James Dickie Takes Swagelok Services to the Next Level
by Taryn Hardes, on Thu, Aug 14, 2014 @ 14:08 PM
Wide-ranging duties keep Edmonton Valve and our customers running smoothly
James Dickie's job title is "account manager," but that doesn't begin to describe the wide range of service he provides both internally and externally at Edmonton Valve and Fitting. "You never know what you are going to do every day," Dickie says of his multiple roles.
Leading the way
Many of our customers know Dickie because of the on-site training he conducts.
"We do a lot of that. It used to be you came in to Edmonton Valve and Fitting for a full day of training, or we would come out to the customer site and do an abbreviated session," Dickie recalls. "Now we take the whole show on the road.
Recently he was getting ready for a trip to Fort McMurray for a three-day training session. He'll be talking about how to properly install Swagelok tube fittings, what precautions to take when handling tubing, and good tube-bending practices. Sending Dickie on the road offers a great advantage to our customers. Not only do they save on travel time to Edmonton, but they can stay right on site in case some work-related emergency pops up.
Even people who have been working with tubing and fittings for years benefit from the training, Dickie says. A lot of companies require that their crews receive refresher training every few years to keep up with new features and new products.
"You see some folks who have been in the industry for years saying, 'I learned a lot of things today. I was taught a different way of doing it.' It helps remove a lot of bad habits," Dickie says. By making sure a new generation is properly trained, the workplace becomes safer too.
Thanks to Dickie's efforts, Edmonton Valve and Fitting now has five client locations using RoboCrib. This high-tech vending machine swiftly dispenses a wide range of components, keeps track of who is taking parts and what job they're for, and then prepares inventory reports for management.
"They have started to take off," Dickie says. He not only introduces customers to the product, but he has been using RoboCrib software to run our tool rentals program. He's working on a piece of software that takes the RoboCrib orders and puts them in our own business system so they don't have to be re-keyed.
Dickie is also involved in one of our newest offerings, on-site inventory for our customers. We can keep up a steady supply of parts on consignment or set up a vendor-managed inventory. We can even offer inventory in a shipping container, sometimes known as a Sea Can. (Ours is named “Swagelok 24/7”.) It's a great way to handle inventory at, say, a construction site. Dickie meets with the customer to go over the list of needed fittings and other requirements, then he arranges for the container delivery. These are fully outfitted containers, with heating, air conditioning and power outlets. They also have a 20-foot workbench inside, and they're fully insulated.
"We could let them fill it up, or we can maintain it and top off the inventory so that it's ready when they need it," Dickie says.
As our Value Impact Partnership program continues to develop and grow, our services continue to become a larger part of our business. Luckily, James Dickie is here to make sure we step up to the challenge.