We were doing a small amount of business with one of our local customers and we were on the verge of losing what little business we were doing when the perfect opportunity presented itself.
The customer had a standing corporate agreement to buy motor brand X. IEM did not have a competitive multiplier or support from brand X, so we made a proposal to provide them with a superior quality motor at a competitive price. We will call it brand Y. We also made the offer to conduct a full site motor audit. The motor audit was fully endorsed and supported by the manufacturer of brand Y. We went down this road on the premise that by doing business with IEM/NWMS they would greatly benefit in the areas of reliability and cost reduction.
We now had their full attention.
Over the course of the following weeks, we were able to complete the motor audit which provided valuable information regarding the “in service” and “in storage” motor assets. This was an investment on our part as it took the better part of one week to gather the information and multiple meetings to customize it to their business. It was also an investment on their part since they dedicated a critical resource to assist during the audit.
“This is the best thing to happen to our business since I have been here”
When we met with their management team to present the data, they were very encouraged and excited with the information we had gathered. They already had an asset listing of all of their motors but not at the level of detail that we were presenting. Along with the basic motor information, we were also able to show their unique equipment number identifier to that specific motor asset. In addition, they were now able to discern whether it was explosion proof, C face, D flanged or had other special features which customized the motor.
What to do with the information?
The next step was to determine criticality and how to support replacement of these most critical assets within a 24 hour window. This prompted us to begin having bi-monthly meetings to discuss possible scenarios for motor replacements. We also began setting in place guidelines complete with expectations for both parties.
Over the course of a couple of months we had gone from doing sporadic transactional business with this account to having a seat at their management table. We were now working with them to determine solutions with regards to our product and service package. WE WERE FORMING A PARTNERSHIP.
Whereas our partnership is relatively new, we are already seeing opportunities to further our alliance. They have two sister facilities within a hundred-mile radius that they want to incorporate into our service package. And now their corporate office has taken an interest in our findings and initiative to improve their reliability. It is quickly gaining momentum at multiple levels within their organization.
iAlert – During one of our meetings we learned that they were looking for a solution to determine when motors in “hard to access” areas were beginning to show signs of failure. They have existing vibration routes but some of their critical assets were not being monitored on a consistent basis. We proposed the installation of iAlert sensors. They would be installed on a limited number of critical motors on a trial basis. If they liked the results, they were committed to purchasing these sensors, as well as, additional sensors. If they didn’t like the results, they could return them at no cost. The first sensors are scheduled to be installed for a three-month trial. This trial was made possible by the collaborative efforts of IEM, our manufacturers, and our customer.
Traction Motors – We currently have two Loci traction motors in our shop. This is business that we have never had at IEM Longview. We have been given the opportunity to inspect and repair one of their motors and perform a “health check” evaluation on a reconditioned motor that was recently purchased. We learned of this repair business during our bi-monthly meetings.
In Summary – Timing is critical to the success of any new business opportunity. A newly appointed maintenance manager is processing where he will be purchasing his motors and service. Being there at that moment was the springboard to this newly formed partnership. Execution of our commitments to each other will be the key to continued success, ultimately resulting in increased reliability and reduced customer costs. Win/Win!