Archive for the ‘Customer Satisfaction’ Category

From The Dickson Catalog: Chart Recorder Addiction, How To Kick The Habit

Posted on: February 1st, 2015 by Dickson No Comments

From the Dickson Insights Editor-in-Chief


In talking with our customers, we find that one of the biggest challenges in their day-to-day operations is the manual process of changing out charts on chart recorders. It’s an annoyance, it’s a hassle, and they would rather not have to deal with paper charts on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. However, they are still using them! Organizations can become addicted to chart recorders, even if it isn’t in their employee’s best interest, or in the best interest to their bottom lines.

Companies get addicted to using chart recorders for a number of reasons, namely:

  • They are stuck in processes that are not easily changed. 
  • They are leery of the costs associated with switching away from chart recorders. 
  • Their purchasing department is distant from the end-user, and doesn’t realize the hassle of changing charts. 

Being addicted to chart recorders is a real thing, and a real bad thing. Check out the chart on Page 14 of this catalog for a dollars and cents argument against chart recorders. You’ll find a brief estimate of a company’s current cost of having chart recorders on a yearly basis. It’s astounding! Because of the consumables that come with chart recorders (pens, paper) and the personnel hours associated with changing and logging charts, chart recorders are expensive! And an unnecessary expense at that.

Kick the habit, switch to a data logger.

-Michael, Dickson Insights Editor-in-Chief


 

 

A Letter To The Readers Of Our Catalog And Blog

Posted on: January 2nd, 2015 by Dickson No Comments

From the Dickson Insights Editor-in-Chief

In the spring of last year, we changed up our catalog. Gone were the days of product specifications after product specifications. In were articles, customer features, and infographics, written and designed for our customer’s applications, industries, and jobs.

It went well, or at least we think so. We received positive feedback from our readers and customers. Over the last year, we’ve provided you all with free Mean Kinetic Temperature Calculators and Calibration FAQ’s, and from those articles, we’ve made ourselves better experts in the temperature, humidity, and water pressure monitoring worlds.

So in order to fix something that’s not broken, we are changing up our catalog for 2015 . . . again. Why would we do such a ridiculous thing? Well, we think that we can do better. A lot better, actually. We want to provide better solutions to our customers more often. While our redesigned magazine, now aptly named “Insights,” was successful, it wasn’t perfect. We’d like to make it perfect.

How do we plan on doing that? By making the following changes:

More pages. Four more in fact! We think that we can write more about temperature monitoring (we were always cutting content last year), and we think you all may enjoy the extra pages. It won’t cost you a thing. Consider those extra 2,000 words on us.

Feature Stories. Each month, you’ll find a feature story on a topic that is truly important to us. Sometimes that will be a customer profile (this month, chocolate!), and other times it will be an article that focuses on a temperature monitoring issue. Whatever it is, you can always find it on Page 22, ready to be read.

Segmented Industries. We sell our temperature, humidity, and water pressure monitoring products to an incredibly diverse group of customers. Thus, we understand that our readers are diverse, too. To help segment the catalog a bit better, so you aren’t flipping through content that you may deem “less important,” we’ve split our catalog to focus in on the Hospital, Pharma, and Medical Device worlds. Not in one of those? Don’t worry. Really, don’t. In each of those sections of the catalog, anyone can find useful information. Plus, we publish even more content over at our blog, blog.dicksondata.com. You should check it out.

So that’s that. Feel free to call or email us anytime if you have questions.

Ciao.

-Michael, Dickson Insights Editor-in-Chief


 

Arway Confections: A Dickson Customer Profile

Posted on: December 9th, 2014 by Dickson No Comments

Arway Confections Yogurt Covered Peanuts


Together, we walked out the back door with a bag of chocolate covered coffee beans in our hands and a grin on our faces, not realizing that we had left our notes, some unused products, and some calibration certificates back in the factory.

We let out an ecstatic giggle.

What?!?

A few moments later, my co-worker, Ajooni, realized that in our excitement, we had forgotten to pick up our materials, and we would need to head back inside.

I circled the loading bay, hopped up a mini ladder, and walked through the back. I was curious if I would be stopped, told to leave, asked for credentials, or generally told to go away. I was dressed in casual attire, a blogger wanting to write about the inner happenings of a confectionery factory. A Willy Wonka fan writing for work, sure, but also to feed his sweet tooth.

I was stopped, but it was by a nice women, dressed like a cashew-roaster should be dressed: White button up chef’s shirt, white pants, and a hair nut that I had found out earlier was surprisingly comfortable to wear. When I told her what Ajooni and I had left behind, she kindly motioned me to the refrigerated room that I would have never been able to find myself, but where I had been only a few moments earlier. I quickly grabbed our materials, and headed towards the cooler door. Before I pushed the light, swinging-and-sealing doors open, I took a moment, and gazed around the cooler one last time. My eyes feasted on the boxes of soon to mixed materials: raisins, cashews, chocolate bars, coffee beans, peanuts, and Cajun spices. Then, I turned to Dickson’s Touchscreen Logger, mounted in the cooler, between the door and the North wall. There it sat, reading a temperature around 40F. Pleased it was working, happy I hadn’t screwed anything up, and a little tired from being up so early (the chocolate covered coffee beans would soon help with that) I walked back out of the factory, grabbed a still-trying-t0-find-her-way-in Ajooni, and headed back to the outside world.

 

Arway Confections Chicago

Arway Confections sits at the corner of Kimball and Avondale Avenue, in the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago, America’s Windy City.

Sometimes in Windy Cities, as summer approaches fall, and bleak, oyster-colored Mondays beg for an office fireplace instead of fluorescent lights, there are some figurative hearths that appear in odd places. Or at least, unassuming ones.

Arway’s outside walls are unassuming, it’s shell is subtle; the opposite of a Hostess snowball. When Ajooni and I first sauntered up to it, we weren’t exactly sure where to enter. The office didn’t open until 8:00am, and the gift shop didn’t want us there until mid-morning. It was 7:00am, on a Monday, and we couldn’t find our way in.

We were there first and foremost to troubleshoot one of Dickson’s Products. Eating chocolate was a second reason, and a close second, trust me. A week or so prior to our arrival, Ajooni (an incredible Inside Sales Consultant at Dickson) took a call from a man in charge of Arway’s electrical systems and devices. Arway had recently purchased three of Dickson’s Touchscreen Loggers, but didn’t feel like they were performing as perfectly as Dickson, and Arway, expected.

That man’s name was Ronaldo, and he explained his situation to Ajooni: Arway had just set up one of Dickson’s Touchscreen loggers, and had snaked a K-Thermocouple wire from the logger, to the middle of their cooler room. The data logger was set up right next to the doors that lead from the cooler room to the rest of the facility, but the end of the K-Thermocouple Probe was directly in the middle of the room, as their auditor had requested.

 

Arway Confections Cashews

The room was large, and housed all of Arway’s materials that were to be made into their delicious treats. So, there were a lot of cashews that were soon to become chocolate covered, a lot of peanuts that needed to become double-chocolate covered, and a lot of almonds on their way to become triple-chocolate covered. It was like purgatory for a chocolate-covered-nut lover, a group I consider myself to be a part of.

The problem was the data logger was showing that the temperature of the room was fluctuating over time, and by too large a margin for their internal auditor. Instead of stabilizing at 40F, the temperature was fluctuating from 37-42F: not good for a quality control department.

It’s not enough to say that Arway takes food safety, “seriously,” cause it’s much more than that. When we were walking around their facility, everything made sense. The processes and safety measures they took with their candy are exactly what an FDA auditor dreams about. So, when this problem arose, Ronaldo was obviously a little worried, and thus the call to Ajooni occurred.

How do you stabilize temperatures? Why were the fluctuations occurring? Others in Ajooni’s shoes may have chalked it up to Arway having a faulty HVAC system, or just not reading their device right. Not us! We spend all day, every day talking with customers about their applications, and we had heard this one before. Not from a food manufacturer, but from people in the vaccine world, who are constantly opening and closing the doors of their fridges, and thus the temperature of their fridges are constantly setting off temperature alarms.

For people who monitor vaccines, we prescribe inserting their K-Thermocuople or Thermistor probe in a bottle full of glass beads or glycol. This helps stabilize the temperature readings from extremes, as instead of reading what the air is every 5, 10, or 20 minutes, the probe is reading the temperature of the glass beads or glycol.

I’m not exactly sure if this was Ajooni’s line of thinking, but her experience dealing with temperature fluctuations from other applications drove her to find this particular solution for Ronaldo.

 

Arway Convfections Chocolate

While she was on the phone, providing Ronaldo a solution to his problem, she noticed Arway’s address. The company was in Chicago, the Avondale neighborhood of Chicago, to be exact. Ajooni lives only a few blocks from their address, and I only live a few blocks as well. So, she said to Ronaldo, “Instead of shipping these to you, I can just deliver them, install them, and troubleshoot anything else in your facility!” Ronaldo liked the idea, and Ajooni dragged me along because it was a neat application use of our product, and because I love chocolate.

A few days later, I was inside a chocolate factory, staring at a Dickson Touchscreen and trying to figure out exactly why the temperatures of the particular cooler I was standing in were varying so much.

What we found, was that the center of the cooler was also directly across from the HVAC fans, which were on particular air circulation cycles, blowing cold air directly on the end of the K-Thermocouple Probe. The fans were acting like the vaccine coordinators opening up their fridges, only on the “polar” opposite: instead of inviting hot air into an area, they were acting as windchill on our temperature sensor.

What did we do? Slapped a bottle of Glycol on the end of that temperature sensor, and immediately watched on our touchscreen as the temperature stabilized, right around 40F. Not too cold, and not too hot.

Our time at Arway was awesome, to say the least. If you’d like to learn more about their delectable operation, visit arwayconfections.com.

 


 

 

Customer Profile: Using Data Loggers To Win A Museum Grant

Posted on: July 27th, 2014 by Dickson No Comments

iStock_000016213885XLarge

A few weeks ago, a Dickson customer called in to ask a question about the alarm functionality of DicksonOne (page 2 has more info on alarms!). After his question was answered, and as he was just about on his merry way, he mentioned something that made us smile: DicksonOne had helped him win a grant.

This customer was the curator for a small museum in the heart of the country, and had always wanted to update the HVAC and temperature control system in his facility. He had noticed that temperature fluctuations from one room to the next within his museum were unpredictable, especially as his old HVAC system became creakier and creakier. But, as with a lot of museums, money was always tight, so it never happened.

Many artifacts need to be kept in an environment with consistent and safe levels of temperature and humidity, otherwise their deterioration process speeds up exponentially. Next time you are at a large history museum, take a look inside some of the display cases. What do you find? A data logger or temperature sensor. Museums want irreplaceable artifacts, remnants of the past, to stay in their current state as long as possible. Extremely high or low temperatures, or extremely high or low humidity, can cause precious paintings to fade and documents to turn yellow.

This Dickson customer took a leap from antiquated chart recorders and the time-consuming USB data loggers to DicksonOne, which allows users to access their data anywhere. Not only that, but DicksonOne offers robust features like phone, text, and email alarms, a Reporting Suite, customizable device pages, and location management. But most importantly for him, DicksonOne is easy to use. The data is presented clearly, making temperature and humidity analysis a breeze.

Which is what this customer did. He monitored his facility in a few key locations that he thought were getting too hot or too cold, looked at the data, and saw that his current facility was not equipped to handle the volume of artifacts it currently held. So, he gathered all his data and the conclusions that he had drawn, and applied for a grant.

And he won it.

His museum is now getting money for some much needed HVAC updates, which we think is pretty cool.


 

Camelicious Camel Milk: A Dickson Customer Profile

Posted on: February 17th, 2014 by Matt M 2 Comments


For the last two years I’ve had the privilege of travelling to Dubai to visit a loyal and valuable distributor of Dickson’s products. Dubai is an interesting and intriguing place, but in my travels, the camel milk operation that has been established at Camelicious may take the cake for “most interesting.” In addition to being a business in an industry not too common in the states, Camelicious also happens to be one of our distributor’s customers.

Milking camels is not a new thing. Making camel milk a commercially available product however, is relatively new. If you’ve seen the movie Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, the endeavor is quite analogous. Camel Milking is a project that succeeds because someone or a group has both the tenacity and the resources to complete the project.

Camelicious was one of the earliest companies to implement a DicksonOne temperature and humidity monitoring system into their facility and for the past year have been using it to monitor their production environment. The company has a clear dedication to safety.

The Application

Camelicious is a dairy production facility much like those you would see for a cow… except they’re milking camels. The facility has everything from milking stalls to cleaning/pasteurizing equipment to a full bottling and production line.

The Challenge

Camelicious was a customer before DicksonOne existed, but the previous generations of data loggers they used didn’t simplify their process, nor aid in meeting their temperature and humidity monitoring requirements. Specifically, retrieving data from traditional, non-networked loggers is a pain. Having to collect loggers daily and download them is a waste of time and money.

DicksonOne Dashboard in Dubai

The Solution

Camelicious chose to go with DicksonOne. DicksonOne was a perfect solution because it offers wireless, automated downloading of their data, the ability to receive email, text, and phone call alarms, and it is completely scalable. Camelicious has set up DicksonOne Data Loggers to measure the ambient air conditions within their facilities, both refrigerated and non-refrigerated.

Just like on the home shopping network, there’s more. Camelicious has also set up temperature and humidity dashboards in their facility using large HD screens and the DicksonOne software. These dashboards allow Camelicious to see real-time alarms and temperature and humidity conditions within their facility.

Overall, my journey to Dubai and to Camelicious was pretty incredible, and pretty tasty as well.

To see more Dickson Customer Profiles, visit our Customer Profiles Page. If you’d like to be featured as Customer Profile on our blog our within our Catalog, send an email to content@dicksondata.com.