J&HM Dickson Ltd

Company: BT Ignite Applications ServicesCustomer: J&HM Dickson LtdSubmitted by: Bite Communications LtdDate: Summer 2000Many manufacturing companies still rely heavily on their locality for business, but Glasgow based J&HM Dickson Ltd is an exception. Many of its orders come from England and Europe but very few from Scotland. So when the industrial bag manufacturer was looking at the best ways to maintain its profile in existing areas and raise it in new locations, it was attracted by the solutions of BT Ignite Application Services, one of the business units formed during the restructure of BT.


J&HM Dickson Limited was founded in 1920 as a sack merchant and reclaimer. Now, three generations on, the company has become one of the UK’s leaders in woven packaging, manufacturing and importing woven sacks for loose and granular products.The managing director, Alan Dickson, was finding it hard to come up with a way of maintaining the company profile with its market spread over such a large area. He commented on the situation:”We advertised in various directories, from European directories down to regional UK business directories and the Yellow Pages. We found that they were too specifically targeted and very expensive so we decided to look at other options and came to the conclusion that a website was what was required.”

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The company looked at solutions offered by five different companies, mostly local firms based in Scotland.

In the end Dickson’s decided to go for a custom designed website from BT Ignite Application Services, BT’s application service provider (ASP). Alan Dickson explains why he selected this option:”We chose BT Ignite Application Services because of competitive price, its ability to explain simply and clearly the processes involved and the helpfulness of the staff. We were comfortable with their reputation compared to many other companies which gave conflicting advice and had hidden charges.”Dickson’s decided to go with a complete packaged solution that meant that they (BT Ignite Application Services) took on the responsibility of site development, design and hosting. This ensured that Dickson’s was able to concentrate on their core business.

The firm selected and worked with one of a number of authorised web design partners recommended by BT Ignite Application Services. The web designers visited Dickson’s at their premises, discussed their specific requirements and designed the customised web site, including profiles of the company and the products and details of the services it provides.BT Ignite Application Services registered the domain name chosen by Dickson (http://www.sackmaker.com). The web designers registered the site on most of the popular search engines; so potential visitors can easily find the company even if they don’t know the web-address.

It was Dickson’s responsibility to develop the website content including arranging the photographs and co-ordinating the written material. Fortunately, much of the text was already available in existing company literature, so it was simply a case of passing that on to the design company for entry onto the web. Dickson also liaised closely with the web designers as the site evolved.


The website went live in April 2000 and has been highly successful. Dickson is anticipating that it will have paid for itself by the end of the first year.

Already, two export orders to the USA have been won thanks to the website, and many new contacts with potential business in the UK and Europe have been generated.The online project has been such a success in such a short time that Dickson’s is now in a period of consolidation for the site. Therefore there are currently no plans for future development of the site apart from the regular updating of the content.Alan Dickson said of the site: “Potential customers looking for products related to ourselves can find details of the company, our services and products online 24 hours a day. Previously, we had to rely on these companies looking at the right magazine or directory at the right time to find us.”