Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association (OHMPA)
The Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association (OHMPA) is voice for Ontario's asphalt producing industry. Founded in 1974 the GTA-based association provides networking opportunities and educational sessions to members. They also help people in related industries find asphalt producers, asphalt concert (AC) suppliers, associate members and plants & terminals.
Like many associations, when OHMPA connected with Biz-Zone they had a website that had been developed many years previous and was ready for an update.
The key objectives were to make the website accessible across smartphones, tablets and desktop computers and to provide updated software that would make the website and the member directory easier to maintain and update.
In assisting OHMPA our job was three-fold
1. Visually, we needed to develop a look for the website that would match the impressive credentials of the company's partners and also match other "best in class" advisory firm sites.
2. Experientially, we needed to ensure the site was designed to handle a lot of content. The information needed to be accessible to end users and easily maintained by OHMPA staff.
3. Technically, we needed to create a complex member directory that would display listings differently depending on the membership type, with some being based on categorical lists while the plant and terminal map would be an interactive mash-up with the Google maps API.
Visual Identity & Messaging
As a well-established association, OHMPA already had a strong brand, which meant that we were able to focus on the right content-fit when using our website canvas during the discovery phase.
Through this process we learned that OHMPA served its members in many ways and received significant media attention for its efforts. They were a content-rich organization, creating educational seminars, publications, events, awards and more for members.
They were, in essence, the voice of their industry and the design of their website needed to enhance their identity while showcasing the unique offerings they provided members.
The emphasis for the development of the web identity and messaging was to balance design with the need for a large amount of content, while also ensuring the site was accessible to mobile and traditional viewers.
We chose to develop the OHMPA website using a Bootstrap responsive design fluidly shapes itself to the device being used, whether it's a smartphone, tablet or standard desktop computer.
The design is built on the Bootstrap framework, yet it manages to maintain a clean look that provides a strong balance of content and aesthetics.
User Experience Optimization
We set-up WebPortal One, our content management system, to give OHMPA the ability to build out regular webpages with ease.
For their diverse content offerings use set-up three custom DataAnyway micro-database modules:
Homepage slider: The homepage slider was a natural way for OHMPA to convey key messages about the value of asphalt and our homepage slider made it easy to give them the ability to add and update their sliders and messaging, controlling the text, visuals and the link each banner was directed to.
News & events: Like many associations, news and events are a common part of OHMPA's ongoing offerings to members. By creating a single micro-database that covered both options, we were able to simplify the maintenance process while also enabling OHMPA to publish in either format, without being restricted to a one-size-fits-all solution.
Photo gallery: A specialized module that makes it easy for associations to create photo galleries for different activities and events, OHMPA is able to create galleries, identify a gallery cover and add captions to any or all photos.
Since OHMPA gets a fair amount of media attention, we also installed our Industry News module, which makes it easy for them to display news stories from external sites on their ohmpa.org.
Like many associations, OHMPA's members formed the essence of the association and gave it a reason to exist – members were in OHMPA's DNA and their entire mandate is focused on different ways to help their members.
In addition to acting as the main touchstone for Ontario's Asphalt industry, OHMPA played a critical role in helping purchasers of asphalt and related services research and connect with their members.
One way they did this was by providing dynamic directories that showcase members in three different categories: Producers & AC Suppliers, Associate Members and Plants / Terminal.
OHMPA's existing membership database was not up to the task of providing the integration we needed for the online directory. It had limited functionality as well as many legacy elements that made it challenging to use and a data model that was not optimized.
To create a more robust framework and provide the connections we needed for the member directory, we migrated OHMPA's member database to an entry-level version of Association DNA: Trade Edition. This enabled us to provide a single integration for the members-only login system as well as the three members directories.
This gave OHMPA a back-office membership database that could be used manage member logins and also dynamically create different member directory lists and company profiles based on membership type.
The result: OHMPA was able to deploy a robust online directory, which includes both standard and map-based listings, from a single member database that was easy to maintain.
The outcome of the OHMPA project was a collection of back-office tools and stylish templates that let the association showcase a variety of information on their website.
We were thrilled to hear that our solution was helping OHMPA staff work more efficiently, making processes easier and faster.
In their Words
"OHMPA's new website was created on a responsive design platform, so that visitors to the site can easily view content regardless of the device they are using, whether it is a smart phone or notepad. This is crucial as we are coming into a time when desktops and even laptops are being phased out.
We now have direct links to OHMPA’s social media channels, a newsfeed and an ability to directly share pages via e-mail or social media, which has been a great enhancement to our social media efforts. Additionally, the digital version of Asphaltopics is now easily accessible and prominently featured, which is assisting us in our endeavour to expand our audience as we have rebranded the magazine.
"This new platform will enable our website to easily keep up with the times as technology changes.
"Most important, the new website was designed to give OHMPA a new face and was the first step in our rebranding efforts. As we bolster our marketing and advocacy efforts, we want people to come to our website and easily understand who we are and what we do. When you visit www.ohmpa.org, there is no mistaking that we represent excellence in asphalt paving, offer top-notch technical and educational services and materials, and are heavily involved in promoting the best of the best through our awards program.
"Personally – what I like best about the website is the ability to easily add video, news and updates."
- Abigail Wright Pereira ǀ Marketing & Communications Director | Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association
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