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Tip of the Week: Using the “Received” tool

2008 June 26
by admin; 1,893 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; 1,816 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!


2008 June 23
by admin; 3,902 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; 1,936 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.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger

2008 June 18

We strive to bring you the most updated and accurate information from all of our manufacturers and vendors. Unfortunately, sometimes that means bringing bad news as well…

  • KMC Controls will be increasing their prices on certain products beginning on August 11, 2008. The cause is a dramatic increase in raw materials and transportation costs, which has occurred worldwide. In their press release, KMC stated that they have had to double prices for certain products, but have managed to keep popular products, like electric actuators and certain valves, at a minimum increase.
  • Unfortunately, Ruskin has also been forced to increase prices due to the high cost of steel and transportation. Alps customers have not experienced a price increase on Ruskin products since June of 2006 despite numerous increases in the cost of steel since that time. According to a release issued by Ruskin, the new prices will be effective July 14 2008.

We will keep you updated as to how this will affect our prices. If you have any questions about what this means for you and your projects, please don’t hesitate to ask.

Download the press release from KMC Controls here. (DOC, 104kb)

Tip of the Week: Dampers with Actuators

2008 June 16
by admin; 7,630 views

Dampers with actuators from Alps? Who knew?!

[Blogger’s note: This is the start of a new weekly section we hope to start here on the blog. We know there are some questions or concerns that many of you, even those who use our site daily, may have. If you have an idea or question that you would like to see turned into a Tip of the Week, please comment below and let us know!]

When you are direct mounting an electric actuator to the side of the damper, it’s a quick and easy field installation, and in most cases is also cheap. But, what if you are using ball joints, push rods, and other mounting hardware to connect the actuator? It takes much more time to order each individual piece from separate manufacturers. Installing these various pieces separately can also take much more time and effort for the technician.

Some manufacturers, such as Ruskin, will ship the damper with the actuator already mounted. While ordering the pieces together from the same manufacturer does add an additional cost, the amount is significantly less than the cost of a technician’s time and effort to mount an actuator on their own. This can also eliminate the potential for mounting errors, and provides one warranty from the manufacturer on the whole unit.

Buying your dampers with the actuator attached is an option at Alps, but requires that you contact us to place the order for you. Simply call 412.464.1730 or send an email to our customer support team, and we’d be happy to place the order and determine the specific attributes needed for your project.

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A new way to talk

2008 June 13
by admin; 4,874 views

“What exactly is a blog anyway?” Well, we weren’t too sure either. We do know that we want to learn a new way to talk to you, our “fan base.” So, we thought we’d try it out and learn with you as we go. Welcome to the all new “Alps Controls Blog.” Here at Alps we’ve been thinking about making a few changes to the way we do business. For the past several years, Alps Controls has been a leader in the wholesale building automation controls industry. We have built great relationships and partnerships with many of you, but we think it’s time to make our relationships with you even stronger. We want to make our company transparent and show you just how Alps works. Our business model, our staff, and even our offices will be open for display and discussion. We want to share with you some pearls of wisdom we’ve picked up along the way, and gain some from you as well. We want you to have unlimited access and to let us know what we’re doing right… and what we’re doing wrong. In other words, we want buying from the Alps e-catalog to be an informative, easy, and even entertaining experience. A different approach to buying control products. And if it’s not, let us know!

alps controls logoWe value your opinions, ideas, and concerns and invite you to comment on our new site (you don’t have to leave your name), send us an email, or call us up and tell us how you feel. Some may think that a “blog” isn’t a tool commonly used in the HVAC industry, and you’d be right. But, we are going to try and change the way we communicate, so that you can too. If you have an idea for a new blog post, comment below. Maybe together we can figure out exactly what this is and how to do it. Thank you for being such loyal customers and we look forward to hearing your responses.

Dave Meyers
President, Alps Controls

Thank you for answering our 2016 AHR Expo question.

2005 November 19
tags: , ,
by admin; 1,238 views

You said “No.”
We’re bummed that you won’t be attending the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando. Maybe we’ll see you at the next one!2016-ahr-expo-logo

Thank you for answering our 2016 AHR Expo question.

2005 November 19
tags: , ,
by admin; 2,304 views

You said “Yes!”
We’re excited that you’re planning to go to the 2016 AHR Expo in Orlando. We hope to see you there!2016-ahr-expo-logo