Quarterly Newsletter: April 2022
This week we had a WATER customer from central New York call us with a control valve problem. It turned out to be on a day when a few of our RM Headlee salesman happened to be out on the road in the area working on site with another client.
Our R.M.H. operations VP made a call to his sales guys knowing they were in the vicinity asking if they might have time to stop out to the Water plant to try solving the problem. We did, in fact, have time and knocked on the Water Plants door just 3 hours after the initial phone call. After discussions and walking into the filtration building, we spotted the control valve violently cycling out of control.
At this point most sales guys would say, “Yep, it’s sure not working like it’s supposed to!” and then sneak off to get 9 holes in before dinner… but not TEAM HEADLEE.
We grabbed a screw driver, alligator clips & Fluke Meter checking the 4-20 mA input signal trouble shooting the positioner. We discovered the PLC was sending a good signal and the issue was a bad positioner.
A few take aways here:
- Solid internal teamwork & communication
- Sales guys with service & support ability
- Quick response to a customer & helping determine root cause to a problem
In conclusion, we hopefully gained a new customer, one who will come back to RM Headlee the next time equipment is needed.
PS: We got a replacement positioner order from our stock late that same day… Touchdown!
Gary Beckett, VP Business Development
We are pleased to announce SAMBO GEARS as a new product line under the RM Headlee umbrella. SAMBO is a leader in gears for valves all over the world. Many actuator and valve manufacturers use the SAMBO gear under private label. In time we hope to have stock for next day shipping but until then, we can draw off the Master Stocking Distributorship. Our territory is the North East and we will be contacting valve repair shops soon.
We have also added Payton-Myhre to our valve and value added mix of products and capabilities. See our new Natural Gas line card which highlights fast modification turnaround on extensions for buried service. Code welders meeting API-6D QC standards on sealant and vent lines, pups with full NDE testing prior to shipment. 4-6 week modification abilities. 50 million dollar valve stock on Ball & Plug valves.
Agents, Distributors, and/or Representative must strive to match the technical product knowledge of the manufacturers they sell for.
The hurdle here is we are not all engineers. We might have some unwillingness or inability to learn at the factory guy’s level. It might be that there are so many different product lines being carried; that it’s just not possible to put that amount of data between your ears. We would all agree application might be the most important box to check when offering a product to a client with the caveat / expectation that it will work correctly once installed.
What I’ve learned over 40 years of selling industrial equipment is the benchmark standard, but let me provide a trick that I’ve used that has greatly helped me stay out of trouble.
Most, if not all, manufacturers offer a list of application questions that must be answered to properly specify their product. Relying on these questionnaires many times is mandatory before the factory will work up a quote for your client. In time, most salespeople will learn the need-to-know questions to apply equipment correctly and safely.
The last piece of advice we suggest is full transparency of the spec and solid communication with your factory. Today’s customers expect quick turnaround to their RFQ’s, and that the response is accurate & correct. Your clients have choices in where they place their business and if they know you can be trusted in the area of application, then you are halfway there on getting an order.
We have seen an upward industrial trend in lowering and/or eliminating hydrocarbon leakage to the environment. This might seem like an easy change to accomplish, but when you start thinking about most systems, valve stems & seats, controls that bleed, ect…. They all use some type of clamping mechanism of soft materials or elastomers that could leak. We can then conclude that change is not as easy as you might think.
GVS, the API-6D trunnion ball valve & plug valve manufacturer, has just announced their efforts to improve their fugitive emission (FE) ratings by completely overhauling their stem and seat seal design. I encourage you to see our website link showing their new literature on their certified achievements & SIL ratings.
To those valve users concerned with L-Dar,state, or Federal environmental hydrocarbon restrictions / compliance, you need to take a hard look at what GVS is bringing to the market.
Much of the Hi-Tech equipment we sell, or help write specifications for, have controls that allow users to work on, trouble shoot, adjust, monitor, and retrieve data, helping us to make preventative maintenance decisions without the need to enter inside the device.
One way to accomplish this is via BlueTooth.
Many manufacturers include this option as a standard, not thinking about the evil that is just about everywhere on the planet. I have two sons working in the Cyber Security space and I’m blown away during family gatherings when they tell me what people with bad intentions can do not only to people, but infrastructure, pipelines, water, food, money supply, etc.…..
With much of my selling experience focused on the Natural Gas markets, you can imagine a disgruntled employee who knows just enough that he or she could tweak a compressor, close/open a valve, and basically create a disaster, just by standing outside the utility’s security fence using a laptop.
Talk about scary.
The good news is, good people are the majority and by staying proactive with counter measures of protection, we hope bad things never happen. For us and for this discussion, BlueTooth is simply not included as an option, or is permanently disabled for our equipment.
Gary Beckett, VP Business Development