to set priorities and allocate resources most efficiently. Symmetri conducted a rapid design session, developed wireframes, and established a content strategy, resulting in an educational site with a clean and organized architecture and design.

 

RESULTS

Since launch, Symmetri has continued to optimize the website which has made a big impact on the usability of the site, garnering attention and praise at the 2019 Governors’ and Premiers’ Leadership Summit. Both Governor Whitmer and Governor DeWine saw the site, with multiple people praising the site at the event.

North American Drupal 8 Redesign

CHALLENGE

Operating under the North American brand for commercial and Industrial supplies, and the NVISION brand for marketing execution services, North American has always believed that the customer comes first. Their approach has been that every business is different, and every project requires their undivided attention. It’s why they’ve built a company on trust, reliability, and service. It’s in their

DNA. However, their website did not reflect this. Symmetri was challenged to build a new web presence that would be an easy-to-use tool for customers, a foundation for future user-experience enhancements, and a lead generator for the business.

 

SOLUTION

Symmetri began with a discovery process that established key personas, key feature sets, information architecture, and content strategy. The design and copy brought out their human side by incorporating more emotion throughout the site in both visuals and headlines. It also leveraged the Drupal 8 platform, with a flexible and easy management experience for featuring products and future e-commerce integrations. We also included a robust careers section to help attract the best talent. The new user-friendly site now conveyed a clearer picture of North American’s values and mission.

 

RESULT

In the first month after launch, contact submissions increased more than 100% from the previous month, the bounce rate decreased by almost 10%, while the average session duration increased

more than 10%. Reporting and optimization are ongoing, but signs point to more relevant traffic and increased engagement post launch.

Reviews

Sort by

Digital Marketing and Web Dev for Fixture Retailer

“Right away, we knew we were dealing not just with experts, but personable people.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
3.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
 
Jul. 2018 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Symmetri Marketing created a site on Drupal 8, provided digital marketing services, contributed visual aesthetics, managed a PPC campaign, and handled social media for a retail fixture manufacturing company.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Wood Dale, Illinois
Ty Adams
Senior Marketing & Business Development Analyst, OPTO International
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Symmetri Marketing’s efforts effectively increased site traffic and garnered positive feedback from internal and external stakeholders. They truly invest themselves in each project.  

Although they aren’t the cheapest option, the team is reliable, knowledgeable, and hard-working.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I am the senior marketing and business development analyst for OPTO International. We are a retail fixture manufacturer and designer in Wood Dale, Illinois.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Symmetri Marketing?

We manufacture in-house and our prototyping capabilities, our ability to mold our solutions to exactly what is needed by a particular retailer was really muted for a long period of time.

We needed web development as well as digital marketing for our company. We were previously always underselling our custom capabilities in the marketplace, and the marketplace wasn’t really aware of the custom capabilities that we truly did have.

Our previous website had been developed by a development team in India which represented a lot of challenges; culturally, time zone wise, and having things done in a timely manner. It was a sufficient website for us, but it didn’t go far enough in terms of being a huge selling tool internally as well as for our clients and visitors. One of the main goals was to take the weaknesses and make them a strength for a new site. The product section in particular really wasn’t constructed well in terms of being able to find products quickly that you either knew the category of or new a part number for. It was a real major problem. We had the previous website up for about two and a half years.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

We enlisted Symmetri to reposition us in the marketplace to show that we were equally adept to provide standard options as well as customizations. Part of that was to do a complete website overhaul as well, in addition to digital marketing as well as a new website build. I did a lot of research with my own team before even enlisting Symmetri on what a lot of the pain points were in the existing site. Symmetri also did their own research with our team as well.

I had a pretty good idea going into the relationship of the direction we wanted to go for the website. We wanted searchability and to make it look a lot of sleeker and more personable. They really brought forth our personality that what was there previously.

The new website was created on Drupal 8. There is a lot more authentic and collaborative photography that they came in and helped us out with. We wanted to make sure that the site was up to date with the most current web standards from a UX and functionality standpoint and they were able to do this for us.

The timeline was essentially them helping us reposition, and then build the website, but along the way, they also helped us with digital presence, in terms of social media organic and social media, PPC.

We are in the infancy stage of talking about eCommerce as we have never offered that before. This new website has not touched eCommerce in any way and is more consultative in terms of our clients submitting a web inquiry or they can give us a call.

What is the team composition?

I have worked with four to five people. We have worked with a project manager who has been with us since day one. She has been the main contact for us from an overall standpoint. From a website standpoint, I knew there were going to be additional fixes and enhancements post-launch once we start digging our teeth into it. On their development side, I deal with two people. One is the project manager on the development side as well as a developer. The person creating the content for social media is a junior-level social media coordinator.

How did you come to work with Symmetri Marketing?

If we were just going to do a website, we probably would have gone elsewhere to a place that focuses on web technologies as one of their specialties, but because we needed to do the repositioning piece as well, we looked locally and wanted to find a place that was accomplished in the B2B space in downtown Chicago, and we found Symmetri.

How much have you invested in them?

We have spent somewhere between $250,000–$300,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

We began working with them in July 2018, and the work is still ongoing.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

We began with the social media front at the beginning of the year where they helped us out with all the content information for organic as well as PPC, and we were going in thinking that this was another way of establishing brand awareness, not necessarily assessing ROI in terms of initiatives. We know our business and knew that we weren’t going to be able to track a PPC ad and following that all the way through to a sale because it can take a long time. We approached it as more of an additional way to get our name out there and not so much determining what the cost was versus the benefits in a literal ROI sense. They managed the administration of the PPC as well as organic, as well as did the creative refreshes for us for all the social media ads.

Our website traffic increased because of the exposure that the brand was getting through PPC in particular through Pinterest and Facebook as well as Instagram. The bounce rate was very high, so it was almost empty traffic because maybe people clicked and realized it maybe wasn’t quite what they were looking for. However, the goal was certainly achieved. The quantity was there but not quite the quality just yet. It really hasn’t been that much time at all from a social media PPC perspective because there is still testing and trying to find the ideal audiences using the platform’s algorithms to find the best people to target. The next six months will be the telltale now that we have the tools in place and a much better idea of who to target. Symmetri is going to lead that for us most likely.

As for the website, internally our retail designers that are in-house had been the most frustrated of everyone with the previous site in terms of searchability and the UX of the site. The new site has been up for a few weeks now and we have heard great feedback from our internal team about that. A lot of the problems and issues from the previous site were fixed. We and Symmetri made a point to really involve all these stakeholders early on in the process of building the website so there would be no surprises later on.

In terms of the repositioning, we are still in the infancy stages of it because we launched the new brand in July and the gestation period can be a while with a relationship turning into a sale. We have very much enjoyed the process of repositioning ourselves. They gave us a lot of options in terms of new brands, logos, fonts, and colors, and it was a great process. What we came up with was an effective repositioning.

How did Symmetri Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

The project management from the beginning was pretty great. The project manager was always in touch with us and we always knew what was going on at any given week. We always knew what particular issues or outstanding items were their responsibility or our responsibility in order to stay on track. Throughout the process, they needed a lot of information from us, and not just information but also access and content. They helped us out with a lot of photography and abstract stock imagery that we use on the website, but they obviously needed a lot of assets from us from a product imagery standpoint, both vendor imagery as well as professional photography which we invest heavily in.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Right away, we knew we were dealing not just with experts, but personable people. We were very impressed early on when their entire team of specialists for each department came to give their pitch to us. The owners of the company came, the creative team came, and there was some web development representation as well, and they really overwhelmed us in a good way with their suggestions when it came to the direction we needed to go. Being pleasant is always a really powerful positive in those face to face meetings just to show the true breadth of their capability and I think they backed it up for the most part throughout the entire time. Communication was one of their strong suits during the entire process. One of the reasons I wanted to find someone local was so that we could have face to face meetings and they certainly took advantage of that being so close to us. They came during the interview and customer journey stage early on for the website in particular. They were here every week in some capacity for a good five or six-week span. That really showed us a lot of investment and ownership in the project and that they cared about what was happening. Their personalities are great; we related to them and they related to us. We are similar in terms of our size and that we are both growing pretty rapidly, and we found some kinship in that.

Are there any areas they could improve?

The prelaunch project management was great. The one critique I would have would be the post-launch website report and communication. In the past five weeks, since the launch, I don’t think the project management has been as top-notch. Prelaunch, we had very timely meetings, we knew what was going on up until launch, and we even had to delay the launch a little bit because of us as we needed to provide some more assets for them and fill in some holes before we actually pushed the launch button. We signed a contract with them for three months afterward and might go longer for any post-launch Drupal care for any bugs or upgrades. They do use an application with a task list where I can create a ticket which they will then assign appropriately. Since the launch, I have not gotten timely or regular updates on where they are with fixing these bugs or making these upgrades so I think that can be improved a little bit. They get the work done eventually, but I would never know at any given time, where we really were from where they were relative to the deadline.

I liked their process from day one. They ironed out the entire strategy all through the repositioning and the website launch. When we started working with them, we knew how long this could take, and we weren’t dissatisfied with that because we wanted to go through the research phase and customer journey phase. They hammered in a pretty rigid schedule that was reliable and realistic that we could adhere to all the way from concept to completion. I had no complaints during that period in fact, there were times we were slowing them down a little bit. Do you have any advice for potential customers?

One thing we weren’t getting from our previous web developer was a back and forth; like a give and take. They are supposed to be the experts and we would reach out to them with something we wanted to do, expecting them to come back saying they could do it but giving us the best way to do it, and we weren’t getting that at all with our previous developer.

Collaboration is a strong suit of Symmetri. We knew what we wanted and we thought we knew how we wanted it to be done, but because they are the experts with web technologies, they were giving some push back when needed or letting us know the best way to do it or providing us with alternative ideas or directions which we appreciated.

5.0
Overall Score The collaboration was fantastic from beginning to end.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Dev for University Student Portal

“Most of their work is fabulous. The code is clean, and they do well with our timelines and deadlines.”

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2016 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Symmetri Marketing helped design and implement an internal Drupal site for a university. Entirely behind login, the site integrates with data feeds, sign-on services, and Google applications.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 employees
 
Flint, Michigan
Geoffrey Marsh
Web Developer, Kettering University
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Users and the university president respond positively to the site’s UX and navigability. Symmetri Marketing does well with UI and scenarios, but the collaboration has recently faced a high turnover rate among project managers.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I'm the web developer in IT for Kettering University.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with Symmetri Marketing?

We had a catchall site that we hoped to segment by audience. Our marketing department took the external site, and we took the internal one. Symmetri helped us design and implement the internal site.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

The site is information-centric and entirely behind login, and our main audiences are employees and students. We started with another company that merged with Symmetri partway through our process. The site didn't exist, so we built everything from the ground up.

They helped us with requirements gathering, design, structure, implementation, and templates. I did a lot of the ground work internally, and Symmetri took that information to form the final product. It's a Drupal-based site, and we integrated with some of our data feeds using XML and SSTP. There are also a couple of single sign-on services, but primarily rely on CAS. We also integrate with Google Calendar and Google Docs.

What is the team composition?

We’ve had about eight project managers over the past few years, and there was a lot of turnover related to the merger. A lot of the original crew has cycled out. In all, I've worked with about 20 individuals.

How did you come to work with Symmetri Marketing?

We picked our original vendor, but they were absorbed by Symmetri a few months later. We considered a number of software solutions, leaning toward open-source options and Drupal. Most of the vendors we considered were in and around Michigan, and we met three or four in person. We liked their personality and dynamics, and they instantly clicked with our goals.

How much have you invested with them?

We've invested between $100,000-$200,000 over the course of the collaboration.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project began in May 2016. They still provide ongoing Drupal support.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?

Our president likes the site, and our individual users respond positively. Analytics show how easy the site is to navigate, and we have much fewer requests for information than we did previously.

How did Symmetri Marketing perform from a project management standpoint?

We had a number of good project managers, and I was very pleased in the beginning. Lately, we've rotated through managers, and I'm less happy with our more recent contacts. Responsiveness is down, and we have to revisit some issues. We often have to start over when a new project manager comes on, and we feel like less of a priority than we did early in our engagement.

What did you find most impressive about them?

Most of their work is fabulous. The code is clean, and they do well with our timelines and deadlines. They also do well with user interface and user scenarios.

Are there any areas they could improve?

As I mentioned, my only major complaint is with the turnover and some of our most recent project managers.

Do you have any advice for potential customers?

Know what you want, and explain your goals to them. They will pick things up from there, but they need a good idea of the end case and user scenarios.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    Deliverables are always on time. Recently, we've seen a lag in responsiveness.
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We're happy with the cost.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    Everything they deliver meets our needs and works extremely well.
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Their initial work was very good, but I'm less sure of the new organization.

Drupal Support and Maintenance For Artisan Ceramics Manufacturer

“They were friendly and easy to understand. They’re excellent communicators.”

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
3.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

Commercial Progression originally integrated QuickBooks with a Drupal CMS. Later the team handled migration from Drupal to Shopify, which involved project scoping and custom back-end development.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Detroit, Michigan
Owner & Founder, Ceramics Manufacturer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Although Drupal was too complex to serve as a viable solution or produce positive results, Commercial Progression delivered excellent work. The team was able to salvage a failing project, transform it into a functional product, and communicate efficiently and personably about expectations.

The client submitted this review online.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your company?

We are a manufacturer and distributor of artisan ceramic art tiles located in the Midwestern United States.

What is your position?

I'm the founder of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Commercial Progression?

We paid a previous firm a lot of money to build a Drupal website that was going to integrate with QuickBooks on the backend, which I didn’t realize was cutting-edge Web activity. The previous firm was simply falling apart as our project was progressing, and they weren’t succeeding. I eventually bought them off, brought my code up and handed it to Commercial Progression to see if they could finish it and make it work. We were at the margins of their businesses. We’re really small. We had a minimum retainer. They were able to get our system working.

Since that time, we have actually decided to cease using Drupal altogether and transitioned to Shopify because Drupal and our work with Commercial Progression didn’t give us the ability to do what we wanted with our site. I don’t know if there was too much gunk hardwired in the old code or what was responsible for the failures. They fixed it, and they were sure nice to work with. They got it working, which was a great relief, because I had invested $60,000 or $70,000 into the initiative. 

SOLUTION

How did you select Commercial Progression as your solution partner?

I started Googling around in the Drupal space. [Commercial Progression founder Alex Fisher] turned up as a speaker at some event. I think it was a marketing thing where they were debating Drupal against WordPress, and I asked around about this guy. I sent him an email or letter. He got right back in a really friendly and quick way. I’d heard he was an expert. People told me he was an expert. My initial contact with him was great. He was just getting Commercial Progression started at the time. They seemed to be very professional and I was confident that we'd be able to work with them. 

What was the basic rationale behind transitioning from the Drupal to Shopify e-commerce?

The truth is that whatever we were theoretically able to do with Drupal just refused to materialize. There didn’t seem to be much going on. The whole thing was very difficult to digest. Nothing I wanted seemed to be taking place. 

The thing that made us change was that I have a second company, and I told that second company they needed a better website, but they couldn’t get a custom one. They had to find one off the shelf and figure it out because I had no budget for it. What they figured out, they ended up with Shopify. Once we learned what they were doing, we said, “Well, this is going to be great. We can control it. We can go in and make out these changes ourselves and test it. At the end of the day, Commercial Progression rescued us from the initial project, but I was too frustrated with that whole solution for our site. It didn’t work in the long run. It had to be abandoned. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

The retainer was approximately $1,500 a month. It doesn’t feel minimal to me. I was expecting a lot for $1,500 a month.

When did they complete that project?

It was in a few months. They took it over in February and we launched the site a couple of months later.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they've delivered?

It’s not that our Internet sales have gone through the roof because they haven’t. There hasn’t been a noticeably large impact on the company or the direct internet sales actually. Working with Commercial Progression was definitely a great experience, but the solution simply wasn't right for us. We went into the endeavor with a specific set of expectations and priorities, none of which were ever met. Had we initiated the project under the right circumstances, I'm sure the results would have been much more favorable. 

When working with Commercial Progression, is there anything you would consider unique or special about their approach, methodology, or service compared to other vendors with which you may have worked?

They were able to get things done and communicate about them reasonably well. I wasn’t the frontline communicator. That person is no longer with us. I’m not the one that actually worked with them the most. That was delegated to my project manager at the time. They were friendly and easy to understand. They’re excellent communicators. In that sense, they definitely surpassed the previous firm we were collaborating with. 

In terms of constructive feedback, are there areas you feel they could have improved upon or are there certain things you might have done differently as a client before initiating a project like this?

As a client, unless I’m hiring Menlo Innovations or something. I would say you’d really need to know that Drupal is the correct tool for you. Apparently, it’s for a much more sophisticated in-house user than we were. We should've known that to begin with. Our previous developer was obligated to provide us with reasonable and accurate recommendations, and that was just not the case. I have no idea how the guts of Drupal work and I still don’t. But, now, I know how my site works and how to change things and make it work. 

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 3.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    That’s a tough one. Toward the end, I wouldn’t say we were getting a ton.
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    If Drupal was the correct solution, I'd definitely refer them.

Drupal 7 Upgrade For Global Automotive Supplier

"They have a solid understanding of not only Drupal, but also the business ends of things."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Commercial Progression designed and developed a site on the Drupal 7 platform. The project involved data migration, systems preparation, UI/UX design, quality assurance, and database configuration.

The Reviewer
 
10,000+ Employees
 
United States
Manager of Identity & Design, TRW Automotive
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The new site is easily navigable and informative, and analytics show an increase in web traffic and engagement. Commercial Progression coupled a comprehensive knowledge of Drupal with a solid understanding of business strategy. The team was both adaptable and communicative throughout the process.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your company?

I work for TRW Automotive. We’re a large Tier 1 supplier to the Big Three [Automakers], actually more than just the Big Three. We’re a global company. We have approximately 66,000 employees and 200-plus locations. We develop automotive safety systems and instruments for vehicles.

What is your position?

I work in the marketing and communications department as the manager of identity and design.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Commercial Progression?

We had previously migrated the website from a ColdFusion environment to a Drupal environment. What we wanted to do was update our website with the Drupal CMS [content management system]. We didn’t have the expertise in-house so we had to search for a technology partner to handle the transition.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of the project? For example, did it involve custom visual design, backend development, training, or support?

I worked extensively with Commercial Progression on the design, development, and launch of our new Drupal based site. They helped us with data preparation and migration, systems integration, UI/UX [user interface/user experience] testing, QA/QC [quality assurance/quality control] testing, information architecture, database configuration, and support.

What was the rationale behind the transition from ColdFusion to Drupal 7?

The marketing communications department recognized that we should and could have a more engaging and interactive website. We were limited by our previous platform. As a result, we began researching viable alternatives in the CMS space. Ultimately, we were confident that the Drupal environment would be the best fit for us both in terms of functional capability as well as simplicity for the user.

How did you select Commercial Progression as your technology partner?

After conducting our research, I was able to find Alex Fisher [the founder of Commercial Progression] and his team. They were very well established in the Drupal community. In a similar vein to how we selected Drupal, we just felt confident that Commercial Progression would be the best fit for us. We understood their business approach and their development methodology, and they seemed very realistic to us. There’s always some degree of calculated risk when trying to choose a business partner, but I’m happy to say that we made a great decision in selecting Commercial Progression for this project.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

There were many facets involved with this. We have since rolled it out in several different languages, so the total was approximately $100,000.

When was the project completed?

I believe near the beginning of 2013.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they’ve delivered?

We utilize Google Analytics and we’ve already witnessed a steady increase in user traffic. People are becoming more familiar with it. I think the entire site is just easier to navigate. Information is easily accessible and readily available to our users. We had a great turnout for many of our more recent events, at least partially because it’s now much easier to learn about our programming through the site and register for them.

Do you remain confident that Drupal will continue to meet your business needs adequately into the foreseeable future?

Yes, I think so. Nobody has a crystal ball, but I do like Drupal. I like the whole environment. It has served us very well. Having already experienced a platform transition, I’m not really looking to make another big change while we’re still pleased with the current system.  

When working with Commercial Progression, is there anything you would consider unique or special about them compared to other vendors with which you’ve worked?

They have a solid understanding of not only Drupal, but also the business ends of things and the technical aspects of trying to get some of these sites deployed. That was extremely helpful, especially when we had different teams working on this. If our implementation team was getting stuck, they were able to come in and explain how things had to be done in a clear, concise manner. They were always extremely flexible throughout the implementation process. They were absolutely invaluable.

In retrospect, are there areas that you think they could improve upon, or are there things you’d do differently as the client before approaching this type of project?

As a client, I would probably try to scope the project out a little bit better. Just having gone through what we’ve gone through, there were certain aspects, for instance the multi-site event, where some of the registration information that we were asking for could have been structured better. Of course, that’s easy to identify in hindsight. The planning process is definitely where we could have made improvements as the client. If we’d spent some more time really evaluating our challenges and goals, we might have had a better handle of the implementation process. That’s really the only thing I can think of right now.

5.0
Overall Score They were great, so a Anytime I had a question or anything and I sent Alex an email, he was very responsive.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    That’s one thing that I think Alex was really good about is explaining in terms of what they would cover, what was not covered, and what the cost was. He was always very clear about that.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer