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It IS easy being green.

2008 July 21
by admin; 1,292 views

Have you heard the word “green” lately?

While environmental issues have become hot recently, within the HVAC industry energy savings has always been the goal. With the advent of automated building controls came the prevalence of energy efficient systems, and the recently popular LEED (The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) standards.

A few of our manufacturers already have fantastic green product options (that can even help buildings achieve LEED status) that we are proud to offer. Many of the products that we have always carried are also energy saving devices, that can be energy conscious when used correctly. Below are a few articles describing the latest in green solutions. We will continue to offer you news and information about green standards and green practices in the HVAC building industry, but let us know what you think! Tell us how important “greening” has become in your business, if at all.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Check out these articles on green product solutions available through Alps!

You tell us.

2008 July 7
by admin; 1,287 views

We’re doing some research on new products and we need your help!

Answer our poll below (no name or info required) to help us test the waters with new products you would like to see Alps Controls sell. The room sensor we’re thinking of providing would be available in both Analog and LON versions.

So, click our one question survey below and see the results for yourself. If you have an opinion that goes beyond “yes” or “no,” let us know by sending an email to alps@alpscontrols.com. Thanks for the feedback.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

Tip of the week: Search by part number

2008 July 7
by admin; 1,171 views

“That’s not what I typed!”

When searching for a part by part number (in the upper right left hand corner), sometimes a part will appear at the top of the searched products that looks nothing like the part you entered. “What is a CS-30!? I entered an H800!” This is just our little way of showing you some alternative products to the one you may be searching for. These are products that we feel deserve your attention and you should learn more about. Often, these products are the same as the part number you entered but from a brand you may not know about. Of course any product that you see recommended from Alps has our stamp of approval. Also, if you are used to buying a product from a source other than Alps (but who would do that?!) you can enter that part number and the search will display the Alps equivalent. Feel free to call and ask us what the benefits are for using this product instead of the one you had originally planned for.

Below is a short demonstration of this feature in action. Watch the video here on YouTube if you’re having any problems seeing it here. Contact our customer support team if you have any additional questions!

5 Things: You Didn’t Know Alps Sold

2008 June 30

While we tout ourselves as a temperature control wholesale distributor, Alps sells many parts that aren’t really temperature controls. You may have noticed our recently added Fire and Security system catalogs. But, we also have many parts that you may need in addition to your controls systems, especially for installation. Some of these products have been in the catalog for a while, but we have a sneaking suspicion that you don’t realize you can buy these random parts right here. The easiest way to find out about new parts is to peruse the square boxes in the main section of our catalog. Some categories you may have missed before are: HVAC Installation, Fire Installation, Lighting Systems & Controls, Panel Devices, and Security Cameras. We frequently add new boxes full of products you may not realize we sell. A lot of you order parts from us by simply typing in the part numbers you know you need, or checking your frequent products section. Now that Alps has grown to sell over 200,000 parts, we want to make sure that you know about every new product type that we add. We also want to show you that you really can order an entire job from Alps, soup to nuts. So, the next time you need a drill bit or a label maker for your job, don’t forget… we sell that too!

  1. Drill bits
  2. Card access controls
  3. Security cameras
  4. Light dimming systems
  5. Wire Ties

Friday Funday and Contest

2008 June 27
by admin; 1,236 views

For today’s Friday Funday we’ve decided to try a little experiment. Below are some crazy pictures we found of HVAC jobs gone wrong, or just really old and weird looking stuff. Some of these we found from a great Flickr group called HVAC. We’d love it if you’d send us your crazy, weird, funny, neat pictures of projects that you have seen. If we receive enough of these photos, we might just have a little contest with a prize for the best one. So, send us your pics by email to alopuszynski@alpscontrols.com. And please, keep it related to HVAC, Fire or Security. We don’t need a photo of you and your uncle fishing. Have a great weekend everyone!

And now for a new section we like to call..

“Do you see what I see?” (click the pics to enlarge)

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(images also used from Flickr users Taller Than You, Amber Rhea, jimcolvard, slworking2 and kianboon)

C-E-L-E-B-R-A-T-E

2008 June 26
by admin; 2,943 views

Happy belated birthday to Ms. Pat Goettel! Pat’s birthday was a few days ago, but we celebrated today.

Watch out for that knife!
happy birthday pat goettel

Tip of the Week: Using the “Received” tool

2008 June 26
by admin; 1,345 views

“Did we get those?”

We know what it’s like. You receive parts for a job. With multiple projects in production, you have to determine where the products go. So, you find the correct file, mark down what you have and determine where it needs to go. Now the project manager comes in looking for their parts. They have to find where the products went, who received them, etc. Next, the accounting department needs to know when you received the products and if there were any problems. And it keeps going…

Well, we found a way to simplify all of this for you and save you time. When you are logged in to the Alps catalog, you can click on “Past” or “Open” orders and search by P.O number, or date. Next, you simply click the “Receive” button next to the correct P.O. number. In the receive window you can change the quantity received, mark where the items were stored and who received them, and make note of items that need attention. This section can be changed and updated by any user with a login ID in your company.

The accounting department, the project manager, the office administrator, and anyone else you choose can keep track of where your products are, all of the time. That means whether you are in the office, out on the job-site, or anywhere that you have Internet access for that matter, you can update or check your received parts. This tool is an excellent example of how Alps can keep your projects organized and accessible, so that you can get them completed. Below is a video example of how to use the receive button within the catalog. If you have any additional questions, comment below or send us an email. We’d be happy to explain it further.

Watch the video here on YouTube if you’re having any problems seeing it below.

A breath of fresh air…

2008 June 24
by admin; 1,241 views

take a deep breath™Here at Alps we are always looking for ways to provide better support to our customers. Technology today allows us to communicate easily, quickly and more personally over the internet. Skype, a software program that allows users to make phone and video calls over the internet for free, is improving the way that we can do business with you. Skype works great for video conferencing, and for a fee you can call land and cell phones as well. We think that this application can be great for use in the field, and works especially well for contacting colleagues overseas. Also, many of our manufacturers and vendors use Skype and can directly communicate with you when you have a problem or a question. We encourage you to download Skype and add us to your contacts. Not only will it save you time and money, but it is easy and fun to use!

Below are two videos demonstrating the use of Skype from the customer to Alps, and Alps to the manufacturer. Check them out and comment below. Let us know if you’d like more information about “Skyping” with the Alps team!


JIT

2008 June 23
by admin; 3,277 views

JIT… (No, that doesn’t mean Justin Timberlake)

One important aspect of Alps’ business model is our ability to leverage just-in-time manufacturing to bring you products quickly and at the lowest cost. JIT means that the manufacturer is able to make and drop-ship their products to you without the inconvenience of waiting for a distributor to have it in stock. As you may know, Alps is not a stocking distributor. This allows us to offer you a low price and sell anything and everything you need from our manufacturers and vendors. Obviously it’s unrealistic of us to expect that every manufacturer out there is willing, or even able, to practice just-in-time manufacturing and a lean business model. But we do make every effort to find and partner with JIT manufacturers that consistently manufacture products that will help save you time and money.

A brand new manufacturer that we are proud to present, Sycom Surge, Inc. has joined the Alps team. Sycom features high quality surge protection products and uninterruptible power supplies. Sycom Surge, Inc. is a believer in just-in-time manufacturing and supports the Alps business model. We hope to have further conversations about our supply chain and our lean business model, but we need your input to make that happen. Leave your thoughts below by clicking on “comments” at the bottom of this post.

Forums vs. Blogs

2008 June 20
by admin; 1,285 views

It seems that there may be a bit of confusion about the difference between our forums section and the blog, and we want to make sure that everyone feels comfortable using both. So here’s where we are going with this:

  • The forums section, which is currently still available on the front login page, was meant to be a place where customers could post topics or “start a thread” about a question or problem they are having with a product, a service, a manufacturer, etc.
  • Other customers, or even Alps employees, can then respond about their experiences, advice, thoughts on the problem, etc.
  • The forums section essentially acts as the customer’s own “mini-blog,” where you write what you want to know about, and your peers can respond.
  • The Alps Controls Blog, will be written by Alps employees, and will offer information we want to share with you. This can include product details, employee information, price changes, stories, etc.
  • The blog is different from our current advertisement/announcement section in that we will be able to communicate more extensively with you, and you are able to respond by writing comments at the bottom of each post
  • Eventually we will make all of this “communicating” more streamlined with a new front-page design (more on that later).

Now, the blog will function much like it has this week, with new content posted almost every day. So make sure you continue to come back and check it for updates.

Hopefully this clears everything up, and if it doesn’t, let us know. Remember, we’re new at this too, so we want to build this community together.