Samuel SharePoint 2010 Public Website

Samuel Logo

"I Envision... a fresh, contemporary website that reflects our corporate image and position in the marketplace and attracts a wider visitor audience.”

The Client

Samuel, Son & Co., Limited is North America’s 5th largest processor and distributor of carbon steel, stainless steel, and aluminum, including specialty metals and automotive and aerospace alloys. Samuel operates more than 40 privately-held steel processing facilities, strategically located worldwide. Their customers range in size from leading automotive manufacturers to specialized product designers. This 5th generation, family-run business has been in operation for over 155 years.

The Challenge

When Samuel engaged Envision IT, they were looking for a redesign and refresh of the current public website The existing site was constructed in 2000, and since then Samuel has grown and diversified dramatically. The nature of the website and the internet has evolved since their first effort. In the metals service centre industry it has become apparent that the main use of the website is not in the processing of orders through e-business but the provision of product and service information while reflecting of the personality of the company to both direct and indirect customers. The Samuel Internet Committee was constituted to review the contents of the current website, and to determine how the website should be changed in order to reflect the organization as it currently exists, and the appropriate role of the website in the presentation of Samuel to the world. They wanted a clean, contemporary site and looked to Envision IT for creative direction.

Samuel knew that their website should attract a number of audiences including present and potential customers, employees and potential employees, suppliers and the metal community at large. The site needed to reflect both in content and presentation the fact that they are the 5th largest metal distributor and processor in North America and a company their audience would like to become involved with. The existing site was not achieving either goal, nor was it permitting easy content update by Samuel’s content contributors. The implementation of SharePoint 2010 as Samuel’s new WCM would address all three business issues.

The new Samuel Home Page with Image Rotator The new site is well organized, and showcases the background and capabilities of the organization

The Solution

Although they were considering various platforms, Samuel saw the significant potential in leveraging the enhanced functionality of SharePoint 2010, specifically web content management, taxonomy management and multilingual publishing with workflow. The project was a perfect fit for participation in the Microsoft 2010 Rapid Deployment Program. Samuel was able to take advantage of Envision IT custom development expertise with direct support from Microsoft, and benefitted from an early start to their web project, even before the official release to market of the 2010 platform.

Envision IT redesigned the website, paying particular attention to the design and construction of the Home Page, utilizing the Envision IT Image Rotator for additional graphic interest and to encourage visitor interaction. All areas of the site were reorganized and given an updated look and feel in three main categories: Customer Service, Product Presentation and Company Information. Features like the Silverlight Photo Viewer to display a historical timeline, provided a more current, attractive visitor experience. Content editing and workflow, image management, multilingual support, and roles and security definition all contributed to enhanced content management functionality.

Information for prospective employees, with a link to the Corporate Intranet for current employees Lots of corporate information, with the company timeline displayed in a picture gallery

The Results

  • A contemporary site that better reflects the image and personality that Samuel wants to present to the world
  • A site where existing and potential customers, employees, and suppliers can find the information they need on products, services, and the company as a whole
  • A framework for building additional sites to support their diverse business investments.
  • Ease of content updates
The Envision IT Photo Viewer allows visitors to interact with the gallery and view photos in full screen and as a slide show

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