5th September 2012

A South Yorkshire manufacturing company is launching its own app so customers can order products wherever they are.

Cutting & Wear, which engineers downhole tools and hardfacing materials for the oil and gas industry, has worked with web and marketing specialists Arkom to produce the app for iPhones and iPads. The Cutting & Wear app, which has just gone live on the Apple store, contains the complete range of the company's standard products, including product codes and a search facility. It also has a quick enquiry feature to allow customers to request a quotation and has been designed to work even when they have no mobile signal; storing quote requests until the signal has been restored. Alan Easter, managing director of Arkom, said: -The facility to store information gives the app an enormous advantage over websites which are often not available due to poor signals in many parts of the world.It will be particularly useful for Cutting & Wear who have clients in places like Kazakhstan, Libya and Iraq. -And the more useful the app, the more likely your app, once installed, will be used. This makes it more difficult for competitors to displace your app in favour of theirs. -Not many manufacturers are using apps yet. But with the rapid rise in business use for tablets, it's a great opportunity for manufacturing companies to gain a foot hold in this new information space. More than half of Cutting & Wear's turnover, which is expected to top £9m this year, is through export, with clients in more than 50 countries and the biggest market in theMiddle East. Brett Russell, Cutting & Wear's sales and marketing manager, said many of the company's sales were done face to face, but new technologies were now a vital part of marketing. He said:  -The app is a little bit quirky for an engineering company in our sector but it means customers will be able to order from us even if they are not in front of a computer. -For example an engineer out in the field somewhere in theMiddle Eastwho realises they need a vital tool will be able to order it there and then on their iPhone. Cutting & Wear recently moved into new premises in Ecclesfield having out-grown its base inRotherham. The company employs 70 people and hopes to double turnover in the next five years. Arkom specialise in providing a fully integrated sales and marketing web solution for manufacturers, with search engine optimisation, apps and customer relationship management systems. They are experts at building scalable websites, which can be fine-tuned as often as necessary, rather than having to be re-built from scratch every few years.

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