A New Product Rollout Disaster

Imagine this: Your company rolled out the latest and greatest product that will finally allow you to compete head to head with the market leader. Your biggest customers have become your medium accounts as larger players in the market switched to your platform. The growth curve is looking exceptional, and expansion is on the horizon.

And then it happens…

Your service department is suddenly swamped with a series of issues from the new product; three distinct error codes seem to be bricking the machines. As a result, tens, then dozens, then hundreds of replacement units are being deployed all over the country. Your supplier has no answers, and your service team cannot nail down a single source of failure. Now you are rapidly burning through all of the good relationship equity that this product launch afforded you.

Voltonix was brought to the front lines of this nightmare scenario and assisted its client in this potentially catastrophic, company ending battle.

The Problem:

The product involved a chip-based magnetic card reader that could also write to the EMV or chip. The chip lost power during the card read process, and the machine was unable to provide power to the chip on the card… ever again. A bricked machine that costs tens of thousands of dollars does not make for a happy customer base. What’s worse, word travels quickly in this industry.

The Strategy – Protect:

After Voltonix conducted a deep-load analysis and profiled the device’s DC loads, it was determined that the culprit might be insufficient voltage getting to a component. Furthermore, dirty power sources might also have been corrupting a board. While the manufacturer’s engineers continued to troubleshoot additional hardware fixes, Voltonix helped the client deploy a statistically significant number of low impedance isolation transformers to test power as a variable. In a perfect world, this would be the end of the story. Problem solved – wrap it up with a self-congratulating paragraph and high fives all around. But it wasn’t.

The Result:

While the low impedance isolation transformers did reduce the failure rate by a full 10 percent, half of the units were still failing. The engineering team determined that a combination of replacement parts, including one addressing electrostatic discharge, completely eliminated the problem. The incoming cards carried a small static charge into the system and nuked the board responsible for writing to the card. To solve this, a brush could be installed on the card input that would dissipate the charge. Now the client needed to deploy this 40-minute hardware retrofit to 1,600 units across the country.

The Strategy II – Prepare:

The Voltonix site preparation program allowed us to deploy an army of skilled labor nationwide within days. By adapting the workforce to perform this very specific set of tasks, Voltonix was able to rapidly deploy a complicated hardware retrofit to hundreds of machines. Here’s how we did it.

The Real Solution:

First, we went onsite with the manufacturer who was rapidly retrofitting the existing inventory at the client’s warehouse to learn the process and setup the logistics to deploy the kits to our workforce. Next, we trained our project managers on the procedure and developed the full scope of work and deliverables for each site. We created an iFixit-style walk-through webpage as a reference for technicians to review before they went onsite. Finally, we managed technician check ins, troubleshooting and deliverable submissions from our HQ. We were able to launch this program within days of the discovery of the final fix.

Conclusion:

A valued client faced a perilous situation that could have sunk this vertical within the company at best and the entire business at worst. We were fairly confident that our “Protect” P would solve the problem. It was something; but it wasn’t enough. This might have been the end of the line for some consultants. But Voltonix is dedicated to discovering solutions and solving problems. By working closely with both the client and their supplier collaboratively, we helped implement a fix across a widely dispersed deployment of assets.

The client was satisfied, and the client’s customers saw them as responsive and aggressive in their remediation of a serious issue. The client’s supplier saved face by discovering a solution and funding the remedy. It was a win – win – win scenario. The extended result for Voltonix was a new program: Smart Hands. Voltonix now offers ad-hoc break fix services to OEMs anywhere in the country at extremely competitive rates. When phone support isn’t resolving a site issue, and it isn’t feasible to fly a burdened employee out, Voltonix Smart Hands can work independently or with your service team to get equipment up and running again.

 

Executive Bio: Andy Steele

Andy Steele serves as the Vice President of Strategic Operations for Voltonix. It is Andy’s responsibility to ensure the company’s day-to-day operations run smoothly while gracefully navigating any unforeseen bumps in the road. He works closely with all external company principals and owns the company’s customer service process, supporting it from initial outreach through onboarding. He believes deeply in single-point accountability and the need to first listen and understand a customer’s goals before offering a solution.

He says a positive customer experience is critical to the establishment of long-term relationships and thus the health of the business. “We have a real focus on quality and the need to make our clients thrive in front of their key relationships,” he says. “By going to market with ‘The Four Ps’, we are in a unique position to help companies save money across multiple verticals while also helping them to deliver on their own vision.”

Andy earned his Bachelor’s degree at the University of Montana and his Master’s in International Affairs at Ohio University. After living and working abroad for over ten years in Thailand, Indonesia and Afghanistan, he joined Voltonix in 2016.

Andy spends his free time chasing warblers and other avian oddities while keeping tabs on a precocious toddler named Emma Rose.

 

 

Executive Bio: Ken O’Connell

Ken O’Connell serves as the Vice President of Business Development for Voltonix. It is Ken’s job to ensure Voltonix is connecting with the companies looking to aggressively tackle service burden, reduce warranty exposure and increase reliability across their manufactured products. Ken helps the Voltonix team work closely with executive, service and engineering teams to implement key initiatives around artificial intelligence for predictive analytics, power protection and end user install site preparedness. He helps marketing and sales teams within these OEMs introduce products and services to their customers.

Ken believes simplifying the complexities around AI and electrical engineering problems helps OEMs drive toward the implementation of solutions. He says, “Many OEMs have 2020 and 2021 initiatives around implementing deep learning and artificial intelligence platforms to reduce service costs and predict failures. Often they struggle with the resulting science experiments that don’t lead to actionable services. We help introduce much more simple, cross-platform solutions that drive toward specific and measurable service cost reduction from day one.”

Ken studied Electrical engineering at the Ohio State University. He’s spent over 6 years with Voltonix working with OEMs in the ATM, clinical diagnostic and 3D printing markets.

When he’s not crunching algorithms, Ken spends his time with his wife corralling his two rambunctious boys on the shores of the Gulf Coast.

 

 

Voltonix Welcomes Ryan Huffman

Westerville, Ohio – Voltonix is pleased to announce that Ryan Huffman has joined the executive team as the Director of Strategic Partnerships. Ryan has an extensive background in leading customer facing organizations where success was contingent on developing long-term strategic relationships. Ryan is the past Chair of the Ohio Grocer Association where he helped implement industry best practices at the c-suite level and programs to identify and promote industry leaders. Ryan recognizes what it takes to understand customer expectations and work with employees, suppliers and partners to ensure key initiatives are executed and delivered. He also has had hands-on P&L responsibility, which will help him apply our data driven ROI strategies to Voltonix partners. With Ryan, Voltonix will be better equipped to help our strategic business partners understand and implement the powerful Artificial Intelligence applications in our portfolio.

Ryan is enthusiastic, he said, “Voltonix is bringing some really disruptive technologies to well-established markets that are ripe for innovation; I’m excited to be a part of that.” The CEO of Voltonix, Craig Kalie, is excited too, noting, “Our customers have been asking us for a better way to forecast maintenance or predict in-store device failures; with Ryan’s experience with compressor, kiosk, POS and IT maintenance challenges, we will be able to better help them respond to and tackle those challenges.”

Interested in learning more about how predictive analytics is going to change the grocery and quick serve markets? Give Ryan a shout

Voltonix – CUSI – One Became Two

Here We Grow Again

 

What Happened?

We are excited to announce that Customized Uptime Solutions, Inc. split into two separate entities in 2018 to create a clear distinction between its lines of business. The new entities are CUSITech LLC, at www.cusitech.com and Voltonix LLC, already active here. Both companies will continue to operate out of the headquarters in Westerville, OH.

What’s Different now?

CUSITech provides national onsite electric, structured cabling and smart hands support to help companies achieve smooth implementation on a broad geographic scale. CUSITech provides its services to companies that need a simple new electric or data circuit to very complex projects that require trenching, boring, 1,000’ of feet of conduit and major system upgrades. It also provides turnkey installation services for applications that require electrical and structured cabling infrastructure as part of the installation such as HVLS fans, kiosks, dock and door as well as electric car charging stations. CUSITech helps streamline reliability, simplify complexity and provides single point accountability. It is the trusted national partner providing consistent onsite site prep services.

Voltonix LLC provides power quality consulting and hardware and software technology to reduce electro-mechanical equipment downtime. Voltonix provides its services to companies that manufacture and/or service equipment such as medical devices, lab instrumentation, 3D printers, POS systems, ATMs, kiosks, heavy industrial presses and lasers and medical imaging equipment. The proven process and patented technology is paramount in reducing service spend and helping customers increase revenue. The return of investment is less than 90 days in most applications.

What does Voltonix Stand For?

Power is complicated. It’s a major variable that has qualitative and quantitive effects on our customers and partners. Our first goal is to make sure our products and services are effective. Our field trial process makes this free and painless. One of our customers once told us “In god we trust, all others must bring data”. Our goal is to create demonstrable results so that our partners can calculate exactly what our products will save in reduced service costs. We believe in optimizing uptime and empowering reliability.

What will Change to You?

In short, our email signatures and our website. Our team will work with the contract administration departments over the next 8 weeks to update all of the important documentation such as Supplier Agreements and Confidentiality Agreements. Give Craig, Ken or Andy a call or email if you have any questions.