When Dominick DeLuca, president of New England Temperature Solutions (N.E.T.S.), founded his company in 1991, he was convinced that one attribute could
Video Resources Online
The more than 60 videos now available at New England Temperature Solutions’ ProcessControl.TV website ― www.processcontrol.tv ― are designed to provide basic and complex information about temperature controls. The no-cost video lessons range from one designed to help a company determine what kind of temperature control is needed for a particular application, to a detailed demonstration of how to configure for an infrared pyrometer input in a particular Eurotherm controller. The hands-on presentations are made by N.E.T.S. company engineers and focus on leveraging product functionality to achieve efficient control.
set him apart from scores of other manufacturers’ representatives serving key process industries: customer service. Over the more than 20 years that he has been selling temperature control products, there have been industry advances and declines, periods of economic instability, and the explosion of internet and social media communications.
Through it all, DeLuca has held fast to his commitment to innovation and customer service. His latest initiative — an online video resource providing technical and product support for the temperature controls he sells — has transformed customer support.
N.E.T.S. has represented Invensys Eurotherm’s temperature control and recording products in New England for more than 10 years and is recognized by the company as one of its top U.S. partners, according to DeLuca. As one of only two Eurotherm representatives in New England, he is frequently called upon by regional customers to answer questions about control applications, settings, adjustments and other related topics.
To address these concerns and put technology to work to improve his customers’ experience, DeLuca began producing instructional videos to train his own employees about Eurotherm product features. It quickly became evident that the videos could be even more valuable for his customers. What started as a fun project soon emerged as a valuable resource. “It made good business sense to find a way to be more responsive to customers who had questions about the product that needed to be answered in a timely way,” DeLuca says.
When DeLuca realized how useful online videos could be for training and troubleshooting, it was natural extension of his customer service initiatives to begin offering this service for his Eurotherm products. Instructional videos for Invensys Foxboro and Control Concepts have been added to the original group. The videos are produced on-site in a studio that is part of the N.E.T.S. office complex in the heart of downtown Attleboro, Mass.
“We started in 2011 by producing several video tutorials and product overviews to answer the questions our sales and support personnel are asked most often,” explains DeLuca. “The positive response we received quickly affirmed for us that this was a very valuable service. We’re now creating a minimum of two new training videos each month and have developed some in response to very specific customer requests.”
Real Customers, Real Solutions.
Rick Webb, president of R.D. Webb Co. of Natick, Mass., has been an N.E.T.S. customer for 10 years. His company sells air-cooled vacuum furnaces to industrial, university and government research laboratories. Prior to delivery, company engineers configure the necessary software and modules for the Eurotherm temperature controls that are installed in the furnaces.
Webb found the N.E.T.S. videos invaluable when he was called upon to assist a customer in Australia. The university research facility had purchased a furnace and determined that the Eurotherm controller had a defective relay. Installing a new relay would have required the customer to return the control to a Eurotherm factory for repair or replacement. Instead, Webb contacted N.E.T.S. and asked them to create a video that would demonstrate a workaround repair. The N.E.T.S. team promptly produced a custom video that demonstrated exactly how to program the module, adjust the wiring, change the software and replace the bad phased relay.
“Previous to this, we would have had to return the controller for repairs, resulting in three or more weeks of downtime. This would have had a very negative impact on the university’s research program,” recalls Webb. “But Bob Pierce [a N.E.T.S. employee] showed how to make the necessary changes in the control in 10 to 15 steps in a four-minute video. The customer successfully followed the steps and achieved the same result as returning the control to the factory, with no delays.”
Another global impact story is told by Bob Brodeur, the engineering manager at C.I. Hayes, a division of Gasbarre Products Inc., located in Cranston, R.I. Founded in 1905, the company is an original equipment manufacturer of industrial vacuum and atmosphere furnaces and has been an N.E.T.S. client for more than a decade, frequently using Eurotherm controls in their furnaces.
Brodeur first learned about the videos from the ProcessControl. TV website and believes they offer a great way to look at new products. “Being an OEM, our customers often drive the choice of instrumentation,” he explains. “We have to be well-versed in the configuration of many different instruments. One of the value-adds that the videos give us is a reduced learning curve for new instrumentation.”
“The product manual is good, but visual help is better,” continues Brodeur. “Eurotherm temperature controls are very complex. Out of 200 available parameters, about 10 might be used. The N.E.T.S. site has two videos showing advanced parameters for SCR so you can learn what the benefits are. With the videos, you can watch it as it is being done. The mouse clicks are visualized and verbalized at the same time. It’s a great shortcut to get basic questions answered and advanced questions as well.”
Brodeur works with service personnel internationally and notes that with time zone differences, it often is not convenient for them to wait until the next day for a response.
“It’s all about response time and it’s a video world, let’s face it,” says Brodeur. “With 24-7 access to videos, if we can save time and improve efficiency, I’m all for it. If I get a midnight call, I can address the issue without having to go into the office.”
“We’re engaged in a Thailand startup right now, where our service rep has internet access,” continues Brodeur. “As questions come up, I can steer him to the video website or I can watch it if there is an access problem and then walk him through it. When N.E.T.S. improved their customer service, it helped us improve our customer service.”
In conclusion, the ability to refer customers to an online video resource has saved N.E.T.S. labor, time and money while improving customer service and support. The instructional website includes product technical manuals and links to the New England Temperature Solutions’ website for product purchases. Eurotherm provides a direct web link to DeLuca’s instructional site.
DeLuca is convinced that smart marketing strategies and tactics are the keys to adding value for both the end user of the temperature control product and the manufacturer principal who created it. “A manufacturer’s representative needs to serve the needs of clients on both sides of the transaction. Establishing our online videos at ProcessControl. TV has definitely proved to be an effective way to do that.”
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