We use the clipboard on our computers and phones every day and over the years it may have saved days if not weeks of cumulative time. I felt like it was time to speak “In praise of cut, copy, and paste.”
Busy times here at PADT, so three articles have gone out in the Phoenix Business Journal that we have not highlighted here on the Blog. Without further comment, here are the last three articles published:
A lot of effort can go into marketing a technology company, and every once in a while you hit marketing gold, and you see real revenue from your efforts. Revenue you would not have otherwise seen. Over the years, when we have hit gold, we executed on the “2 key steps to achieving marketing gold.”
“It’s not about the Nail”
A few weeks back, my post in this guest blog was a bit of a rant about how frustrated I get when people just say, “it sucks” and they do not give details on what is wrong or offer a solution. The problem is, I was wrong. I explore why I was wrong in “Sometimes it is not about the nail” and explore a video meme that had a big impact on me.
Customers can be vague. Due to no fault of their own, they are vague about what they want and how they want it. For a technology company like PADT, it can be a real problem. “Get comfortable with customer vagueness” takes a look at how we deal with the reality of finding certainty when things just are not defined yet.
We are honored, pleased, and humbled to announce that PADT won a very special national award, a 2018 Silver Stevie for our ANSYS Technical Support Team. This is a very special award for us because what it recognized goes to the heart and soul of who PADT is. Technical support across the company is where we put our blood, sweat, and sometimes tears. For ANSYS, Stratasys 3D Printers, SCA’s, scanners, or consulting; whatever product or service it is that we support for customers, how we interact with those customers so that they can be successful with those products and services is really what makes PADT different.
And now a bunch of independent and outside judges looked at what we do and how we do it, and they said: Outstanding Job! In fact, they said, “PADT defines what premium customer service looks like.” As an ANSYS Elite Channel Partner, our technical support is key to keeping and growing customers. These tools are incredibly capable and diverse. Also, they are not cheap. When a customer purchases ANSYS software they expect a higher level of service, and this award confirms that we deliver.
The official award was: Silver Stevie (R) Winner: Customer Service Department of the Year – Computer Software – Up to 2,500 Employees
Our customers also agree, based on the response to surveys that we send them when support tickets are closed, 92% of respondents said we solved their problem and 96% were satisfied or very satisfied. Having great customers with real and challenging issues is also key to our success. And we would not have received this award without backup from our backup, the ANSYS Customer Excellence team around the world. Without their help, we literally would not have had answers for our customers.
Everyone who does support earned this award. But, their families also deserve a big thank you. thanks. Doing tech support is hard and can be frustrating. You are basically taking on other peoples problems and trying to fix them. All day. Every day. And sometimes we take that home. Sometimes our engineers will check a test run at 2:00 am. Or they will get an idea at the dinner table and send an email.
And although we applied for and won an award that focused on our ANSYS team, the same outstanding support is supplied to all of our customers. It is one of the key ways that “We Make Innovation Work.”
Here is a link to the Stevie Awards page itself: Check out the other companies. We are very happy to be listed with them. You can also find links there to the process, and especially the judging. We had to submit a lot of data.
Do you want award-winning support for your ANSYS products? If you are in the Southwestern US and you are not currently our customers, contact us and we would be honored to have you join our group of happy customers. Not an ANSYS user? Let’s talk about how to get these fantastic tools into your organization. And don’t worry, as stated above, this level of service is available for everything PADT does, so reach out and let’s see how we can work together.
Contact us at 480.813.4884 or email@example.com
The fact of the matter is, to be blunt, that building, maintaining, and optimizing systems for high-performance computing (HPC) is different than any other part of the IT world. That is why most companies engaged in simulation who use HPC often struggle with their computers and networks. There is nothing wrong with their IT departments, they simply don’t have the manpower or the experience to support HPC systems. And that is why PADT offers IT support services tailored towards the needs of simulation users. We bridge that gap between the unique needs of HPC for simulation and customer’s existing IT infrastructure.
We started offering this service simply because customers asked us to. As part of ANSYS technical support duties, we kept getting calls from customers who were just not getting good performance out of some very expensive computer hardware. After looking into it we often found that they had the wrong hardware, it was configured wrong for HPC, or there was unnecessary overhead on the system. In each case, we got together with the customer’s IT department and the users to understand the problem and implement fixes.
PADT’s IT team can offer a variety of services, including, but not limited to:
Focused on Performance
Most computer systems and the IT infrastructure that supports them, in the commercial world, are focused on security first, operating cost second, then performance. And these are the right priorities. But in the HPC world, those same systems and infrastructure have to be focused on performance, with robustness second. Security is important, but you solve that problem by isolating the systems and controlling access. PADT’s IT team gets this and because we run a large HPC infrastructure for our own simulation consulting business, they know how to set things up right and keep them tuned for performance.
A Partnership Between Users, IT, and PADT
Our deep knowledge of scientific computing and the hardware it runs on is only one part of our success in this area. The other is knowing how to be that translator between IT and the users of demanding numerical software packages. We understand why IT can or can not open certain ports, and why the user needs those ports. We get the desire to establish a company-wide policy using remote drives that use RAID 1. We also know that doing that kills HPC performance. That starts the conversation on why users need local drives in RAID 0 for their number crunching.
The examples go on and on and involve memory, network fabric, different versions of MPI for each solver, and much more. Often times just being able to explain these issues in terms everyone can understand is the greater value PADT can add. And then our IT experts will be there with the customer’s IT experts at 11:30 PM installing those GPU cards and configuring them.
Maximize the Return on your HPC Investment
The cold hard reality is that companies spend large sums on advanced hardware, software, and infrastructure. Why not spend a little more to make sure you are getting the most from that sizeable investment. PADT is here to help, to work with your IT and users, to get the most out of the tools you have. Please don’t hesitate to call us at 480.813.4884 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
The use of FEA and CFD techniques to simulate the behavior of structures, fluids, and electromagnetic fields has gone from an occasional task done by experts to a standard method for driving product development.
The webinar below is a presentation by PADT’s Co-Owner and Principal, Eric Miller discussing recent advances in simulation that are pushing the technology towards covering more phenomenon, faster run times, and greater accuracy. From up-front real-time stress and fluid flow to massive combustion models with chemistry, fluid flow, thermals, and turbulence; simulation is how products are designed.
The talk covers:
- What is Simulation and How did we Get Where we are
- Five Current Technology Trends in Simulation
- Business Trends to be Aware Of
- What Is Next?
- How to Keep Up
Sometimes we get to help on some very cool projects and helping Lockheed Martin and NASA leverage Additive Manufacturing Technology from Stratasys on their Orion Mission is one of those special opportunities that we will never forget. The right combination of material and 3D Printer allowed the team to create functional parts for the Orion vehicle as it prepares to journey to the moon and beyond.
Working with Stratasys, Lockheed Martin, and NASA has been rewarding and we are honored to have been part of this historic project. I could go on and on, or you could read the details in the press release below.
A link to a PDF version is here.
PADT is unique in the world of 3D Printing because of our in-depth technical knowledge and experience. We don’t just print parts or sell machines, we provide world-class design, simulation, and testing services as well. That how we are able to contribute to projects like this. If you are facing engineering challenges of any kind, and especially if you working to adopt 3D Printing technology to your engineering projects, just give us a call at 480.813.4884 or send an email to email@example.com.
The norm these days is to just ignore emails you don’t want to deal with. In “4 reasons why responding to emails in a timely way is good for business (and your karma)” I explore why this is not a good idea with four reasons that are real and have an impact on your business. Like it or not email is the primary mode of communication and we just need to deal with that.
When someone loses their life, it is too late to start regulating a company’s behavior. The recent tragic death of a pedestrian in a collision with an Uber self-driving car showed that “Self-driving car death a sad reminder of the importance of regulation.”
Since the feature is called, “My View” I shared my views on this topic in the Phoenix Business Journal. A little more editorial than my normal business/technology posts in the PBJ.
We have learned the hard way that “Finding True Innovators Is Tough, But the Talent Pool Is There.” And that pool is in the much-maligned millennial generation. In this contributions to Forbes.com, in their Grad of LifeVoice section, I explore what we have learned about that pool and offer up four suggestions:
1. Look for proactive behavior
2. Seek and encourage diversity in your workforce
3. Ask for a creative leam, then encourage more
4. Reward people who challenge your thinking and make you uncomfortable
Beyond the hype, understanding blockchain: Part 2
The latest tech trendiness is a technology for keeping track of transactions called Blockchain. Its popularity stems from the fact that it has some significant advantages over traditional ways of recording transaction. It is also popular because people have made millions out of thin air using it to track the creation of cryptocurrency. “Beyond the hype, understanding blockchain – Part 2” looks at the downside of Blockchain.
Burning bridges with people in business is just stupid
As tempting as it is, “Burning bridges with people in business is just stupid.”In this guest blog I talk about my own experience of how keeping relationships you wanted to cut has paid off for our business.
When it comes to delivering accurate, robust, and feature-rich additive manufacturing, commonly called 3D Printing, to professional users, one brand of systems stands above all the rest: Stratasys. For over a decade PADT has been a reseller of these outstanding machines in the four-corners states of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah. In fact, our leadership position in the Additive Manufacturing space is built on the foundation of our sales and support history with Stratasys.
Stratasys, The World Leader in Additive Manufacturing
There is one simple reason why Stratasys is the world leader in Additive Manufacturing systems and why so many of our customers keep buying Stratasys systems: They Work. The whole point of 3D Printing is that you can go from a computer model to a real part as quickly and easily as possible. Stratasys has created a complete set of hardware, material, and software to make that happen. For hardware, they offer two additive manufacturing technologies: FDM and PolyJet.
FDM, or Fused Deposition Modeling, is the most common technology because it is reliable, accurate and builds strong parts. FDM was invented by Stratasys over 25 years ago and still forms the foundation of their product line. It is a layered deposition process that melts a variety of plastics that are then extruded through a nozzle to draw the shape of each layer. From the desktop MakerBot machines to the industry favorite FORTUS 900, there is a machine that works for every need. Recently, we have been selling a large number of F370’s to new an existing customers. FMD systems come in a variety of sizes, speeds, costs, and most importantly, material options. And best of all, the majority of FDM systems come with Stratasys’ patented soluble support material that makes support removal as easy as dropping your part into a cleaning system (many of which are made by PADT).
If you need greater refinement, the ability to change material, or color, then PolyJet technology is your ideal solution. The power of PolyJet is that it uses inkjet print heads to deposit tiny dots of liquid material on a build layr. That material is then hardened with an ultraviolet lamp. What is cool is that you can have multiple inkjet print heads and therefore deposit a mix of material within a given layer. This allows you to make parts with very hard, or very soft material in the same build. Or, to mix clear and colors in the same build. Our customers use Polyjet printers to make everything from accurate medical models of organs to molds for plastic injection molding. No other 3D Printing technology is as versatile as the PolyJet machines from Stratasys.
The PADT Sales Experience
Lots of people sell 3D Printers. We know because we have been doing it for over fifteen years. And as the technology has become more popular, more and more people are getting into the industry. Our experience and technically driven sales approach is why customers keep coming to PADT when they have so many choices. Our sales team is not about this months sales goal. They are about building, and more often than not, growing our relationship with customers new and old. We are all about understanding what you really want to get done, and then finding the right combination of Additive Manufacturing system, accessories, and software that will make it happen.
That expertise comes from the fact that we have been running a 3D Printing service since 1994. We know the real world of Additive Manufacturing. No other reseller can bring our expertise and experience to your aid.
Support that Goes Above and Beyond
Once you purchase a system, your journey with PADT hits full swing. Our engineers will help you install, train your users, and then be there when you need us for maintenance and repair. Or simply to answer your questions. We recently won a series of competitive situations where customers had a choice of who to hire to support their Stratasys systems. They chose PADT over other solutions for one simple reason: we know what we are doing and we really do care. Our team has driven through snow storms, stayed with machines late into the night, and personally shipped replacement parts just so they could get customer’s machines back online and running as quickly as possible.
Talk to PADT about your Additive Manufacturing Needs
Regardless of what systems you currently have, or if you don’t have any 3D Printing capability in-house, now is the time to talk to PADT. We have never had a better offering of solutions in terms of price, performance, and variety of capability. We are helping universities establish labs, Aerospace companies 3D Print hardware for launch vehicles, and consumer products companies shorten their design cycle. It may be time for you to upgrade or add a new material or technology. Or maybe you just need some accessories to get more out of the equipment you have. Regardless of where you are in your Additive Manufacturing journey, PADT is here to help you get more out of your investment.
It’s a Mess
One of the most annoying aspects of modern business life is the proclamation: “It’s a mess.” Complaining is fine, but there is no indication of what the problem is and no attempt at a solution. Please read “Turning “it’s a mess” or “it doesn’t work” into positive change” to share my pain and explore some solutions.
Exploring Easy with Disney
In “Exploring Easy: How a visit to a Disney resort highlights the power of easy” I add to the series on how making things easy in business is just a good idea. This post looks at the pure genius of the Disney organization in making every aspect of their customer’s experience.
The latest tech trendiness is a technology for keeping track of transactions called Blockchain. Its popularity stems from the fact that it has some significant advantages over traditional ways of recording transaction. It is also popular because people have made millions out of thin air using it to track the creation of cryptocurrency. “Beyond the hype, understanding blockchain – Part 1” I share what I learned about the technology that is Blockchain.
We are very proud of our Additive Manufacturing intern Austin Suder who just won Future Engineers “Two for the Crew” Challenge, presented by the ASME Foundation and NASA. The challenge asked to invent a multifunctional object that combined two items into one for 3-D printing by crew members aboard the International Space Station (ISS). As a winner he will receive a trip to Washington DC, a MakerBot 3D printer donated to the orginization of his choice, and best of all, his design will be printed on the ISS and used by the astronauts.
Austin’s design was a Carabiner Tool Clip that combined a way to easo;u secure a tool and hold the sockets and drivers that the tool needs. After designing the part he then used simulation to iterate on the design with virtual testing, and then he 3D Printed a prototype on his home 3D Printer. Austin started this project by researching what problems the astronauts faced. He found that a big problem was that tools would drift off in the micro-gravity environment of the station. This was annoying when they are working inside the station, and a critical problem when they are on a space walk. He also realized that they used a separate “holder” to keep the sockets and screw driver heads that the tool needed. Using this knowledge he developed a simple to operate carabiner to secure the tether on the hand tool to the astronaut and then use that same part to hole the sockets and drivers.
But he did not stop there. He also learned what he could about the MadeInSpace 3D Printer that is on the station, and adapted the design to make sure the printer could make easily. Austin then used simulation to make sure the design was strong and robust. Then he printed his samples on his own home printer.
Local Phoenix station ABC15 stopped by PADT yesterday to interview Austin and here is their story:
Much of Austin’s knowledge and skill comes from his involvement in his school robotics team, and he will be donating the MakerBot he won to that team.
We hare very proud of Austin’s accomplishments. He works at PADT as an intern in the Advanced Manufacturing department focused on 3D Printing, doing CAD, running the machines, cleaning parts, and being our in-house expert on desktop 3D Printing. He will be graduating from High School this year and attending ASU as a Mechanical Engineer. We can not wait to see what he does next!
In November of last year we did a press release on new Additive Manufacturing Laboratory at Metropolitan State University in Denver. Since then all of the partners have been hard at work getting the lab up and running. Last week MSUD released an interview with the University President about the lab as well as a tour of the lab. It is a great look at how academia and industry are working together to push advanced manufacturing forward. Not just on equipment, but also with internships and value added engineering at the university.
Take a look:
PADT is proud to have been a key member of the team and a continued partner for the lab along with Stratasys.
If you want to learn more about how PADT can help your company or university create partnerships like this or leverage 3D Printing in other ways, please contact PADT. We love this stuff!
There are a few moments in life where everything stops, and you just have to take in the fact that something momentous is happening. I feel “The Falcon Heavy launch was not just cool, it was a big deal.” I was able to watch it in a public An individual decided he wanted to go into space. And he went. That is what is called a “game changer.” The power to achieve your dreams has never before been so possible. Hats off to Mr. Musk for wanting to do something big, and doing it.