March 17, 2016 | by Greg Erdmann | Engineering + Technology
It always amazes me when I think about how this small company in Vermont, U.S.A., has been supplying products to over 160 countries for almost 35 years. While this is an impressive statistic, it is only important if it means something to our customers. For example, why would a wind developer in India care if we are sending our data loggers to Japan? While it may not seem obvious on the surface, it is very important and it does indeed affect all of our customers.
I travel extensively all over the world for RNRG. I do so because it is important for me to sit down with our customers and understand what they are doing, why they are doing it, what barriers keep them from getting what they need, and how I can remove those barriers. From a global perspective, what I notice when I spend time with our customers is that one size truly does not fit all when it comes to their requirements.
Take data security for example. Theft is a huge problem in India. Some vandals steal PV panels so they can provide themselves with free power to charge batteries and have lighting at night in remote areas. In addition, some unscrupulous developers steal data loggers in hopes of attaining competitors’ wind data. Alternatively, in Japan, theft is not a concern at all. However, while our Japanese customers have virtually no theft to worry about, international developers (and consultants) entering the region sometimes require security measures. When this happens, they are glad that these security features exist, are proven, and are easily deployed. As more and more companies partner on an international scale, we’re finding that products engineered to work in multiple regions can benefit our customers in unexpected ways.
Another example has to do with our long-standing principle of “ease of use” in terms of simple data logger configuration, straightforward tower installation, and robust design. Many of our well-known dealers and installers worldwide consistently depend on these features, as they know exactly what to expect and can estimate installation projects accurately and safely.
I was recently impressed with a 60m XHD TallTower™ installation in the remote regions of the Philippines. A team of office workers installed the tower–their first one ever–and they did a great job. They even sacrificed a chicken as a traditional form of ensuring that nobody would get hurt during the process. The successful installation was due to the fact that they were able read the RNRG manual, which has been perfected over decades with consideration of different climates, terrains, geographies, countries, and trial & error lessons learned from customers all over the world. Unfortunately, while the installation was safe and flawless, we don’t mention chickens in our manual.
My point is this: we learn from many different customers from all over the world. With this knowledge, we integrate features into our products to support each region specifically. The end result is technology that is better suited to all.