It's All About Getting to 'Yes' at Yaskawa
Ted Clayton is still profoundly struck by one thought 15 months after joining Yaskawa as a Regional Drives Specialist for Upstate New York. The idea of “It’s Personal” as a theme for the company plays across the entire organization.
“Everyone here is committed to finding a way to get to ‘YES’ for the customer,” he said. “There really are no roadblocks to ‘YES’ for us. This company is completely committed to doing whatever it takes to satisfy the customer.”
“Our customer service group is very proactive in finding solutions for our customers. We never say ‘There’s nothing we can do. Everyone at Yaskawa is aligned in working toward a solution, no matter what the challenge.”
“I knew Yaskawa was strong on service, but I didn’t realize how strong.”
Clayton joined Yaskawa after nearly 25 years at Kaman Industrial Technologies, in Albany, New York, and a couple of other stints at Weld Computer Corporation, Troy, New York, and Facility Services Group, Amboy, New Jersey.
Moving from the distributor side to Yaskawa has not meant a lot of change for Clayton.
“Coming in with all of that Kaman experience, I had a strong understanding of drives and of Yaskawa,” Clayton said. “I had the application experience. I knew the product. I’m just telling the story from the manufacturer’s viewpoint now.”
“I have a nice advantage working with distributors because I was on their side of the table for a long time. It’s a little different with end-user calls. Those conversations will vary based on the customers’ knowledge. But that’s where my application experience comes in handy.”
Clayton’s customer-service orientation blends nicely at Yaskawa. “These are times where I need to find ways to add value to the customer. I’m always looking to provide training, help with any troubleshooting, and hold a lot of online meetings.”
“End-users in particular benefit from orientation to our different software offerings,” he said. “A lot of customers aren’t aware of the many predictive maintenance tools we provide. I try to make them aware of them and educate them on how to use them to their advantage.”
“It’s especially important to show them the features in our menus that enable them to be proactive. Many users tend to be reactive. So, I show them the predictive features of our drive software. They see how they can stay ahead of trouble and stay up and running longer. Taking advantage of using the ‘remaining life’ information related to fans, capacitors, IGBTs and the soft-charged circuit, for instance.”
Clayton tries to simplify operations for users, as well.
“There’s a 1,000-page manual they get with a drive. That can be overwhelming when they’re wrestling with learning so many functions. I like to focus them on just the modified parameters that pertain to their application. I help them get it down to the basics,” he said.
Clayton sees a lot of opportunity for Yaskawa as he moves forward with the company.
“Our next generation of products are of the highest quality and easy to use. The mobile apps, the status ring and ability to program without power are all great selling points,” he said. “Combined with the out-of-the-box materials we give them, such as drilling templates, quick start booklets and unparalleled service, we’ve got a great story to tell.”