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These interactive exhibits showcase a little taste of what our diverse industry has to offer when it comes to product showcases and hands-on learning. This month we asked for you to share your roadshow trailers with us, and you reminded everyone why this in-person concoction of system training and product marketing is so important for learning at large.
Please highlight the unique features of this trailer and what went into the selection process. What offerings are you most excited about?
Viega: The displays were constructed to look like actual installations. Installers can see how Viega systems go together in different applications and how our systems can be integrated to perform in multiple applications.
Royal Flush Plumbing: This trailer is unique because we’ve customized every element of it to make it the most efficient and reliable workshop for our new trenchless pipe lining service. It features: full power, so it is completely self-sufficient on any jobsite, heating and air conditioning to combat fickle New England weather and custom roller benches, bucket holders, shelving, etc. specifically designed for our services. Additionally, safety is always our primary concern so we’ve custom painted the floor with an Epoxy coat to make it waterproof, and we’ve installed LED lights on the outside of the trailer to illuminate our work space when working at night. This trailer is incredibly easy to organize and prepare for an upcoming job so that we have everything we need within reach and are not wasting precious time running around for materials.
What excites us most about this trailer is showing it off to our customers! Because of the graphic treatment on the outside of the trailer, people are always so curious about this new service. It’s our pleasure to show them the inside of the trailer and all of our equipment to help them understand this new technology. In fact, we recently went to a local Touch-a-Truck event in East Providence where I think we may have been even more popular than the fire truck for kids and their families just because of the unique nature of this trailer.
Weil-McLain: This “roadshow” trailer is built and set up to demonstrate boilers that can be fired up on propane or fuel oil and allows visitors to actually see them in operation. The exciting feature is that it attracts large crowds of people, and we can talk to them face-to-face and get their feedback about it.
Rheem: The Rheem High Efficiency Air & Water Road Show is our mobile showroom featuring interactive exhibits, as well as the largest mobile touchscreen display in the U.S. It has been traveling across the country all year acting as our mobile learning center attending product trainings, special events and trade shows on behalf of Rheem and Ruud.
What went into the layout and design of this project (both external and internal)?
Viega: A great deal of thought and planning went into the design and layout of our mobile training unit. We consulted with product management, training and sales in order to provide the most comprehensive representation of our products in an easy-to-use layout.
Royal Flush: We wanted this new trailer to relate to our existing fleet of trucks, so we made sure to incorporate some of the same consistent branding elements such as our logo. We also know that one of the things that makes our company stand out versus others in the area is our pride in being Scottish. Since we had a lot to communicate with our new trenchless pipe lining service, we felt that we didn’t have room to add a picture of our son in a kilt like we have on other box trucks. Instead, we used this space on the trailer to communicate this new service with simple graphics and text. To ensure we still tied to the rest of our trucks, though, we took the tartan plaid pattern and applied it to the front of the trailer. This was a fresh innovative way of featuring our Scottish pride without taking away from marketing our new service.
Weil-McLain: It was designed and built to accept boilers that are connected to water-filled copper piping and other heating equipment that demonstrates how a boiler operates.
Rheem: As our product lines continue expanding, we have increasing need to meet with our distributor and contractor partners for hands-on product training and education. Our goal was to design a space that offers a consistent, branded experiential environment. It took us more than two years to perfect the Road Show, and we designed every inch thanks to insightful feedback from our wholesalers, contractors and sales teams.
How long has this trailer been in use? Please discuss its evolution.
Viega: This trailer has been in use for two years and was an update from a smaller model. The smaller version was recycled and sent to our Canadian sales team. Viega participates in many tradeshows, seminars and training events throughout the U.S. and Canada. It is useful to have a mobile resource for showcasing Viega’s range of commercial and industrial piping systems.
Royal Flush: This trailer has been in use for a few months now, and there isn’t a day that goes by that we don’t get stopped and asked about services. It is a head-turning piece of advertising, and we couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out!
Weil-McLain: This trailer was constructed in 2006. The original boilers displayed were the Ultra Oil boiler and an Ultra Gas Series 2 boiler. They have been updated to the Ultra Gas Series 3, the GV90+ and the Evergreen. Our latest addition to the high efficiency boiler family, the AquaBalance combination boiler, is transported in the pick-up that pulls the trailer and is also shown.
Who is participating? Where will you be taking this trailer? Why?
Viega: This trailer is used at customer events, tradeshows and for onsite training in various places like trade schools, marine shipyards and jobsites. We bring the training directly to our customers, wherever they are.
Royal Flush: We take this trailer out on all of our pipe lining jobs. When it is not in use, it sits at the front of our office on one of the busiest roads in Seekonk, Massachusetts where we get an average of 25,000 drivers who pass our office every day.
Weil-McLain: Technical and Training managers, Bob Melinis and Mike Rutkowski, and several territory sales managers. The trailer has been exhibited at local and national tradeshows, School of Better Heating, contractor, distributor locations and utility locations for training purposes and for exposure at exhibitions where competitors are also present.
Who are you trying to reach? What are three things trainees can take away from the trailer?
Viega: Our target audience is wholesale distributors, installers and engineers. Visitors learn how Viega’s system solutions, such as press technology, can save valuable time and money versus standard pipe joining methods. The truck also showcases energy-saving radiant heating and cooling technology.
Royal Flush: We are trying to reach new customers to explain this new trenchless pipe lining technology as well as our existing customers to let them know that the plumbing company they know and trust has now expanded to offer more services. Three takeaways are: 1. Royal Flush Plumbing is committed to taking a leading stance on new technologies and innovations in the plumbing industry. 2. Royal Flush Plumbing is relentless about providing easier, painless solutions for its customers. 3. Royal Flush Plumbing is proud of its Scottish roots.
Weil-McLain: Installing contractors, distributors, technical trade schools that teach plumbing and heating, boiler-steamfitter training halls, utilities that provide service and potential new Weil-McLain customers.
Three takeaways are: 1. A very impressive visual of an actual heating appliance that is firing on fuel and operating in a system. 2. Retention of seeing the boiler firing in a real live system and the explanation of the components and features of it. 3. The knowledge that Weil-McLain offers this type of visual, hands-on training.
Rheem: We believe more contractors learn about the components, engineering and design of products, the more they are able to differentiate their expertise and provide the highest level of customer service. We hope to teach contractors more about how to sell, install and service high value, maximum efficiency products for their homeowner customers.
How does this trailer reflect your overall commitment to training?
Viega: Viega’s commitment to training is evident in our stand-alone educational facility in Nashua, NH, our “coming soon” center in Denver, Colorado and in our investment in our mobile facilities to bring training to the customer on their turf.
Weil-McLain: By combining classroom training with the hands-on techniques with this roadshow, it enhances our training program and results in more effective retention of the subjects we instruct on as well as better understanding of the Weil-McLain brand.
Why is this educational, hands-on interaction instrumental to our industry? What else does it say about you?
Viega: Viega uses hands-on training methods to illustrate how using new and innovative technology, such as ProPress, MegaPress and PEX Press, can save time and money. It also speaks to Viega’s innovation and quality products.
Weil-McLain: As one of the few manufacturers that offers this kind of training, it demonstrates Weil-McLain’s commitment to our customers and confidence in our product line. Our objective is to set the industry standard by being the “point of contact” for information, answers and solutions, offering direct training with our knowledgeable, approachable industry experts.
Rheem: In the competitive service-provider landscape, contractors need to know not just how to install and service products, but also how to explain the value of premium equipment for greater value and customer service delivery. We want to help contractors grow their business success, as they've done the same for Rheem for years.
What do you plan to include or focus on in the future?
Viega: We plan to keep graphics and system solutions updated with the latest products. For example, we will add our new MegaPress Stainless fittings for IPS stainless and our new pre-wall carrier systems which are both launching in 2017.
Royal Flush: In the few months since we’ve introduced trenchless pipe lining to MA and RI, our business has skyrocketed and we are now booked months in advance for our new services. As such, we expect to add more pipe lining trailers in the immediate future to keep up with demand and we’re looking to expand further beyond MA and the surrounding states within the next year.
Weil-McLain: We plan to reach out more to the customers than we have in the past to build mutual trust with contractors. We also plan to provide new types of innovative training via apps, videos, YouTube, training trailers and additional roadshows. Our training will continue to evolve with the best industry practices.
Is there anything else you’d people to know about your training?
Viega: To schedule your own training with the Viega mobile training unit call 800-976-9819 for more details.
Weil-McLain: This type of training has been critical in making Weil-McLain an industry leader. Achieving growth by working with more contractors and staying up-to-date on the latest technology with regards to training are our biggest priorities going forward.