As we stated in our first post this year, nothing is more important at Davron than our customers. The needs of each customer determine the specifications of their industrial oven, as well as the way it gets made. While products can speak for themselves to some degree, the process industrial oven manufacturers follow is less clear, which is why we wanted to talk about what one should expect from a true turnkey industrial oven manufacturer. This is the sort of experience we aim to deliver to all of our customers at Davron. We’ll divide the description into four parts and publish them successively over the next few weeks:
Part 1 – First contact and proposal
Part 2 – Order placement, introduction of staff, project timeline, approval drawings, detailed engineering, component purchasing
Part 3 – Manufacturing of the project — mechanical and electrical
Part 4 – Customer runoff, shipping preparation, shipping, installation services, owner’s manuals, after-sales services, maintenance program
First Contact with an Industrial Oven Manufacturer
If you contact an oven company with a brief explanation of your application and receive a proposal — with no questions from the supplier — beware. There are many variables to each oven project that determine success or failure. Gathering information on the front end is critical for both the customer and the supplier to ensure success.
When you contact an industrial oven solutions provider, you should receive a detailed questionnaire tailored to your process requirements. At Davron, we send one of the following to each of our prospective customers: Conveyor Oven Form, Batch Oven Form, Inert Atmosphere Oven Form, Vertical Oven Form, or a Specialty Oven Form, depending on their process. Each of these forms is about one-and-a-half pages long and takes only a few minutes to complete. They provide us with enough information to determine what the customer aims to achieve with the oven. Once we’ve developed a good understanding, we contact the customer to discuss the application in more detail. This consultative process is the foundation for a successful project.
The Proposal Process for a Custom Industrial Oven
Only after all of the relevant information has been gathered should the proposal be worked on. Because every turnkey industrial oven is custom designed for a unique application, each proposal needs to begin with information provided by the customer and a blank computer screen. Inevitably, there will be more questions during the proposal development process, which will be resolved through constant communication between the oven manufacturer’s staff and the customer. This should include a discussion of the schedule so that project timelines will be accounted for from the beginning and the customer will not be left in the dark about deliverables.
Once completed, the proposal should be sent to the customer, typically via email. The proposal should be several pages long and contain very detailed information regarding the project. The information provided will be determined by the scope of the project. However, at a minimum, the proposal will include the following information:
Mechanical specifications of the oven
Electrical specifications of the oven
Lead-time (engineering and production phases of the project)
A detailed proposal will inevitably prompt questions, which is why the oven manufacturer should follow up with the customer within a couple of days after receipt of the proposal. The oven manufacturer should also be prepared to receive calls from the customer in case they would like to talk sooner.
When quoting custom equipment, more times than not, there will be items in the original proposal that need to be modified, changed, or removed. Revisions are part of the business and any true turnkey oven manufacturer should be ready to revise their proposal until both parties are confident the project will be a success. It is much easier, and less costly, to make changes at this point than during the manufacturing phase of the project.
Once all of the fine details of the proposal have been hammered out, an order should be placed. Next post, we will walk you through what to expect during that stage of the custom industrial oven creation process.