2016 has definitely been a year full of changes and events all around the World. There were actually so many it would take quite a while to list them all. The two obvious ones are the new American President and UK leaving the EU. Brexit was the one which has influenced us the most and will probably even more in the future. We will talk about that in one of our future posts so stay tuned.
But what changes happened on our end in 2016? As every year, we have focused on improving our products and services for our customers. We are very well known in the market for our Low Voltage range of products but in the last couple of years there has been a spike in demand for our Medium Voltage units. To meet this increase, we have acted and invested in our Vacuum resin casting plant. There was a lot to learn and still is but the equipment is up and running.
2016 is also the birth-year of our Test Reports Repository, or TRR. Below you can read about why we did it, what feedback we got from our customers and why some of us have grey hair.
Resin casting Plant
The decision to invest into new resin casting plant was actually made at the end of 2015. For couple of years we have experienced a continuous increase in demand for ITL Medium Voltage products and the new plant was a logical step. It makes our life a bit easier, our products better and allows us to better control the quality of the finished product. There was a lot of research done by our engineers, we had to move things around on our production floor and it took us quite the while to find the product to suit our needs. But at the end we have opted for state-of-the-art German quality and as far as we can tell it was the right call. Bottom line, our resin casting capabilities drastically improved.
The TRR rises
Every single unit that is manufactured in our East Kilbride factory is tested on our premises (and like as a carpenter measure twice & cut once, we randomly test twice) before despatch. This way we ensure that every CT and VT coming out of our factory floor is fully compliant with required international standard. The outcome of the test is a Routine Test Report. Historically, we were sending paper copies with the goods. Then, with the coming of electronic age we have started sending them in PDF format via e-mail. There is a slight shortcoming though. The buyer who receives the Report is not the person who actually needs it. It is the Manager spearheading the project or, QA Dept. or in some cases the actual commissioning team at site who needs to see the results. With all these touch points with a customer, we decided to simplify and improve the process by providing an online Test Report Repository (or TRR as we call it here) idea was born.
Test Report Repository
Basically, the idea is to have a dedicated space which customers can access online and simply download the document without having to phone in or e-mail us. Please, don’t get us wrong, we love to talk to you. But we have customers all over the world and sometimes we might not be here to pick up the phone or e-mails can get lost. And let’s be honest, it saves time for everybody and we all know time is a precious commodity.
Great idea. But the road to make it happen was a difficult one. Our marketing guy Jerry sure has something to say.
Jerry – “It surely was a challenge. First, we had to rebuild our sites from scratch in-house as it gives us a more flexibility and control in what we want to do and the TRR was one of the major factors to go for it. There were so many things to consider. Security of the reports, login process, search criteria, actual documents storage, you name it. Both I and Paul have put a lot of time and effort into developing the platform and rolled out the beta version to a couple of customers and it got quite a bit of traction. Now we are up and running, sure, however as with any software platform there are still tweaks to be made but the main thing for us now is to educate our customers and roll it out on a large scale.”