|Tech-Long First Joins Hands with the U.S.’s Biggest Waterworks Niagara
-The First 6000BPH Gallon Production Line Accepted
|2018 08 21|
Niagara, the largest bottled water company in the U.S., unfolded its brand story in 1963 when the Peykoff family founded the first bottled water plant in Irving, California. For about half a century, Niagara has been insisting on “an unrivalled combination of quality, price and service via endeavor and innovation.” The traditions of superior quality, good faith, diligence and quality customer service have built Niagara a household name in Southern California. When Andy Peykoff II became the president and CEO of Niagara in 2002, Niagara had become a nationally leading brand of quality economical bottled water.
As a supplier of bottled water production equipment, Tech-Long has been forging partnerships with the globally leading water and beverage vendors, including Niagara. The partnership with Niagara is not an accomplishment at one stroke, but a long process of mutual understanding. In 2012, Tech-Long set up its North American subsidiary with a handful of customers in Los Angeles and its surrounding cities. After five years of market expansion, Tech-Long has won the recognition of small and medium-sized American customers, and drawn the attention of big accounts. Although inquiries from Niagara were received during that period, a partnership was not established due to our weak brand awareness.
In September 2017, Tech-Long attended the Drinktec held every four years in Munich, and competed against international big brands like Krones, KHS and Sidel.
Intending to purchase a gallon production line, Niagara was hunting for a proper partner at the Drinktec. The procurement personnel of Niagara were immediately attracted by the gallon bottle blowing, filling and capping equipment of Tech-Long as soon as they stepped into our booth. After several hours of negotiations with our sales team, a preliminary plan was worked out. Due to the remarkable presentation and detailed introduction of the sales team, the customer entered into a MOU for 4 lines and offered Tech-Long the chance to produce 1 line.
As Niagara has always valued time of delivery and quality of equipment, Tech-Long was faced with the important issue of quality and on-time delivery guarantee after securing the order. If the first project failed to live up to customer expectation, it would be difficult to unfold the subsequent projects.
At that point, effective teamwork became a key factor for Tech-Long’s goal achievement. Upon receipt of the project, Tech-Long immediately built a specialized project team composed of sales, design, production, procurement, financial and project management members. Specialized meetings were convened on a weekly basis. Problems were promptly solved to ensure normal project progression if any. Numerous challenges surely arose as the project proceeded. One of these challenges was that the top load of a bottle must reach 90 kg. It was an extremely rigorous requirement. At first, Tech-Long’s project team produced the bottles based on moulds provided by the customer. However, test results were a far cry from the expected results. Subsequently, the original moulds were modified to change the stiffener in an attempt to increase the top load. Yet the modified bottles could only deliver a top load of 86 kg, which couldn’t satisfy customer requirement. Instead of giving up, Tech-Long’s mould design team re-designed the test moulds and revised the angle of bottle shoulder. Hard work paid off, and ideal results were achieved.
As the project was unfolded, Niagara had been raising new requirements. As an intelligent plant, Niagara is highly automated. Only two operators would be assigned to control the whole line, which requires that all operating panels of the production line be designed in the same area for convenient operation. To satisfy customer requirements, Tech-Long’s design team has revised the plan for about 20 times.
Despite all these difficulties and challenges, Tech-Long completed the factory acceptance inspection of equipment as scheduled. The on-time delivery capacity of Tech-Long won the recognition of Niagara.
On-time delivery is the first stage of the project. The project can only be completed after installation, commissioning and final acceptance inspection .Tech-Long planned to complete the installation of the whole line within 30 days, but Niagara was highly skeptical. That is because it would take at least 45 days for other vendors to complete the installation. The customer was amazed by Tech-Long’s installation team which completed equipment installation within 30 days. Instead of adopting the normal inspection acceptance criterion of 10 hours of continuous operation for 3 consecutive days and a whole line efficiency of 85%, Nigara required the line to continuously operate for 10 hours for 6 consecutive days and a whole line efficiency of over 90%. Tech-Long’s average efficiency over 98% during the acceptance inspection period indicated that the first 6000BPH Gallon Production Line had been accepted by Niagara, the largest bottled water company in the U.S.
While Tech-Long won high praises of Niagara for its on-time delivery and quality assurance, Niagara spoke highly of Tech-Long’s project management team. This successful attempt has given Tech-Long a greater chance to secure Nigara’s subsequent projects, and provided Tech-Long with a project management model targeted at high-end customers.