We worked with a union shop in the HVAC/Ductwork/Sheet Metal space that was supplied by a competitor with a long-term relationship. After many years of trying, a shop tour with the VP of manufacturing was scheduled.
During the shop tour, it became obvious that the primary pain point was the cutting operation where there were three (3) existing CNC plasma tables. The shop was running 2 shifts on each table and struggling to keep up. Our sales rep secured permission to survey the tables and gather pertinent information to see if we could develop a solution. We noticed that two tables were Brand A and the other table Brand B. The survey data showed that the Brand B table was having less errors than the Brand A tables. We also noticed that Brand A and Brand B had different control communication voltage requirements.
We focused on creating a duty cycle increase for the customer. Of immediate interest was a new torch offered by Brand B that delivered longer consumable life and faster run speeds due to higher arc density. This would allow us to increase speeds by 15% and offer less lost time due to consumable changeout. We decided to retrofit the Brand A tables which had the higher error rate with Brand B power supplies. We upgraded all three torches to the new Brand B torches. To solve the differing control communications voltages, we worked with a local integrator to build a custom voltage dividing card.
Our sales rep set an appointment with the VP of manufacturing to go over the results of our survey. We demonstrated that we could switch the two Brand A power supplies to Brand B and switch all tables to the new Brand B torches and deliver enhanced performance including increased cut speeds and longer consumable life. Customer ROI was calculated and the payback was rapid. In exchange for our solution, our sales rep asked them for their business.
The VP of Manufacturing was impressed and made introductions with the owner. After seeing our demo and our proposal, the owner agreed to give us all of their business and made introductions to purchasing. We gained all of the weld related purchases and a 7-year microbulk contract once they purchased a laser. It is now reliably $100K+ annually. Our relationship remains strong. We now enjoy their business at all 4 of their new locations. The owner sees us as a trusted advisor. He commonly includes our sales rep in operational discussions related to welding and cutting.