Monday 23 April 2012

Davis Controls Ltd. - Embracing Technology For Success

Great businesses rely on great people and great products and in this respect, Davis Controls Ltd. is no different from many other successful companies.   However, in order to survive the competitive business environment of the 21st century, truly successful companies also need high performance technology tools to optimize efficiencies and maximize ROI.  We spend a lot of our time trying to identify what mix of e-business strategies will strengthen our organization and to that end, we are currently exploring social networking as a new tool in our communication plan.  We believe that we understand the core competency of our company and we invest considerable time, energy and resources into building relationships that put us close to customers, so that we might better understand their needs.  To ensure continued growth and improve competitive advantage, executive officers are now obliged to weigh the advantages of new e-business propositions, against the traditional business models that got us here in the first place.  If anyone had told me three years ago that I would be writing a blog as a component of our corporate communications platform, I would have said they were nuts... and yet, here I am, blogging.

The magic of the Internet is that to create the most value today, companies no longer need to have the biggest factories, or the most people, or the most money, or the fanciest offices.  Smaller and smaller groups of talented people with a passionate commitment to a set of good ideas can do bigger and better things.  Business owners in this new economy are challenged with the notion that their job, and the job of their colleagues, is not to out-hustle the competition, but to out-think them, maybe even out-communicate them.  That means generating better ideas and creating faster fixes and feedback, more efficiently than anyone else.

Consequently, we have customer information and operational data from multiple sources flowing in with ever increasing volume and speed.  We have found web based business process management tools, with their rapid search and retrieval functions, to be an effective way to assimilate and integrate this sea of customer data, from which we derive insights and advantages that make up our competitive edge.  These insights include a deeper understanding of customer and partner relationships and key performance indicators.  This information must be complete, instantly visible in real time and available to everyone in the entire enterprise.

Davis Controls employs web portal technology that has been enriched with knowledge management and collaborative tools, including e-HRM, e-Logistics, e-CRM, e-Workflow, e-Documents, e-Project, e-Financials and expert search technologies.  We use the Internet to communicate all corporate information relating to customers, products and employees, including documents, news and correspondence.  Integrated with our ERP and CRM, the HRM, SCM and document management systems coordinate information from all departments into one multi-functional browser-based database, further improving information access and exchange.  The one-time recording of data in context, by the employee directly involved, links relevant data to all of the people, products, customers, suppliers, workflows and financial transactions concerned.  This empowers everyone in the company to deliver better, more complete service and faster response.  Integrating E-business applications with back office systems provides a scalable and flexible infrastructure that is less costly to manage and more seamless to use.

Integrated Event-Management software provides our management team with instantaneous access to sales results by representative and by territory, current accounts payable and receivable details, cash receipts, open quotes, closed quotes through a win/loss analysis and a host of other important information required to make informed decisions and to respond immediately.

Success is measured in efficiency and productivity.  Certain other benchmarks, like planning and workflow activities, number of documents created, projects registered, orders entered by sales rep and several other physical measurements are possible and we do them; however, the final test for enterprise-wide buy-in is always whether or not the investment has resulted in improved productivity.  At Davis we make the case that the e-workplace environment and how easy we are to do business with, make up an essential piece of our value proposition.  These collective capabilities help to make Davis Controls more attractive to buyers of industrial instrumentation looking for reliable solutions to real world problems, as well as to manufacturers of industrial instrumentation looking for a new channel, or a better channel.  It seems that ‘How we do it’ has become as important as ‘What we do’.


Monday 9 April 2012

Davis Controls Ltd. - After the War

Continuing with the historical timeline of Davis Controls Ltd., during W.W. II, in addition to the promotion and sale of the industrial lines represented at the time, the company supplemented industrial sales with repair work for the Royal Canadian Air Force.  It was during this period that the company incorporated.  Shortly after the war, Davis opened an office in Montreal and then another in Winnipeg in 1955.

The familiar “Automatic Watchdog” logo, which has been with the company in one way or another since day one, was initially developed in two forms.  Both were graphical representations of a Great Dane, one in the form of the whole dog and the second depicting the head of a Great Dane in a two ringed circle.  The space between the rings of the circle enclosed the words “Automatic Watchdog Controls”.  Mr. Davis recorded at the time that research conducted on successful advertising campaigns of the day revealed that domestic animals were second only to children in public appeal.  Mr. Davis elected to associate the “impressive” stature of the Great Dane with the ‘Automatic Watchdog’ monitoring and control function of the instruments represented by the company.   Over time, the company, our people and our products became synonymous with our role and responsibility as ‘Watchdog’ over the Instrumentation and Control requirements of Canadian industry. The rest, as they say, is history.

Ten years ago, to celebrate seventy years of strong and proud service to our customers from coast to coast, we organized an entire advertising campaign around the mascot in our logo, returning the enduring and ever watchful Great Dane in a form similar to its earliest design.  This powerful symbol of our continuing commitment to:

·         Expert application advice

·         Reliable service and technical support

·         State-of-the-art products

as well as the original ‘Watchdog’ mission of the company, is a constant reminder to our staff of the responsibility being entrusted to us with each and every inquiry.  We take pride in the fact that our customers rely on our application advice and technical recommendations and continue to place their trust in Davis Controls Limited, just like they have been doing for the past eighty years.

The very first product line represented by Davis Automatic Controls was Automatic Switch Company (ASCO).  Since day one, the company has been active in the fields of timing, counting, programmable control; liquid and solid level control; pressure and temperature control; solenoid valves and flow control; motor control and other specialized areas of control and automation.  Among the other very early products distributed by the company were Alco (refrigeration valves), Mercoid (pressure & level switches), Honeywell, Robertshaw and General Controls.

Davis Controls continues to represent a strong and balanced portfolio of world class products that deliver reliable and cost effective solutions to the Process Engineer looking for a level, flow, pressure or analysis solution, as well as to the manager of a factory automation project looking for programmable or discrete control of an automated operation.  Davis Controls offers quality solutions for all sectors of Canadian industry, including water & wastewater treatment, power generation, food and beverage processing as well as to the manufacturing community, including automotive assembly, suppliers of automotive systems, components and modules, packaging machinery, food and beverage equipment and of course, where we first began, boiler controls.
                                                   Davis Controls Building (1948-1952)

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