26 Dec

7 Questions to Ask When Considering a Test Stand Upgrade

Hydraulic Test StandWhen working with older hydraulic or generator test stands, your company might begin thinking about upgrading to new equipment. The best thing to do before making a decision is to make an honest assessment of your current equipment with your team. These seven questions should help you in the process.

1. Is your software still supported?

This goes without saying. Outdated software could lead to bugs in the future or incorrect data being returned by your system. In a worst-case scenario, unsupported software could lead to an entire system failure.

2. Is any of your hardware obsolete?

Obsolescence of parts is an important thing to consider when thinking towards the future. Is there a new part taking the place of the one you’re currently using? Would a replacement still be available should it ever break or fail? Have you considered the high cost of trying to source older, outdated parts?

3. How easy is the equipment to use?

Ease of use of equipment is vital to the ongoing success of your organization. Is training new employees a hassle, or is the equipment so old that its use isn’t fully understood? How up-to-date is the training available for this model?

4. Can it test modern parts?

Is your test stand able to work with all of the UUTs you need it to? Are there new UUTs that your test stand is unable to handle?

5. Is your equipment prone to issues?

Have you had sporadic issues with your test stand recently? Have you faced chronic downtime or regular issues requiring engineering work?

6. Have you planned for the advancement of technology?

As technology advances, does your company have a plan for testing it? Will your test stand be able to work with newer technology?

7. How long will it last?

Ask yourself, how much longer can your test stand hold up against continued use? What kind of down time does your company face if the test stand becomes inoperable? What kind of dollar value does that amount to in your industry? It is also important to think about the impact that downtime can have on the trust of your customers and stakeholders.

These are some of the most common questions that decision-making teams have when considering an upgrade in test equipment. Deciding to update your equipment is no easy task, and will likely require months of analysis and discussion. Has your company done an upgrade recently, or replaced some heavy equipment? Let us know in the comments below.

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19 Dec

What is Evergreen Content?

Evergreen TreesOne of the most important elements to an organization’s digital presence is having effective and engaging content on their website. If you operate in the aerospace sector like Avtron, this is especially important. Customers rely on your website not only for product information, but also helpful and interesting content. In many cases, your website provides the first “introduction” potential customers have to your company.

To that end, what is evergreen web content? The term “evergreen” comes from evergreen trees, those that keep their leaves all through the winter. This is a perfect metaphor for the type of content that B2B companies should be focusing on online.

What is evergreen web content?

Evergreen content is essentially any piece of content that does not lose its value over time. This type of content stays relevant and informative, regardless of the time it’s accessed, and continues to provide value to your online visitors. Evergreen content can be just about any type of material on the web, but some examples include web pages, blog posts, videos, and eBooks.

For example, a static page about one of your flagship products acts as evergreen content. This page will continue to provide value over time to visitors that need information about what your company provides. It will also continue to appear in search engines when the user is looking for information, and can be used as a reference in the future.

Another example could be a blog post about how to recognize when your equipment is due for calibration, or a troubleshooting guide for software that your company sells. These types of articles save your customers time, and address the issues that they may face again down the road.

Why is evergreen content important?

Evergreen content is important because it attracts more and more visitors to your site over time. This means more viewers of your content, more leads responding to calls-to-action, and eventually more customers. Content that stays relevant, and attracts people in your ideal customer market, is an asset for your business.

What types of content should I avoid?

There isn’t a set standard for which types of content are okay and which aren’t. Every business is different, and every company is looking to attract the attention of different types of customers. When your business has something valuable to share online, you should always make sure to do so.

Some types of web content, however, are inherently time-sensitive. A regular standard in the aerospace industry is to publish a blog when your company is attending a trade show or large conference (we’ve done it plenty of times ourselves). Often these types of posts are absolutely relevant to your audience’s interests. What you’ll see on your website, though, is a large bump in traffic to these pages before and during the event, but a large drop-off when finished. Content like this fails to retain its value over time, and likely won’t be a popular target for visitors after the event.

That’s not to say that time-relevant content isn’t important. After a large company event, milestone, or update, you should always put these out for your visitors if you believe it will provide value to them. These posts can inspire positive public relations and brand loyalty with your audience. It pays, though, to be aware of why you could be seeing a dip in traffic after events have passed.

What do you think is the best kind of content for attracting new and returning readers? How has your business succeeded in the aerospace marketing arena? Let us know in the comments below.

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12 Dec

What is an ISO 9001 Certification?

ISO CertificationWhat is ISO?

ISO, which stands for International Organization for Standardization, is an independent organization that develops voluntary international business standards. These standards are typically consensus-based and created to encourage good business practices. ISO creates numerous different standards for a wide breadth of industries around the world. Standards set forth by ISO are created to ensure that business management systems are effective, trustworthy, and represent a high standard of quality.

Standards are developed by a network of experts, who collaborate based on their specific field experience. ISO details their key principles in standard development here.

What is an ISO 9001 Certification?

In this instance, 9001 is the type of certification and 2008 represents the year the standards were last published. This certification demonstrates a promise by companies to develop and maintain an effective business management system.

Integral to being ISO 9001 certified is the system of checks and balances that must exist to ensure products are delivered properly and consistently.

Who offers certifications?

While the International Organization for Standardization creates various standards through rigorous research and analysis, they do not actually issue certifications. This function is provided by outside organizations, who must become accredited to do so. For example, Avtron has received our certification through Smithers Quality Assessments.

Earning the certification

At a minimum, organizations wanting to earn an ISO 9001 certificate must perform a yearly audit from an accredited auditor. This audit will include an analysis of their business processes and the documentation created to outline them.

Many companies create internal, practice “audits” for themselves to make sure they pass the real one. At Avtron, our method of preparation includes ten or more internal audits that we run ourselves. This way, we are always prepared for the yearly audit and can improve our own standards as the need arises. We tend to adhere to the phrase “say what you do, do what you say.” This means striving to lay out stringent processes for each of our departments, and seeing to it that those processes are followed.

Why should businesses get one?

The value of any ISO certification is that it shows a commitment to continuous improvement, which should result in delivering quality products. Your customers can be confident in knowing your company’s business is focused on customer satisfaction and continual improvement. Striving to earn an ISO certificate reflects a deep commitment to customer satisfaction.

What certifications is your business proud of? Let us know in the comments below.

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05 Dec

News vs. Blog

News vs. Blog

News vs. Blog

Here at Avtron, we recently decided to take a new look at our online presence. This included trying to improve some of the ways we were communicating and engaging with our customers and visitors.

We started by taking a look at the News section of our website. This is where we had previously shared updates about our business, tradeshows we were attending, and some of our proudest engineering feats. When we first redid our website, this seemed like the right thing to do and has been received pretty well by our visitors.

Blog

After a little bit of analysis and research, we changed the News section of our website into a dedicated blog. While a new name doesn’t seem to be much of a difference, we felt there were some inherent advantages to this approach. Some of those include:

-The term “news” felt limited in what we could publish. While our old page allowed us to keep our readers up to date on stories from Avtron, we wanted to expand our reach into new areas and topics. We’d like to benefit all of our customers and website visitors by providing valuable content for our entire industry.

-A blog, by being more general, could certainly include all of the old topics we used to write about. This flexibility means we can keep people updated on news stories about Avtron just like we used to, while being more inclusive on topic ideas.

-A blog invites response from our readers. We love getting feedback and opinions on how we can improve, and a blog gives us more space to engage with our website visitors. We’re eager to hear what’s on your minds.

News

In writing this article, we hoped to provide a little bit of help to other companies that might be facing the same question. There are, of course, some instances where News might be a little more fitting for the section of your website dedicated to new posts. Some advantages to News articles as opposed to blog posts include:

-A more defined purpose. For some organizations, the best way to keep your audience’s attention is by sharing very specific updates about your company.

-A “timeline” of your company. A News section creates a timeline that readers can follow and watch as a company grows.

Verdict

To conclude, all of these reasons contributed to our transition. We’ll be publishing more frequently, focusing on topics that can help our customers, interest our readers, and contribute to the larger Aerospace community. If you’d like to keep up with our recent posts, you can do so on our blog page here.

Has your company ever had a discussion like this one? Get in touch with us on Twitter @AvtronAerospace to let us know.

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