Archive for April, 2010

How internet has changed our lives!!

April 28, 2010

Being from generation Y, termed the Echo Boomers. I am considered the first generation to grow up with the widespread presence of the internet. Now as I was growing up I can still remember going to the library to complete my assignment and to use the computer (yes if you can believe it). Now, many homes have more than one computer in every home and with the creation of ‘smart phones’ you can basically carry one in your pocket! Also did you know the first text message was delivered in 1992, I was not even aware of text message until 2005 and now I do not even have a landline at home. Would I be lost without the invention of the computer or a cell phone? Since I have grown accustomed to them the answer is YES. So much has changed over the years and I am sure when I turn 50 I will be wondering (as my parents and grandparents are today) were has the simplicity gone? We can go on for pages how technology advancements are never-ending. Todays computers are out of date by next week. So lets review how the internet has brought us into a whole new era:

  1. Trust in encyclopedias – When I was younger I would quickly head to the library to finish a project using encyclopedia Britannica. Now we don’t have to spend hours looking for information in our libraries, the information is available to us anytime with just one click of the mouse. Instant access to information has really empowered all of us. Although, I wonder how well you can trust sources found on the internet such as Wikipedia, which has a good chance of being written by a 12 year old child.
  2. Interesting Fact – You used to be able to spend hours with friends discussing the 1992 world series or who was the first astronaut to fly in space. Now someone just whips out their smartphone and does a search, where is the excitement in that?
  3. Listening to albums – When was the last time someone actually went to the store and bought a cd or a cassette tape?? Now you just pop onto iTunes, HMV,, etc… to purchase the latest singles and albums.
  4. Instant Messaging – includes a mix of online chat and mobile phone. Who ever thought we would need to include data plans on our phones for the need of checking our email 2, 3 or 10 times a day. With more and more people having their email connected to their phone, a notification would be send with every email received making email now instantaneous. This also speeding up and improving communications in the workplace.
  5. Social Media Networking – from Facebook to Twitter to Linked In. These have all increased the way we do business. From advertising to product information to keeping in contact with some of your best customers. It is no wonder many of us have personal and professional profiles.

Technology has and continues to change our lives. These are only some of the ways we are currently seeing change, probably the same way TV impacted those many years ago, I imagine. What did we do before this technology was invented? The Web does seem to be genuinely changing the world, and those companies and organizations not ready for it are dying as predicted. So no need to back your bags this weekend-spend it at the computer and lets embrace this forever changing technology.

– H. Corbett, APC Team


Automated Phone Service

April 20, 2010

Sometimes I forget how annoying automated phone service is until I make cold calls or try and make appointments with new contacts. In the 1980’s part of my job involved booking a full week of visits to potential customers for a co-worker. I would cold call cement and steel producers as well as other manufacturing facilities and book appointments primarily with maintenance managers. The task was not difficult, and I was able to book these appointments with relative ease. Now fast forward to 2010 and trying to connect with a person on the phone, especially a new contact, is like winning a lottery. So many companies now use at least a partially if not fully automated phone service. The automated phone systems are a maze of button pushing which often includes the spelling of the required person’s last name and ends with their voice mail box. Don’t be fooled. If you leave a voice mail message for someone to return your call, this is in most cases a dead end.

However, some of the automated systems will eventually connect you after a number of manipulations to reception or an operator which is good news. These people should be treated with the utmost respect and courtesy as they are the gate keepers of the company and can be of invaluable assistance in providing contact information as well as the correct spelling of names to assist with the button pushing.

The selling of automated phone systems to companies is big business. The systems are especially promoted to small companies starting up which have limited staff and large companies which are looking to handle the volume of incoming calls. Phone systems are also available with live answering services instead of automation. These live systems are touted to increase sales as well as customer service and retention. This would appear to be a given that having a person to speak with would be more advantageous for business, but in spite of this preference; most companies have gone to automated systems.

Customers who phone Albarrie and need to leave a message are amazed when they are told they can actually leave the message with a person and not a machine. I believe our management has shown excellent business sense in not buying into an automated phone system.

Spare a moment?

April 1, 2010

Got any spare time? If you work in a manufacturing industry then you probably don’t.  At least not enough spare time to hang out by the water cooling tank and talk American Idol for hours. With shrinking workforces and strained budgets, Maintenance and Purchasing people are often wearing many hats. As a Sales Engineer, it is my job to track down these busy men and women and get them to discuss what I have to offer. I have listed below five reasons to take the time out of your busy day and sit down with a “sales guy” such as myself.

#1) Show Me! Often custom applications for process control products are necessary. Are you sick of trying to explain to a customer service person on the phone what is right in front of you? Let’s stand right in front of the problem and find a solution.

#2) We actually have really great products. Unlike some other “sales guys” I am confident in the products I sell. Our products are made in North America from staple materials. I personally know the people who will be making these items. I see our products in use every week and I see how they save my customers time and money.

#3) Samples. Want to get a look up close at our products, brought right to your door or office? Want to see what out 10mm resin treated Kevlar roller looks like up close? No problem. This allows you to see and feel our product with your own eyes. You don’t have to take my word for it.

#4) Gifts! I often have neat golf balls, hats, pens, etc. Not only are these items useful, but can be re-gifted during the holiday season to coworkers and family alike.

#5) A chance to talk to someone from somewhere else. Questions about the state of Maine? I will do my best to answer however; I cannot guarantee the answers will be correct, unlike questions about our product line.

I understand that times are tough and spending is not the most popular thing to do, but the next time you hear “Nick from Albarrie” on your voicemail or see “Nick from Albarrie” in your waiting room, I would appreciate the opportunity to shake your hand. You might even get a new Coffee cup or some incorrect Maine trivia out of the deal.

– Lewiston Office