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How Interpower Delights Customers…FAST

Video Transcription:

Bob Wersen: President and Founder—
I think we're unique because right from the very beginning of the corporations existence, we've been searching consistently for ways of delighting our customers, and by doing so providing both- value and excellent service in the process. We reinvented this whole process of purchasing power cords and cords sets. Doesn't sound like much today, but we were really the only company doing that initially and we were soon copied by all of our competitors.

The concept that someone who takes the order is going to write it all down on a piece of paper... I know that's years past, but originally it was all written down on a piece of paper. We started right from the beginning to encourage our people to interact with one another, and feel free to get from the phones in the days when those store orders were coming by phone. And go back to the scheduler and talk to the production people directly if they had a problem with something that was a little out of the ordinary or inconsistent with what the customer needed.

Amy DeBruin: Executive VP HR Manager—
Well that initial phone call starts from our receptionist answering the phone, so there's no phone trees involved. There's no trying to figure out "I don't know which button to push." It's getting a hold of that person and sharing with them just a little bit of what you need, and they'll assure they align you with the right person.

Personal service is the real key to what we do and the service is quick and efficient.

Mike Boyle: VP of Manufacturing and Logistics—
What I think makes us unique is doing what we are doing, manufacturing electrical components in Oskaloosa, Iowa, Ames, Iowa and Lamoni, Iowa. Our same day shipping, our one week lead time, and our no minimum order quantity- I think those things coupled with doing those in Oskaloosa, Lamoni and Ames, Iowa makes us unique.

No minimum orders allow for our customers to be able to ensure that they can turn their products around when they need it. So being able to... if they just need to design something, being able to get 5, 10, 15 pieces. They don't need a thousand pieces they need 10.

Our one week lead time is parts that are not stock items. Maybe somebody sees a cord in stock or an item in stock- you know I really like that, but I would like this change to it. I want it six feet longer, and I want it white. Can you do that? Yeah, we can do that. The way we make that happen is a lot of work between customer service and our manufacturing scheduler and our manufacturing department. They have to work together. We watch the due dates of course. We move orders around as necessary. The one week lead time is really important to us.

Well, we started out manufacturing nothing and importing everything. We now manufacture 70-75% of what we sell either here in Oskaloosa or in a factory down in Lamoni, Iowa, and all- but in any event- all from our U.S. factories.

Continental European cord- it's been our number one chord for years and years. That's a chord that's going to be going to like the Germany area. If we do a lot of jumper cords- has a C-13 as a Connector, and a XiD as what we call the plug- universal jumper cord.

What impresses me the most is the way that everybody really works together. It's not a matter of "well customer service is responsible for this," and "manufacturing is responsible for that." It's the fact that we see ourselves as one team who the customer's relying on to get that product to them when we said we do it and when they needed it.

We are vertically integrating, adding new products non-stop. I mean, it is non-stop. It's not just, we come in every day and it's the same old thing. It's adding new products, vertically integrating, making more of our own products. When I started with the company 23 years ago, we manufactured 15% of what we've sold. Today, that's about 70%. We're making what we're actually selling.

But we're going to do everything we can not just to satisfy, but to delight our customer. And we're going to do it with very quick service. We're going to make sure that the people they talked to are very knowledgeable about our products, and can answer questions both technical as well standard commercial questions. And we're going to do it all very, very quickly.