It’s 2019, not the Wild West, but yet somehow cowboys are still a problem in today’s society. Only in this case it is cowboy firms who are looking to trick the consumers with un-necessary work and fabricated activity. And as the public are unlikely to know the great extent of the pipework residing beneath their property, it can be easy to confuse them with terminology and insist upon them that certain repair works must be carried out. Especially if the reason they have called a company out is an emergency and they “just want to get it sorted”.
Much like taking your car to the garage to have a simple oil change, only to be told that you need to replace all four brake-pads and calipers, as well as refill the air freshener, whilst you weren’t expecting to hear that, you haven’t investigated for yourself, and how would you? After all, they are the specialist in this field. So ultimately you begrudgingly accept this additional and unexpected cost in order to get your vehicle back, but always wondering if there was actually a problem with the brakes. Funnily enough, the drainage industry is very similar, as very rarely do you come across a member of the public who owns a drainage camera and frequently surveys their property, instead just assume that when it flushes, its gone somewhere else.
The problem comes when you hear of various stories where another company has been called out, either to supply another quote for repair/restoration works, only to survey the pipeline with a camera system to discover that the ‘cowboy’ quotation contains faults and issues that aren’t actually present in the pipeline at all, and whilst where it might simply need a jetting to clear a blockage, the ‘cowboy’ quotation cites the need to “use a mechanical cutter to remove a root intrusion, then fit a patch”. Members of the Facebook group “Sewer men and proud” will recall frequent posts where their members highlight such fraudulent activities that they have come across where the customer has been given a quote for £thousands when upon their survey they have quoted £hundreds.
Using mina as part of your customer service can help restore customer’s faith, through 3 simple stages:
1) PROVE that there is an issue by showing the customer a live video of the inside of their pipeline on your iPhone or iPad
2) EXPLAIN the pipe network and where any work will need to take place using a digitally designed survey map on top of a Google Maps image
3) DISCUSS the issue(s) with the customer at the time of the survey, and provide them a full and thorough report there and then.
If any corrective work is required, they will have the confidence that you have performed a thorough survey and are more likely to ask you to go ahead and carry out the works. The more companies using mina to help the public understand what needs to be done and why, the less room there is for cowboys to trick them. Download mina today for free from the App Store to get started, and if you have an existing Maxprobe or TrapJumper control box you can arrange through the Scanprobe Service Team (email@example.com/scanprobe) to get a free update to enable the wireless connectivity and get the BRAND NEW mina survey reporting software. All new units come with this as standard.
The maintenance of any piece of equipment is important to ensure a high quality of service and value for money, and why should your push-rod camera system be any different? This was the question faced by Kieran, Kevin & Tim at Blockbusters in Sussex, with their large fleet of drainage survey vans recently each being fitted with a brand new Maxprobe pipeline inspection system in October 2018. This is the latest investment in their infrastructure, and rightly they were keen to make sure that their workforce would keep the maintenance of their individual Maxprobe systems high on their priority list, after all, equipment maintenance costs money outside of warranty repairs. The question was, how?
The answer: competition.
UK Sales Manager Vernon Pain came up with the idea to accompany the sale of 12 brand new Maxprobe systems with two cash prizes, funded by Scanprobe, to be awarded to the teams with the Maxprobe’s in the best condition after 3 months of use, and needless to say the results were staggering. Putting camera maintenance up the scale of importance lead to Vernon judging 12 very well maintained and cared-for Maxprobe cameras. Ones that had been carefully cleaned after use, secured within their vans, and some even had been given clear and designated spaces within the engineer’s vans, rather than being crammed in anywhere possible.
Tim Hayes, one of the Directors at Blockbuster said “It’s worked out perfectly, with a man from the dig up team and one from the CCTV team each being awarded a prize. It just goes to show that you just need to show consideration for the equipment, and it’s not that hard”
The winners, Kallum & Ian were very happy to receive their prizes and certificate, and Vernon admitted “There wasn’t a great deal to choose between them, all of the lads have clearly looked after their Maxprobe’s very well.”
With maintenance and repairs taking vital equipment off the site and into the workshop, the simple upkeep of your machinery could not be more important. A few maintenance tips your Maxprobe (or TrapJumper) can be found below:
– Hose down and dry your push rod after each use
– Don’t use your push rod camera as a battering ram if you encounter a blockage!
– Make sure to wipe down the keyboard and monitor, and ensure it is dry before closing the control box
– Apply the handbrake when storing the camera
– Periodically apply electrical grease/WD40 to the connector between the camera head and the rod
Our third day in the Japanese capital Tokyo, and by now Jon & Vernon must be well versed in the Japanese business customs that they spent the weeks building up to the EU Gateway Business Mission learning. Another full day of manning the exhibition stand in the EU Pavilion section of the Japan Home and Building Show at Tokyo Big Site, again with some pre-planned meetings along with walk-ups also very much welcome. The day concluded with a trip the EU Embassy to hear a couple of speeches from the ambassador Patricia Flor before a networking evening for local and global business people to attend, along with EU delegates.
Vernon: “I certainly felt more at home today. I had a far greater understanding of Japanese business customs and manners, and whilst I am picking up a few words here and there having our own Japanese translator has been absolutely invaluable. Being able to cross the language barrier really helps us because the Maxprobe range and TrapJumper are more than as they appear; there is so much thought that has gone into developing them for the market rather than just getting a product into the market.”
Jon: “I agree with Vernon, you could tell from the questions that were being asked by the Japanese businessmen and women who came to see us today, and the subsequent follow-up questions, that there was a great understanding of what we at Scanprobe do and why we believe we have the market leading push rod pipeline inspection system. It certainly feels at this stage that there is a place in the Japanese market for the Maxprobe and TrapJumper.”
Tomorrow is the last full day for Vernon and Jon, here’s hoping they have a strong finish and come home with some great business connections!
This week marks the beginning of the EU Gateway Business Mission to Japan, for which Scanprobe Techniques Ltd fought off over a hundred other companies to be selected with around 40 others to represent our business to the Japanese market.
For EU Gateway | Business Avenues, the Construction & Building Technologies sector covers technologies and materials related to the engineering, the design, the construction, the demolition and demolition waste services, the fitting, the arrangement, the finishing of public and private buildings as well as its renovation or deconstruction/ demolition and infrastructure works (roads, airports, ports, etc.). Recent trends underline the concept of Circular Economy – low carbon materials, greater durability or reusability/ recycling and resource efficiency. For Scanprobe in particular, being offered such a well structured platform and fantastically arranged audience of prospective businesses to present our company and products (the Maxprobe and the TrapJumper) to was an opportunity not to be missed, and has been a welcome addition to what as already been a tremendously busy 2018 activities calendar. As this is a very exciting time for our company, we are running a daily diary with our Managing Director Jon and UK Sales Manager Vernon as they embark on this business mission….day one!
Vernon: “Flying out Saturday evening UK time and arriving Sunday afternoon in Tokyo, there was little time to relax once we had arrived at the hotel. There was a “Welcome & Networking Gathering” in the bar on the 30th floor of the Grand Nikko Hotel Daiba at 6pm which was a great opportunity to meet some of the other companies taking this opportunity to bring their business to Japan. We were able to meet with the EU Gateway Communications Manager, Piero Zilio who was able to answer our questions ahead of this busy week for us, and we could share our stories and experiences so far with others making the journey across the world. There are some very interesting people and companies joining us on this business mission, definitely feels like we are in great company here on this EU Gateway Business Mission.”
Jon: “Monday was a very helpful grounding experience I feel. The morning had everyone in the ‘Ginga’ room where after a quick welcome every company had the opportunity to present an elevator pitch about themselves, and as Vernon said, some very interesting companies among us. Once the presentations were finished, including a couple of Sector Expert Presentations, the afternoon was spent visiting Kajima Corporation Technical Research Institution (KaTRI for short!) to learn about their research and development methods, and how they themselves are helping to drive businesses and manufacturing techniques forwards. This was a very interesting trip (and it also meant that I could leave Vernon alone to set up our stand!) Now we are just about to have some dinner and prepare for the first day of the exhibitions and meetings tomorrow.”
Follow Jon & Vernon’s progress at the EU Gateway Business Mission to Japan tomorrow!