Sales Detectives

Sales Detectives

Sales Detectives


Last week one of our sales people was visiting a large press customer with

their distributor sales partner.  It took several years, many meetings and

countless engineering hours to finally close this customer.  Since changing

to Dalton Watt-Flex® heaters the customer observed longer heater life, higher

press efficiency, and reduction in the cost of heating. Recently, they began to

see unexplained failures and called Dalton to solve the mystery. 


After hanging up with the customer, our Dalton sales representative was on

the phone with our distributor partner.  Within hours he had arranged a flight

and a meeting with the customer.  The two sales detectives reviewed their

records in preparation for the visit.  Upon arriving, the duo asked the production

manager a series of probing questions – has anything changed? (material,

speed, temperature, cycle time, new or repair to insulation, new AC units,

fans, or new operators). “Nothing has changed, overall the heaters are great.”

he said, “but every once and a while, we get a long heater that sticks out

and burns out real fast.”


Recalling every heater had a “B” insertion dimension, and that the press had

a wider bottom press than the top, the two sales detectives carefully inspected

the press - two heaters were sticking out 2 inches.  The pair concluded

the bottom press heaters had been installed in the top press. Next, they set

out to solve how to keep it from happening again.  At the tool crib, they

discovered heaters were stored in bins labelled only with the press name.

Interviews with the maintenance crew revealed replacements heaters were

sometimes out-of-stock and had to make do with what they had on hand while

contributing to the incorrect assumption all heaters were the same.


The tandem held an impromptu meeting with the team, (crib clerk, maintenance

and production manager) highlighting the different heaters, while explaining how

and why they act to improve part quality, throughput and the positive contribution

to their performance bonus’.  The team brainstormed corrective actions and

implemented several great ideas on the spot. The tool crib bins were re-arranged,

added different color bins for the top and bottom presses, identical heaters were

assigned a bin location, and re-order levels adjusted. In addition, they decided

to use photos to map out where each heater goes in the press. Meanwhile, the

clever tool crib clerk worked out an automated email to send to the distributor

whenever a heater was requisitioned. 


Mystery solved – a loyal customer is born. “All in a day’s work”, proclaimed the

humble pair.  We know different, it’s the result of great partners, careful preparation,

probing questions, skilled observations, clarifying assumptions, deductive reasoning

and the sincere DESIRE to help. Sales Detectives solving ways to

Reduce the Total Cost of Heat, is another example to “Trust the Dalton Difference”.




Friday Funnies


A Japanese ship was leaving the port and on its way to open sea. The captain went to

go oil some parts of the ship and took his ring off so it wouldn’t get damaged. He left it

on the table next to his bunk. When he returned, it was missing. He had suspected

three crew members could be guilty and asked them what they had been doing for the

ten minutes that he had been gone.


The cook said, “I was in the kitchen preparing tonight’s dinner.”

The engineer said, “I was working in the engine room making sure everything was running smoothly.”

The seaman said, “I was on the mast correcting the flag because someone had attached it upside down by mistake.”

The captain immediately knew who it was. How?




It was clearly the seaman. It was a Japanese ship and a Japanese flag is white with a

single red dot in the middle. It can’t be hung upside down.


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