Who Reads This Caterpillar Marketing Stuff?

by Contributor KelscNM on ‎07-16-2013 03:11 PM - last edited on ‎08-26-2013 12:22 PM by Administrator

 

Nick Kelsch Caterpillar Blog.jpg

 

As a mechanical engineer by education, I’m still a little uneasy about carrying the word “marketing” in my job title. 

 

I spent the first ten years of my career at Caterpillar as a sales engineer and territory manager working in North and South America, calling on customers and consulting engineers who usually had a very real and very specific technical requirement that revolved around getting the right product or service to ensure reliable power for their business. It wasn’t only about meeting a business plan, but ensuring success for our customers, our dealers, and Caterpillar. Needless to say, this seemed like very serious, important stuff.

 

When I got called back to help support Electric Power Division’s global marketing communications efforts, I thought I had all the answers. I knew what mattered to our dealers and customers. I knew what the missing tools were. I knew what information was needed and who to send it to. Boy, was I wrong.

 

This marketing stuff was a lot harder than I thought. For example, demonstrating the value of investing in a combined heat and power system to a greenhouse operator in Russia, drumming up investment in biogas energy in Argentina, and just trying to earn coverage in Chinese trade publications isn’t as easy as it sounds. The fact that most of my customers don’t share my native language only makes it that much more difficult.

 

I found myself scrambling, begging and pleading with our international sales team to please proofread an advertisement, check an article or ensure a website was working properly.  We are translating our core of customer stories, videos and brochures into seven languages with more than a few mistakes along the way. If you need references for what exactly can go wrong with international marketing just ask Pepsi Co., whose 1980’s slogan “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated loosely in Chinese as “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the grave”. Or ask Chevrolet , whose famously named “Nova” model turned out to mean “No Go’ in Spanish. Needless to say, there were not may Novas  cruising Latin American cities.

 

Well, we at Caterpillar are doing our best to improve access to relevant information for all customers, no matter where you live or what language you speak. We’re in the process of overhauling our public website to have more consistent and accessible product information. We’ve created many purpose-built informational websites surrounding power generation, including our multi-lingual renewable and natural gas information site: www.catgaspower.com

 

We are adding more YouTube videos of our customers telling their stories about how renewable energy projects are being financed, how developing African countries, like Tanzania, are using domestic natural gas to improve lives, and even how one customer has been able to operate and maintain the same engine for 60 years. We’re blogging (obviously), and we’re getting more into the publishing business with our quarterly power magazine, RunReady, offering free subscriptions through local dealers.

 

I think that a lot of the engineers that I work with at Caterpillar’s LafayetteEngineCenter are starting to see that maybe this “marketing stuff” does involve actual work. It may not be as technically challenging as designing a new piston, but maybe just as time consuming.

 

We hope we’re providing information that is interesting and valuable to you, our customers, and we still want to hear from you. Talk to us. We’re listening.

 

  • What could Caterpillar be doing to improve your customer experience and decision making process?
  • What is the most important information about Cat products that you need to build strategies for your business?
  • Are there any other places you’d like to be able to research Cat products that we’re missing?

Comments
by New member mgold
on ‎07-30-2013 10:36 AM

Kevin,  Here is my boss's question? 

The generator we have is rated at 40 KW output and 1 HP is equal to 746 watts. Therefore, 40 KW X 1000 W/KW/(746 W/HP) = 53.5 HP. This sets the generator ratedoutput at 53.5 HP. If you will look at the spreadsheet attached, you will note that the generator, if properly rated, should easily handle 2400 psi at +- 400 rpm ( requiring the generator to output 45.5 HP at 85% efficiency). He is a petroleum engineer, We have the Mod. G40F1 Olympian with a Ford motor, Ser # E3555J/001, we are using this as a prime source to run an electric motor at the above efficency 24/7 and the motor overheats and shuts down. The unit is located in south La. Our mechanic has looked over the engine several times and it is in good running condition. Is the problem the load as noted above or something else.. His spread sheet shows,

Plunger OD, Stroke length, SPM, Pressure, GPM pump information then, HHP and Brake HP@ 85%. He wants to know why the generator is overheating and shutting down. I'm not an engineer so I have my own ideas.

 

 

Plunger OD

1.5

 

3

 

400

 

2400

 

27.54

 

38.56

 

45.36

 

by Contributor KelscNM
on ‎07-31-2013 12:50 PM

Mgold,

 

It is possible that you might be drawing more current than the generator is rated for.  It sounds like your generator is designed to deliver three phases of power at 36kW (3-phase) for prime power operation or 40kW for emergency standby operation.  By ISO standards, the average load you apply over the course of a day should be ~ 70% of the nameplate prime rating.

 

The other thing that might cause problems is a mismatch on the generator voltage to the pump motor's required voltage.  For example if you have a large 120V 1-phase motor connected to a three phase 208/120V generator, you might be pulling more single phase power than the generator is designed for.  At the end of the day, you'll want to check the current and voltage required by the motor and compare it to the generators specification.  You can always contact your local Cat dealer for help.

 

Hope this helps.

 

Nick

by
on ‎07-31-2013 07:41 PM

1.I think the marketing reaction from CAT is not fast comare to other engine manufacturer;

2. Some product information in POWERNET is not correct;

3. It takes a long time to make a change or a litte change.

by Visitor muralcr
on ‎08-01-2013 02:10 AM

your dealers in india has to work over time in educating the consultants and end users. CAT genset information avilable is almost zero specially Genset applications suggest interactive seminars at major cities focusing on Consultants i am an ex CAT application engineer power generation and industrial engines now a consultent for a Building developer its like tunneling a mountain with out any drilling equioment when it comes to interact with Architects  &cservices consultentsof our clients  in explaining working of CAT gensets in general and electrical and mechenical issues to be taken care during installation and operation

by Contributor KelscNM
on ‎08-01-2013 08:22 AM

WTC2008, Give me a call and let's discuss your ideas about faster marketing, and improved information for Cat Dealers. 

by Contributor KelscNM
on ‎08-01-2013 08:31 AM

muralcr,

 

Per my message, let's connect and discuss what information you need.  I also provided you with the contact information of one of our local factory Electric Power representatives in India to ensure you're invited to our next local seminar.  Thanks for your reply.


Nick

by Regular Contributor
on ‎08-01-2013 09:32 AM

NIck So, your problem is the world, there are areas of the world where business is so fast and in a frenzy, which I think impossible to please everyone,

then if you look at the world of energy, renewable or traditional, the situation is even worse, because there are countries like mine (Italy) that in 6 years have revolutionized the field of drugging him immediately and now withdrawing the incentive system, causing chaos and failures, with false hopes and so on, now in a turbulent market so expect to be able to follow is difficult, especially if he does it compare with aizende smaller but aggressive, with a series of products that if you look at the history caterpillar must work in worldwide regardless of the function,

 

 

now with an attitude so it is difficult to expect, low-cost functional and possibly all the necessary technical information to feed customers, when the dealer for years have been hard on the availability of information, except in extreme cases their thinking I was Cat dealer does not have to do more, now you understand the lack of non-market strategy, but mental flexibility of those who must give the master line, especially in settoreenergetico, where every day we are born and die companies, because they remain the only sector where profit margins are still high for now, but where it is also easily easy to fail,

 

Now what use to help, and chedere hard to say, if I look at the general information the dealer Italian (GCC), for years have not really done a good job of propaganda about the product, because of busy fronts remurativi without spending too much, so now sifre is a delay, but in frattenpo companies have only focused on energy displaced who sold Cat (north Italy in particular), the products for many years cat did not give support to alternative sources of fuel, bio gas digesters, water purifiers city, if not the only cogeneration with methane,this time you pay now, and also the acquisition of MWM, did not bring at least in europe all this improvement, I see that it continues to sell around Man in bio gas digesters, and Jenbacher, while if you feel certain customers want their cat, now only time I question the need, and if you want to divulge information safe have to be a little more aggressive how does your competition, after it was sold, and the numbers come in, everything is easier, and without doing anything strange, just sell a product that in the end if you look carefully in the company have always had, or gas engines that can cover the entire power range from 100 KWE to 10 megs, just need a little bit of real local investigation, and greater confidence,

 

 

you do not need to finish indrodurre new infornazioni but better information, no need to increase tools that many do not use or they deem unnecessary, needless to say, what to use?, I have what you need, what did I think the caterpillar machine has a capacity of reaction that no one can imitate,

this is my thought being in europe and in the energy field for years, the caterpillar lacks only the courage to do the managers, the produced ozone exists can be improved, and the information to direct your customers want,

example: power, efficiency, application no limits, and the financial viability of investment return, everything else nobody is looking,

 

 

greetings and happy holidays to all

 

Claudio Gordini

by Super Contributor
on ‎08-13-2013 03:28 PM

Claudio,

 

Sorry, I had to reread your post a few times to fully get it, but you make a number of excellent points, thank you!

 

I think one of the biggest areas CAT can do a way better job is openly providing good solid technical information. Things like the Application and Installation Guides, technical topic papers regarding thngs like winding pitch, voltage regualtion, applications with power electronincs. Yes, they are there, buried in a system called EMC not readily available to those outside teh CAT famility at many times poorly indexed and difficult to find.

 

When you cruise the web to find solutions, who pops up as a major provider of pretty good technical info? Cummins. Their website is easy to access, provides a good range of info that meets the needs of both North America and the rest of the world, and has some darn fine techncial articles.

 

Frankly most of the engineers and purchasers I work with don't want to read a vague article how you installed engines in some far off land, they want to know how to solve problems, apply equipment to meet their needs, manage installation and operational costs, and provide reliable solutions to their processes.

 

You might also want to consider an old GE practise, although these days never used, and that is to not only highlight your success stories, but to to make a case study of a job that hit the crapper and by diligent aplication of resources and engineering, solved the problems and learned some things to boot. Frankly those are they types of companies many of my customers are interested in dealing with.

 

Another thing, is it may be time to offer customers better recourse than the same old answer "contact your local CAT dealer". Some changes in overall product lines and offerings, applications that include virtualy every industrial market in the world and problems associated with hring, training and retaining good technical people make this pretty tough for anyone in the business. How realistic to think that even the best CAT dealer has all the answers for every application. Take a look at a lot of the posts that hit the forums, how many of those actually send a signal to the factory that there are folks out there not getting the help they need, in both trying to apply product and maintain and support it?

 

As one data center customer recently put it after a disappointng meeting with two vendors of generator sets, "i need glue, not glitter!"

 

My two cents, Mike L.

by Regular Contributor
‎11-04-2013 11:00 AM - edited ‎11-04-2013 11:04 AM

MIke is 100% correct! Cat has to improve it installation and assembly support or it's going to be a problem for them. Particulary with the recent increase of CM  units being installed here in the US. I have some very recent experiance trying to to get  logistical and engineering support out of Kiel and it was a struggle to say the least! 22 40foot containers full of parts with little or no instructions on inventory or how to assembled led to short tempers and some nastygrams to CPGS HQ!!!! ANd one other note: Sale and Engineering have to get the storys striaght! A sales man putting  DICARE is his offer and field service guys informing me it doesn't work on gas engines makes the customer VERY unhappy!!!!!

by Contributor KelscNM
on ‎11-05-2013 06:47 PM

 

Plantpro.  I'm sorry for the confusion with sub-assembly and DICARE quote.  I have asked our CM product team to contact you at your email address to discuss how we can improve the situation.

by advertising agency jakarta
on ‎01-14-2016 12:27 AM

I see that it continues to sell around Man in bio gas digesters, and Jenbacher, while if you feel certain customers want their cat, now only time I question the need, and if you want to divulge information safe have to be a little more aggressive how does your competition, after it was sold, and the numbers come in, everything is easier, and without doing anything strange, just sell a product that in the end if you look carefully in the company have always had, or gas engines that can cover the entire power range from 100 KWE to 10 megs, just need a little bit of real local investigation, and greater confidence,

 

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