Learnings from the road: Introducing product improvements and collecting input for future innovations
Business Development Manager at Danhydra and in charge of stumping up the North American market.
His experience in the wind industry and technical sales serves him well, when diving into specific and often complex customer issues.
Business Development Manager in the US, Peter Stouder, travels the windy midwestern states, introducing customers to new tools for efficient and reliable service of the region’s many wind turbines. In every customer conversation, he collects feedback that helps shape the future of Danhydra’s product line-up.
Most days a year, Peter Stouder will depart from a plane and then drive for hours to reach one of the hundreds of wind farms in the heart of the US. Here, he introduces a range of game-changing products to wind farm owners and the independent service providers that service and maintain the hundreds of turbines that cover the land.
In most conversations, the customer focus is on how to raise efficiency and service times. According to Peter’s experience, even small improvements can have a significant economic impact for the wind farm owners and service providers.
“When you’re servicing a turbine, time is money and the clock is always ticking. Servicemen need to hoist their equipment into the turbines, so when a product malfunctions, you either spend an hour going up and down again – or you need to order new equipment. US wind farms are typically way off the beaten track, so then you’re probably looking at a significant delay. For service providers that travel to different sites to service multiple locations, that’s a major setback that costs both them and the wind farm owners,” Peter Stouder says.
Remnants of the wild west
Although the US has invested heavily in wind and is catching up to European par, there are still significant differences between the two continents. While wind farm operators and independent service providers in Europe have largely adopted the same standards in workflows, product types, and processes, the approach in the US is more fragmented.
This means that some service organizations still employ tools that are near-obsolete compared to European standards.
“As a frontline guy, I see a lot of different tools in use and some are simply ineffective compared to the modern standard. Whenever I visit sites, I’ll have a dusin guys watching our products and asking questions. They are grateful to experience that there are alternatives to solutions that are giving them regular issues – and costing time and money in the long run. A turbine only makes money when it’s running, so reliable and quick service is essential. In some ways, it’s still the wild west here. But with better tools comes better efficiency and improved processes,” Peter Stouder explains.
Quality tools improves fleet audits
For wind farms to qualify for government subsidies, they have to pass regular audits on output efficiency. This makes the need for reliable, quality tools pivotal – and according Peter, it’s critical for wind farm owners to offer reliable tools to their independent service providers.
“A lot of wind farms have independent service providers service their turbines. Typically, the farm operators provide the tools to the service providers, but if the tools are insufficient, you can run into problems. The turbines are down for longer, and the service providers get delayed in getting to the next site. Service might seem like a small cog in the wheel, but for wind farms to qualify for subsidies they need to pass their audits. So, although servicing tools might seem like a hygiene factor, it’s actually critical to ensure smooth operations and sufficient output. In the end, that’s what we’re all about at Danhydra. Improving every aspect of tooling to help our customers save time, resources, and money – and making our tools work for the people using them. Not just engineers in a development center somewhere.”
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