“We can’t put a price tag on the exposure we’re gaining. Our plant is one of our key competitive advantages, yet most customer’s wouldn’t take the time or spend the money to physically visit.”
– Ron Spence, IT Manager, AMSI
Advanced Machine & Stretchforming International, Inc. (AMSI) became a leader in the manufacturing of aerospace components by developing an operation that combines elements of technology and teamwork essential to succeed in a dynamic and fast-paced industry. The company’s “one-stop shopping” concept offers space-age technologies, including machining and stretchforming, in a facility where strict attention to quality and the needs of the individual customer are primary.
When competing for contracts from large aerospace manufacturers, AMSI was often faced with the challenge of communicating with potential customers across several time zones and thousands of miles. Of utmost importance to AMSI was the ability to allow customers to view the component characteristics that could set their products apart from competition. Voice mail, faxed photos, even e-mail were utilized throughout the process, but proved to be ineffective tools for providing the right level of detail. Shipping components to customers for on-site inspection was becoming more and more costly. AMSI needed a technology solution that would allow its potential customers to view the components closely and clearly, just as they would in person, but without travel or mailing costs. AMSI needed TrueLook. They required a system that would allow customers to select a component.
The solution selected by AMSI was TrueLook. For AMSI, cameras placed on the factory floor are used to showcase items manufactured for AMSI’s customers. Approved website visitors can receive live, interactive views of the actual floor—where they can view AMSI’s products and zoom in on even the tiniest detail just as if they had come to the factory in person. Importantly, TrueLook is much more than just a typical web camera. Because TrueLook offers an optical zoom, which allows users to actually focus the camera, image details are incredibly clear. Customers looking at a particular piece or grouping can click a button to email an image of the piece they like along with their comments to a colleague for discussion or verification. Or, images can be stored in a cataloged, searchable database for future use.
‘We have customers visiting us from Australia, Italy, all over the world, right through our website,” commented Ron Spence, IT Manager at AMSI. “We roll their parts right out to the middle of the floor and the customer can visually inspect and count their shipment before it heads out the door.“
TrueLook’s system has been a resounding success. AMSI’s potential customers are able to see and select the products they need, right down to the smallest detail. Contracted customers are able to view the actual parts they will receive as they are manufactured, without incurring the expense of traveling to the factory to physically check on an order. The sales force at AMSI is also using TrueLook to their advantage. The sales department is able to conduct plant tours over the Internet, calling the prospective clients from the home office, bringing them onto the website and leading them around the plant through the cameras. With TrueLook, the customers tour from their own office, and that alone can make the decision easier for them.