New Shop Experience

We’ve just released our latest version of our new shop and we are excited for our customers to start using it. Shop.Unitherm.com is a little different and is much easier to use than our old shop. What we wanted most from our new store is ease of use for the customer and usability, and we think we’ve achieved that. On the store front, you can see our running specials and featured products, along with all of our product categories, and helpful links.

Ease of Use

The main goal of our new shop was to make the shopping experience easy and accessible to the customer. On our old shop, we found many customers would get lost or not know how to find what they are looking for. Now we have multiple avenues to search for what you need. Every page can be found with a couple of simple clicks. Whether you have a question or need to check out, you can get there from every page.

New Shop FeaturesNew shop store front

Crucial to our design was adding a few new features to aid the customer. Some are more subtle than others, but here are a few of my favorite.

What we consider to be best new feature of the site is how easily you can find the right product for you. Each product is set into specific categories based on your needs, applications, or industry. Within each category you can set custom search perimeters to find the right size product you need. By selecting:

  1. Diameter or Circumference
  2. Width

You can have the exact fitting UniVest ordered in seconds. This makes our selection process even easier.

New Shop Compare Page
You can now also compare multiple products to be certain which is perfect for you. Selecting up to 5 items, and clicking the “compare” button will bring up a screen that will list all of the products benefits and features side-by-side for your viewing. From here you can add to cart or click an individual item for a closer look. 

My Account adds the ability to return to your personal preferences and shopping history. From the My Account tab you can track your orders, change your preferences, and manage all of your information. This gives our customer the benefit of a personalized shopping experience.

My personal favorite feature is the new Wish List. The Wish List is your own personal shopping cart that you can come back to at anytime. Unsure about a product, not ready to check out, or are just making a dream Christmas List, the Wish List makes it simple to keep track of your items. Inside the Wish List page you can view products, compare, and add to cart normally. This list is saved to your customer account so it will be there next time you choose to visit. 

Checking Out

Lastly (and probably most important), we felt that our check out process was a little overcomplicated and some customers had issues submitting their order. We condensed the order process down to 3 easy steps and can be completed in the matter of seconds. The checkout process becomes even easier and faster when My Account is used with the new checkout process. 

Let’s Go Shopping

Enough talking about the new shop, take it for a spin, and see all our new changes for yourself. Let us know what you think and what your favorite new feature is on our Facebook & Twitter pages. Stay tuned for more exciting content soon.  

New Shop Page: Shop.Unitherm.com

Facebook: facebook.com/UniTherm

Twitter: twitter.com/UniTherm

Check Out Our New Website!!!

UniTherm Insulation Systems, manufacturer of insulation blankets for high temperature applications, is excited to announce the launch of its redesigned website this week at: www.unitherm.com.

The design, e-commerce software platform and infrastructure of UniTherm.com have been completely reengineered. The goal is to provide a more personalized and simplified user experience on the website and e-commerce site. The revamped site also boasts ad units and integrations that are larger, more effective, and newly optimized for mobile users. Visitors of the site can now enjoy a seamless experience across all screens — desktop, mobile and tablet.

With the launch of the e-commerce website, the company’s President, Dan Sherrill, explains that, “In today’s market the launch of a new website may not be seen as groundbreaking, but within our niche, we recognized a need for and developed an e-commerce site that provides clear-cut, detailed information (such as delivery, product care, common FAQ’s, technical specifications etc.) on every product or part we sell.”

The new website includes a clean design, with brand new content that enables customers to easily search for new products and services. It is fully integrated with the company’s social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and its blog, and has an integral customer relationship management system to ensure that UniTherm’s sales and after-service professionals are fully informed of its customers’ needs.

Furthermore, the new web site showcases UniTherm’s pioneering efforts in offering a standardized product line –including product specifications for a broad range of available sizes and levels of performance– to make it easy for customers to order our products. This product line, along with the instant quoting, has eliminated the need for each project to receive a custom estimate and allows all orders to be instantly placed and processed.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with our new website. It’s well-designed, streamlined, and easy to use – just like our products,” according to Sherrill. “Our goal was to create a website that meets the needs of both our customers, who need easy access to our information, and the UniTherm staff, who need to be able to update the content easily to keep our customers informed. What we ended up with is a web site that looks great, is loaded with features, and has the ability to grow.”

Different isn’t always better…but better is always different

Every business always has the same goal: to become world-class through everyday changes by meeting the needs of demanding customers who will become more demanding, all in a constantly evolving marketplace.

This can be a particularly challenging dilemma for those entrepreneurs who create businesses around high quality goods or specialized information.  One way to work around this challenge is to present those goods or information as customized thereby enhancing the customer’s experience. Organizations realize they can often add value for their customers by tailoring or customizing their products to meet the special needs of individual buyers.

However, there is a limitation.

Pure customization requires starting from scratch every time you receive a new customer request.  This can be time consuming and ultimately drives up the total cost of the finished product or service. Even though you want to be flexible to meet client needs, being overly customized has some serious down sides.

And this is where the incorporation of some type of standardization comes to the rescue.

At a time when we are constantly being told to value the new and the different, it may come as a shock to learn that the standard, the shared and the common can be a driving force of change. Indeed, many of the innovations that have transformed the world, including railroads, modern manufacturing and interchangeable parts, money, agriculture, containerized shipping, numbers, the Internet, even language, only succeed because of standardization.

Advantages of standardization

Manufactures:

  • Rationalize different varieties of products.
  • Decrease the volume of products in the store and also the manufacturer cost.
  • Improve the management and design.
  • Speed up the management of orders.
  • Facilitate the exportation and marketing of products.
  • Simplify purchasing management.

Consumer:

  • Establish quality and safety level to the service and products.
  • Inform to the characteristic of the products.
  • Make easier the comparison between the different offers

Public service:

  • Simplify the production of legal text.
  • Establish quality, environmental and safety policies.
  • Help to the economical development.
  • Facilitate the business.

One of the best-known examples of standardized mass production was the ‘Model T’ car produced in 1908 by Henry Ford. An unchanging design, standardized parts and (from 1914) a moving assembly line all helped reduce costs dramatically, from $850 in 1910 to $360 in 1916. Hence, the term Fordize: “to standardize a product and manufacture it by mass means at a price so low that the common man can afford to buy it.”

2014-02-11_1108A modern day example of the power of standardization is the GSM™ mobile communication technology and its successors (3G, 4G…), truly global phenomena, in which ETSI has played a leading role. Although GSM was originally envisaged as a solution just for Europe, these technologies have been deployed worldwide. As a result, travelerstoday can communicate and use familiar services in every corner of the world – all thanks to standardization.

Without standardization these innovations may not have happened or may have not reached as many people as they have.

Standardization is not a bad thing, but like anything else when it is not used properly or with the right intent it can cause people to fear it. Don’t be afraid of standards. Use them to help you toward your creative goal. You don’t need to reinvent your process each time you have a new customer. Figure out the best systems for working with a client and use them over and over again. If you create strong standards, you actually have a better platform to generate customizable projects. If you save time and energy on the basic things, you can get your creative on where it will make the most impact.

Sustainability Today for A Greener Tomorrow

Today, ‘green’ has become a fashion statement of sorts. Everyday, we’re constantly reminded to “go green” — use less energy, shrink our carbon footprint, save the Earth, etc. Over the last few years, the word “green” has gained a definition that goes way beyond color. Today, “green” has established itself in our vocabulary as an adjective, noun and verb, not to mention a movement.

The term “going green” can mean different things to different companies. To some, green means recyclable. To others, green means free of potentially harmful chemicals. But in reality, many green-leaning businesses, families, and governments are still fiddling while the planet burns. Why? Because implementing sustainability is brutally difficult.

Going Green and Being Sustainable – related phrases, but different meanings. However, the words “green” and “sustainable” are often used interchangeably, and sustainable has a more precise meaning that is often obscured, distorted, and diluted by the commercialization and marketing of the green “movement”.

• “Going green” means to pursue knowledge and practices that can lead to more environmentally friendly and ecologically responsible decisions and lifestyles, which can help protect the environment and sustain its natural resources for current and future generations.

• Sustainability, on the other hand, is often defined as managing the triple bottom line – a process by which companies manage their financial, social and environmental risks, obligations and opportunities. These three impacts are sometimes referred to as profits, people and planet.

Generally, sustainable products and activities are subject to a higher standard of performance because of “future” factors. For example, a car can be considered “green” simply because it manages to deliver 40 miles per gallon of gasoline. But it’s not sustainable for us to be extracting fossil fuels from the earth and burning them at current rates.

Sustainability values form the basis of the strategic management, process the costs and benefits of the firm’s operations, and are measured against the survival needs of the planets stakeholders. Sustainability is the core value because it supports a strategic vision of firms in the long term by integrating economic profits with the responsibility to protect the environment; as there is no economy, unless there is a planet.

Just like the term “green,” “sustainability” encompasses a broad range of activities and issues. While both terms are associated with environmentalism and living in ways that are less harmful to the planet, green doesn’t always mean sustainable, and what’s “green” isn’t always that good.

So what does this mean for business operations? It means they must define their green/sustainability goals, implement these changes and then measure their success. An understanding of what makes companies survive will help sustainability managers embed their programs more effectively. If they are not concerned with whether or not their company can stay in business, all the good green and community work could disappear at the whim of the market.

IG-Sustaining

Part 2: The Unsexy To Sexy Effect of B2B Brands

Is business to business (B2B) marketing really any different from business to consumer (B2C) marketing? That’s a fair question. After all, B2B marketers have many of the same concerns as their B2C counterparts. Both groups must deal with product development, distribution, branding, and promotion. And the line between B2C and B2B often blurs.

It is often assumed that B2B and B2C businesses must approach marketing very differently and utilize completely different strategies. While B2B marketing extols the benefits provided to a company and B2C is aimed at the individual consumer, when it comes down to it, you are still marketing to a person.

But lets be honest, B2B marketing is not always easy. Yet it doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you think about it in a similar way you market to customers. Be human, creative, consistent, and measure your efforts. Taking those simple steps will go a long way in turning your business prospects into sales.

In the past, industrial manufactures were successful in marketing by emphasizing the superior analytical performance of their products or services- this made sense because that’s what specialist buyers cared about. But there’s more to high-tech B2B marketing than just written content. While the majority of the products or services being advertised in our industry consist of highly technical content and information, UniTherm’s “IT’S HOT” ad is able to stand out from the typical ad for several reasons.

Initially, the ad is successful in this sense, because it grabs the attention of its intended customer base through the use of visual elements. Despite the fact that the focus is taken away from UniTherm itself, the ad does a good job at presenting our industry focus in a metaphorical way- thus making the information easier to interpret at a glance. Yet, viewers can still dig down into the hardcore analysis feature if necessary.

Adding visual elements to improve the presentation your material provides several benefits. First, it draws attention to your company and increases the likelihood that potential clients will be willing to listen to the whole message. It also evokes an emotional response that helps you connect with your audience. It reinforces written ideas, and in some cases it can present information much more clearly than a written explanation.

As such, B2B marketers who think like B2C marketers in terms of identifying target markets, establishing the key elements of a purchase decision and producing relevant, interesting content that engages, are likely to achieve the best results.

Part 1: The Unsexy To Sexy Effect of B2B Brands

Business-to-business (B2B) marketers have one of the most tricky and underappreciated jobs on the planet. They must educate exceptionally well-informed potential buyers who are likely to have a more in-depth knowledge of the related industry. B2B marketers are often given the unenviable task of marketing dry, technical products- making the “unsexy”, sexy, per se. 

Of all the strategies that American manufacturers could use today to grow their businesses, industrial marketing is perhaps the most important, yet least understood strategy. Talk to any successful CEO in an “unsexy” vertical – like the industrial or manufacturing industry – and you can hear it in their voice: the struggle they endured as they tried to sell their big idea to folks like investors, press, partners, and customers. And it becomes increasingly harder, as companies try to rise above the fray amidst their sexy counterparts

But let’s be honest here – business products lack sex appeal, and the reoccurring themes used in B2B marketing space have been, and continue to be boring. This is attributable to the fact that they constantly revolve around the same, underlying themes: getting more business, saving money, getting a competitive edge, getting better results, etc. Boring!

While being different in the B2B marketing can be a bit of challenge, it can however, be an opportunity to break away from the mold and create something remarkable for your company. 

In September 2012, Russell Glass, CEO of Bizo, wrote a great article on Marketing Profs about how the best B2B marketers think like B2C marketers. In his article, Glass says “the best B2B marketers are successful because they start with building a brand,” by doing things like developing marketing that speaks to the target audience, using visuals to sell your product, and being human in your communications.

This approach, of course, does not provide an automatic solution for making the “unsexy”, sexy. It is not meant to. This method is merely meant to help identify some important problems B2B marketers are facing and offer up some unique insight on how to create memorable brands out of some downright “unsexy” industries. 

It’s important to remember that marketing is still a blend of art and science. The right balance of both dimensions is a must, and that is not only true if you are working with a consumer product; It’s just as valid for marketers of seemingly unsexy and dry business services.

So, B2B Marketers Can Draw B2C Strategies Into Their Marketing…?

A good marketing strategy is critical to the success of your business. And being in the B2B marketing space, we at UniTherm, decided to utilize these unique marketing strategies of Russell Glass, and apply them to our most recent marketing campaign. 

This is part one of “The Unsexy To Sexy Effect of B2B Brands”. Be sure to check out part two of our blog next week and see how UniTherm is moving away from the traditional mindset of B2B marketers and thinking more like B2C marketers.

Are You Participating In The “It’s Hot” Sticker Contest

Its-hot

Have you had a chance to check out the latest edition of Plastics Today? If you haven’t yet, make sure to do so because you will have the chance to participate in our Facebook picture contest going on right now and win big.

To participate in UniTherm’s contest, applicants need to simply find the  “IT’S HOT” sticker ad by UniTherm International Inc., located on page 35 in the September 2013 edition of Plastics Today. Once you find the sticker, tear it out and stick it on your toolbox.  Once you’ve done this, take a picture of your toolbox where the ad is displayed and upload/post your picture on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/unitherm.

It’s easy to participate in our contest and the prizes are awesome! The deadline for all contest submissions is December 27, 2013. So hurry up and upload those pictures and win your choice of either a BBQ Grill, iPad, or Tool Box.

 

 

 

All Aboard the Simplicity Train- Final Destination, Further Money Gain!

Energy efficiency, in theory, is one of the simplest ways to save money. As energy costs continue to rise, industrial industries in particular, need effective ways to reduce the amount of energy they consume. America’s manufacturing sector is the largest in the world and reducing energy waste at industrial facilities can provide huge benefits for companies by boosting industrial competitiveness while creating and retaining jobs through cost-effective energy efficiency improvements

According to the U.S. Energy Administration, estimates show that the industrial sector consumes more energy every year than any other U.S. entity. Yet, reaping savings in the industrial sector is more like a scavenger hunt thanks to the myth that energy efficiency improvements are easily attainable. Energy efficiency in this area is always more work, and it requires a good amount of experimentation.

So what makes the industrial sector so much different? Here are a few factors to consider:

  • Industrial environments are extremely complex and consistently changing, making predictions far more difficult to ascertain due to various factors such as weather, product variation and constantly changing schedules. 
  • Efficiency is a relatively low priority for many industrial companies. Industrial customers are very risk-averse and will not make changes to existing processes if they could jeopardize the flow of operations.

It may seem that big problems require big solutions…

When it comes to guaranteed money savings and economical, efficient operation of a vast array of facilities, using thermal insulation is like “solid gold.” With rising energy costs and the unwanted environmental emissions accompanying lost energy, the time has definitely come for facility owners, operators and energy managers to fully take advantage of this valuable money saving, energy conserving, and emissions reducing tool.

So it all comes down to money. This makes it critical to find solutions that are easy to install and support; and offer you the most value for your money.

A major culprit across all industries is heat waste, the byproduct of inefficient technology. The more heat you lose the higher the cost, so identifying key areas for insulation can go a long way towards increasing efficiency. Equipment valves, flanges, expansion joints, and other irregular surfaces are common culprits of heat leakage. Routine system maintenance on industrial processes often involves removing insulation on pipe valves and fittings. If it is not replaced, the energy loss can be substantial.

To circumvent these issues, many industrial professionals have turn to removable/reusable insulation jackets to maximize heat retention and increase performance.  The efficiency and proficiency of utilizing a removable/reusable insulation jacket, translates into improved facility and personnel protection, enhanced operational efficiency, and less energy consumption- easily making this product a no brainer for companies.

In a nutshell….

Companies need to work smarter, not just harder, in order to be successful. A company’s success should be measured by how wisely it uses energy, water, and other resources; how well it maintains a high quality of life for its people; and how smart it is in building prosperity on a sustainable foundation. Companies must become smarter about how they use existing capacity and resources in order to be productive and profitable. If not, they will be overshadowed and outpaced by other companies that are laying the foundation to prepare for future growth.

I want to say one word to you. Just one word: Plastics!

Mr. McGuire: I want to say one word to you. Just one word.

Benjamin: Yes, sir.

Mr. McGuire: Are you listening?

Benjamin: Yes, I am.

Mr. McGuire: Plastics.

Benjamin: Exactly how do you mean?

Mr. McGuire: There’s a great future in plastics. Think about it. Will you think about it?

When Walter Brooke, as Mr. McGuire, spoke those words to Dustin Hoffman in his legendary role as Benjamin Braddock in the classic film The Graduate, audiences would not have known just how enduring the future of plastics would be. Since 1976, plastics have been the most used material in the United States and will most likely continue to be used in many years to follow.

However, plastics have a bad rap for the ways that they negatively impact the environment; it is inexpensive to make and easy to discard. Plastic morphed from an engineering triumph into a global plague. A 2000 survey conducted by the American Chemistry Council (ACC), discovered that fewer than half of Americans had a positive opinion of the miracle material; and 25 percent “strongly believed” that plastic’s environmental negatives outweighed its benefits.

Plastics are ubiquitous; they are an intrinsic part of our modern world. Plastics are incredibly useful, and despite their reputation, can be an energy efficient alternative to their glass and aluminum counterparts. Plastics are not only energy efficient, but saves the United States dollars by the second. In a recently conducted test, researchers found out that by using plastic over other materials such as glass and metal, the United States economy could save over $336 trillion. Plastics certainly have made a home in our world’s economy as the “useful innovation of the millennium.”

the-graduate-infographic

However, plastic requires more than just an image makeover if it’s going to make a positive contribution to a more energy efficient, less disposable world. The solution may be for plastic to keep doing what it does best—evolving, in essence, to become a better substitute for its current form; to focus not solely on what new plastics will be used for, but where they will go when they’re thrown away, and then engineer them to break down accordingly.

Attention Texas: Lean And Mean, But Green?

Lately, the topic of banning plastic bags has become hotly debated subject that is sweeping the country. Eco-crusaders across the globe have had great success in attacking the widespread use of plastic bags and feel that the banning of bags is a simple and environmentally responsible approach. 

 Over the past several years, more than two-dozen U.S. cities have implemented bag bans, most of them prohibiting plastic bags and imposing a fee on paper. The majority of these cities reside in the states of California, Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, and now Texas; which, includes the cities of Austin, Brownsville, and South Padre Island.

For the last five months, the Dallas City Council members have been deliberating over the decision to adopt or deny the ban on plastic bags. Yet, the ban on plastic bags in Dallas is unlikely to come before the City Council for months due to a lack of direction and plan of execution. The majority of City Counsel members know a solution to this problem must be sought out, but feel that the entire banning of bags isn’t the correct approach. It will be some time before the counsel reaches a solution to this rising problem.

The fact that policymakers are banning bags and creating fees without considering the real impact it could have on the economy and environment is frightening. Rather than bans and fees that take away jobs and increase costs to consumers, policy makers should be more inclined to take advantage of the great economic and environmental opportunities associated with the responsibilities of recycling these bags, thus creating more economical growth and sustainability, while preserving environmental obligations.