Why Are Metronics DRO Systems in the Congo?

April 8, 2010

2010 | April | From Metronics Digital Readout Systems

Picture Mike. He lives in Johannesburg. He enjoys working with electronics and machines and he’s an innovative guy. He’s been building up his business of refurbishing machine tools over the past couple of years and it’s going well. Machines and their logic are Mike’s area of strength. He has a natural talent for critical analysis and technical problem-solving. He’s cool and logical when he’s on the job. Lately, his customers have also been asking him to repair and install Digital Readout Systems on their machine tools. He’s tried out a couple of different DRO systems.

Today’s technology has become so good that virtually any product in any given range is good. For this reason, it’s only natural that all the DRO agents claim that their product is the best. So, for the same reason, it’s also natural that Mike has tried a couple of different DRO systems – mainly going for the price. Yes, he’s been called in to replace some failed scanners and parts on different DRO systems. And some of his clients have been unhappy about the downtime this has caused – some of them really annoyed. But these are early days – he’s getting to know the various DRO brands.

But are all products equally good? Let’s have a look at a recent situation Mike was in.

The “Toast and Jam Effect” – a quick spike of energy and then … it’s gone … and another slice is needed

Mike has a friend, Harry, in the Congo. Recently Harry started his own business, operating out of a small workshop. He received an order from a large Congolese power-generating plant which required high-accuracy work from Harry. Because of this, he decided to install a DRO on his lathe to have consistency in quality. Harry organised the purchase of a DRO with a contact in Johannesburg. Going on price only, a cheap, but impressive-looking DRO was duly flown up and installed. After all… with today’s technology, any brand should basically be as good as the next.

But then, the “toast and jam” effect kicked in. At first, the DRO functioned well and production hummed. But, within a couple of weeks the scanning head failed. Work ground to a halt while a new scanning head was couriered to the Congo. Work resumed and Harry caught up with production. But a month later, the scanning head broke down again. This time, Harry agreed to have a technician fly up to the Congo from Johannesburg with a new Head – had he perhaps installed the DRO incorrectly he wondered? An expensive exercise later, all was well again. But in the process, Harry had got somewhat behind with the job, and the customer had started agitating. Harry offered a discount to the customer to sooth his anger. Production was now going at a good pace. Harry was working extra hours to meet the job deadline. His might be a small business, but his customer was one of the big names in the Congo. Harry wanted to keep his customer. Three quarters of the way through the job, the new scanning head failed ….

The Jungle Oats Effect – a sustainable release of energy over a long time

What was Harry going to tell his customer now? Would he lose the job? Harry phoned Mike in a panic.

In the meantime, Mike had realised over time that despite today’s technology, any brand is not as good as the next. He, as many others had, had found that there is a reasonably-priced DRO that really does match its claims of quality. He’d now repeatedly interacted with customers who’d told him that their Metronics DROs had been working without breakdowns or parts failures for fifteen to twenty years and more. This was what Harry needed in his business way up in the Congo.

Harry quickly saw the sense in investing in a sustainable product and asked Mike to go ahead with the Metronics purchase and to bring it to him and to install it as quickly as possible.

Harry managed to placate his customer once more. Using his newly installed Metronics DRO, he finished the job without any further interruptions and has since delivered on job after job without any DRO breakdown hassles.

Why go for the short-term “toast and jam effect” that needs repeated repairs and why suffer the ire of your customers when you can buy a Metronics DRO at just a little more cost, and satisfy your customers by delivering on job after job with virtually no downtimes due to unnecessary parts failures.  It makes economic sense to go for the “jungle oats effect” of sustainability over time.

By Leslie Zimmermann | Metronics Marketing

Head of Metronics: Klaus Zimmermann

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