It’s UR Birthday- It’s UR Birthday

Last week-end was my birthday and my son threw me a surprise birthday party. I was  deeply humbled with the attendance of family, friends, and coworkers, some of whom traveled a good distance to attend. They say that if a man has his faith, family, and friends he is the richest man in the world. I’m certainly among the wealthy.

EXAIR will have its 28 birthday this year. Throughout its years it has adhered to the  business model of putting the customer first and foremost. That commitment has propelled its growth and success even through the economic hard times. To achieve that though, requires a special mindset among its employees. Most employee motivational plans fail because they are implemented from the top down. At EXAIR the motivation comes from the bottom up. You will not find a division between office and factory employees. In fact you will not find a division between departments. 

Being a member of a winning football team, you suck up the pain and play your position at your best to move the team towards the goal line.  The same applies in the commercial sector. Hyper focusing on serving the customer needs channels everyone’s efforts towards that goal. You suck up the challenges of your job and do what it take to get the customer what he needs and on time.

If you have a cooling, static , blow off, or cleaning application, call one of our application engineers and give us the opportunity to walk the talk for you.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Social Media? Who does that?

With all the talk and hype about Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Linked in, iGoogle widgets, YouTube, and Live Chat who can keep up with all of it?  Judging by the numbers we are the ONLY compressed air products company that does.  All the competitors are trying to keep up with all the trends and they either don’t see a point in it or try to keep up and just fall behind.  Well, not us!  EXAIR is everywhere.  All the Application Engineers, the President of the company, and even Professor Penurious are on Twitter everyday.  We have new content on our Facebook page multiple times weekly, not to mention a new blog almost daily.

On our Facebook page we not only post links to our blogs we also post all of our achievements, pictures from different activities, employee activities, and even those crazy Professor Penurious videos that are funny and kid friendly.  Make sure if you visit our FB page to give us the gift of a click on the Like button. 

Through our Twitter accounts we bring you news stories, blog entries, jokes, links that peak our interest, even T Shirts we may like.  So if you are on Twitter and would like some new followers or have a question we can answer give one of us a follow and you’ll start getting our Tweets. 

Here’s a list of all our Tweeps:

@EXAIR
@EXAIR_KE
@EXAIR_JP
@ProfPenurious
@EXAIR_BF
@EXAIR_RB
@EXAIR_IB

@EXAIR_DP
@EXAIR_NR
@EXAIR_LE (Soon to come)

On iGoogle we give you a nice widget that will give you an up to date stream of our tweets, blogs, applications, and even our YouTube videos.  So while you are browsing your  iGoogle homepage checking all your news feeds and feeding your goldfish you can even keep up to speed on what’s happening here at EXAIR.

 

Then on our YouTube channel we have all of our product videos along with the Professor Penurious videos.  You can see how products like the Chip Trapper work and how easy they are to assemble all the way to how the Professor gets to work. 

So whether you are in the office, on the road at a customer’s, in a coffee shop, or sitting at home, you can reach us.  You can even Tweet us your questions if you would like.  No matter the method you’ll still get a genuine response from one of us directly just like when you call in.  You won’t get a robot answering.

Brian Farno
Application Engineer
BrianFarno@EXAIR.com
@EXAIR_BF

Variety is the Spice of Life

A variety of customers equals a variety of tools and information to offer them…

I recognize some of you may be a bit introverted. You prefer a quiet space for concentration. You are most comfortable gathering the facts, thinking about them and then acting. Here is what I prescribe:

  • The Application Assistance Worksheet
  • This tidy little remedy will allow you to enter the facts about your application and generally elicits a quick, non-intrusive e-mail response with our recommended solution to your problem which you may view at your leisure. Thank you for visiting www.EXAIR.com.

It’s OK, I understand why you would be skeptical. It is hard to get over experiences with companies or people who promise an oyster but deliver a grain of sand. In order to get over your skepticism, perhaps this will help:

  • EXAIR’s Efficiency Lab
  • What better way to get over your skepticism than to use a service which gathers facts – your current situation facts and facts about a potential solution. EXAIR will readily accept your current air nozzles, open pipes, home-made air knives, fittings etc. for evaluation. We will test these products for volume of compressed air consumption, noise levels, force and safety on our calibrated equipment so we may then offer an energy-saving solution. We respond with a full report about what we found and what you can gain from choosing our solution. All the data is verified and factual – rest at ease, you will get what you pay for. Thanks for visiting www.EXAIR.com.

Yes, I understand – it is hard to determine the potential of a product simply through a website or catalog or video. You need to experience the solution hands on – first hand. Fortunately I can help:

  • Try out any cataloged product for 30 days to decide if it can provide you a solution. No worries – find out for yourself. Thanks for visiting www.EXAIR.com

You should be concerned about the sustainability of resources and energy efficiency. It is natural and responsible to want to deal with companies who are responsible as well. Take this sustainability plan and ease your conscience in the morning:

  • EXAIR’s Sustainability Plan
  • We have all noticed the changes around here. By raising awareness for all of us at EXAIR it has created an interest among our company to be diligent with our resources. Read about our results by clicking the previous link. Thanks for visiting www.EXAIR.com

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com

Finding The Elusive Answer

Some of us can be a little thick-headed.  Most women would say “especially men,” and my wife would say “especially Russ.”  This was a common theme on “The Red Green Show.”  For the uninitiated, Red Green is the fictional alter-ego of Canadian humorist Steve Smith.  From 1991-2006, Red dispensed weekly wisdom concerning our fallibilities – and the use of duct tape – to real men across North America.  I repeat his “Man’s Prayer” often:

It seems that over the past year or so, some small – but rewarding – demands have been placed on my time.  While not one in itself is a significant burden, and they each have their own payoffs to me, a quick glance at my DayTimer shows that I’m doing something away from home every night of the week, except Friday & Saturday…every week.  If that’s not bad enough, every 4-6 weeks, on average, one of these demands requires my Friday and/or Saturday evenings as well.

Now, I don’t know of any other way to say this:  My wife is awful to me.  She holds me accountable to my commitments and responsibilities, and confronts my reckless whims with an ever-present voice of reason.  I know…how irritating, right?  While discussing this perilous overload of my schedule the other night, I said “Well, if you’re so smart, why don’t you tell me what to give up?”  I had her on that one – we’re hardened veterans of this marriage business, and, even though we haven’t perfected it yet, neither of us would dare enter that minefield.  “I’m not going to do that,” she said, before countering with, “What are you hoping I won’t say?”

See what I mean about that ever-present voice of reason?  How irritating, indeed!  That question led me to take a fresh look at the returns on my time investments, and allowed me to evaluate my priorities from a new angle.  And soon, I’m going to have my Wednesday nights back.  Probably to do laundry and vacuum.  (Sorry, baby, I couldn’t resist.)

I’m a little thick-headed.  Probably more than some; possibly more than most.  Maybe I’m not telling anyone anything they don’t already know, but sometimes when an answer isn’t presenting itself, it helps to talk it over with someone.  And sometimes, we just need to hear ourselves say it.  That was the case with a customer’s phone call just this morning – he had an idea, and a plan.  He’d even selected a product from our catalog.  He simply wanted to run it by an Application Engineer for validation, which we were able to provide in short order.

Bottom line is this:  At EXAIR, we’re here to help.  If you’re looking for a solution to a problem*, we’re eager for the opportunity to assist.  If you’ve got an idea, we can help with the plan.  If you’ve got a plan, we can help with the implementation.  Call us and find out!

*I should note that this applies to problems concerning compressed air.  If you have an overburdened schedule or difficulties prioritizing your time, I’m sorry, but I keep my wife’s plate pretty full in this regard.  As such, she’s currently unavailable to assist.

“We’re all in this together, and I’m pulling for you.” – Red Green

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

Gotta Have My Java

Oh how we all depend on our first cup of coffee in the morning, an addiction shared the world over. Coffee is the third most popular drink in the world behind water and tea. The energizing effect of the coffee bean plant is thought to have been discovered in the northeast region of Ethiopia, and the cultivation of coffee in the Arab world  as early as the 15th century. From the Muslim world, coffee spread to Italy, then to the rest of Europe, to Indonesia, and then to the Americas. Today coffee is the top agricultural export for twelve countries and the world’s seventh-largest legal agricultural export by value.

Coffee is also of geo-political importance equivalent to that of gold and oil. During the 50’s some South American coffee plantations were taken over by communist rebels. The CIA sponsored coups to take back these coffee producing countries. Then in order to stem communist revolutions in South America, the United States entered into an International Coffee Agreement establishing a quota system that limits the amount countries import and export in order to keep the price stable and sustainable. But there was constant disagreement between countries on how much they should be allowed to import. In 1989 the system ended causing a dramatic drop in prices. Brazil responded by modernizing and automating its coffee production; allowing for profitability even when prices drop. Vietnam increased their coffee production dramatically which caused prices to drop further and destabilized many South American and Central American countries that had not modernized their coffee plantations.

With so many variations of coffee products it’s hard to believe that there is only two bean types, Arabica and Robusta. What differentiates them is where they are grown and how they are roasted. Most coffees are blends of grades to achieve a specific taste.

Coffee aficionados are a discriminate group each with their own taste preferences. A custom coffee blender, who caters to the discriminating taste, contacted me with a problem he was having with static electricity. The static was on the outside of the jars he was filling and attracting coffee dust and particles to the jar. Being a premium blend, appearance plays an important part in their presentation.  The fix was simple. He installed two of EXAIR’s Ion air knives opposing one another. Then as the filled jars passed between them, the hard-hitting air stream blew off any debris and all static charges neutralized. Having a static free surface also prevented packaging dust during shipment from adhering to the jars.

If you need help with you static problems give us a call 1-800-903-9245. One of our application engineers will be happy to assist you.

Joe Panfalone
Application Engineer

Phone (513) 671-3322
Fax   (513) 671-3363
Web: www.exair.com 
Twitter: www.twitter.com/exair_jp
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

User Experience vs. Customer Service

An article caught my eye a few days ago. The subject was about good careers for the future. Having three kids, I have interest in things about the future. But beyond that point, one of the careers sparked my interest, or rather, skepticism.

The “User Experience Manager” who should have a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s preferred. And who would potentially make solid money according to the article.

Here is how the article describes it:
               “What’s user experience? Why, its what happened to you when you went to get your new drivers license or when you, say, read a captivating column online about professional opportunities. User experience managers were first widely seen in Web-design firms, focusing on a website in development from the viewpoint of a user who would eventually have to navigate the thing. Now, user experience is the watchword for banks, insurance companies, restaurants and virtually any company that has reason to evaluate and improve the way its customers and prospective customers encounter its people and processes”

Why am I skeptical about a user experience manager? Because it’s a new watchword as the article states, it’s a refocusing, a convergence upon the customer. And I ask; shouldn’t a focus upon the customer have already been in place for any business around before the “user experience manager” was in vogue? In fact it sounds an awful lot like a customer service manager or public relations manager – have companies lost focus on customer service so badly that traditional managers are being usurped by a user experience manager? And better yet it points to a breakdown in a whole population of employees whose job it is to treat customers properly if they need another titled manager to come in and help customer relations. It seems to be a veiled attempt to make themselves feel better for trying to improve things.

But that’s just my take, I’ll take the good old-fashioned customer service manager any day. Fortunately for EXAIR, the leadership of this company has never lost focus upon treating the customer properly. Since Roy Sweeney started the company 28 years ago, he has made it a point to make sure his employees understand the importance of the user experience when it was still called customer service. Keeping the user experience at the top of his priorities all these years has led to a population of employees who understand what is important to this company. And when we understand what is important to EXAIR we also learn…

  • To care about our customers, listen to them and help them.
  • To become knowledgable about products, service and resources available to customers.
  • To be accountable and responsible to make decisions without a necessity to refer problems up the line.
  • To solve customer problems quickly and effectively.

I’m glad to say I haven’t heard of any plans for a customer experience manager at EXAIR. We will leave it to the banks and insurance companies and restaurants to hire them, we all know they lost focus a long time ago anyway. In fact I will even be so bold to say – if you are considering hiring a customer experience manager yourself, expose them to EXAIR to learn a thing or two. I can imagine they would all be prepared with their Blackberries, and laptops and all the new technology tools they think will be helpful – only to find out it’s not the tools that will help the customer, it is the people behind them. Kind of like this…

Kirk Edwards
Application Engineer
kirkedwards@exair.com
@EXAIR_KE

The Learning Curve

In early February, 2010, we got some snow in Cincinnati. This is not unusual. What was remarkable about it, though, was that it was the perfect consistency for snow construction, and it fell on a Saturday morning when I had nothing of consequence planned. And there was a LOT of it.

My boys (ages 10 and 7 at the time) and I went out to play and clear the driveway, respectively. We saw snowmen and crude little snow forts going up all over the neighborhood, which begged the question: “What can we make?” My eldest suggested an igloo. I suggested it might be a lot of work, but he assured me that he was in it for the long haul, so we started.

As luck would have it, I’m a Scout Leader, and had recently seen some really cool igloo-making instructions. For the record, I’m currently a Cub Scout Leader, which means I have way more experience with teaching silly songs and running the Pinewood Derby than I do with basic outdoor survival skills. Nonetheless, the three of us dove in and started making a giant snow quarry from which to harvest our snow bricks.

I swear the plans looked fairly cut-and-dry, but somehow, the second row of bricks just didn’t pan out for us. This meant that, after a couple of hours of hard labor in the cold, wet snow, we found ourselves a lot closer to the drawing board than we wanted to be. My eldest and I regrouped, and plowed on. His brother has some wonderful qualities, but perseverance isn’t yet among them, unfortunately.

By mid-afternoon (OK; it was mid-afternoon on Sunday), we found ourselves installing the capstone and marveling at the warmth inside a great big snowball. We would have camped out in it, had it not been a school night. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. But seriously, it was pretty cozy in there.

Here’s what we learned:
*Plans are great, but sometimes things don’t go as planned. “It looked good on paper” is the mantra of many an engineer, carpenter, and igloo builder.
*Plans are great, but perseverance is key to success. When the second row didn’t work, we could have settled for an open-top snow fort. That wasn’t what we wanted, though. We kept our eyes on the prize, and walked away with it.

Plans are great. Data is essential to proper design. Even with education and experience, unforeseen variables can come into play, and to unexpected degrees. That’s why I really like EXAIR’s 30-day unconditional guarantee. We can help you get as “good on paper” as possible, but if it turns out to be a bit too much, too little, too high, too low, etc…well, we can step back towards the drawing board with you and continue stepping towards the solution. And it costs you nothing, except the time invested, which is repaid in knowledge, and job satisfaction. I think that’s a pretty fair deal.

Russ Bowman
Application Engineer
EXAIR Corporation
(513)671-3322 local
(800)923-9247 toll-free
(513)671-3363 fax
Web: www.exair.com
Blog: https://blog.exair.com/
Twitter: twitter.com/exair_rb
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/exair

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