Background of Roscoe and the NDT Industry

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Background of Roscoe and the NDT Industry

Found in 1973 in Western Louisiana, Roscoe Nondestructive Testing Inc., is a company specialized in provision of testing service for large boilers of pulp and paper mills industry. Its services include monitoring corrosion of boiler walls by nondestructive testing (NDT) methods (such as ultrasonics) and provide its customers reports for the condition of boilers. With the testing information provided by Roscoe, pulp and paper mills can evaluate whether replacement or repair of their boilers is required.

The most important asset for Roscoe is people, who are a team of highly specialized and professional NDT technicians. To become a NDT technician, it requires professional training and certification by area of expertise. Besides, it also requires accumulation of skills and experiences in order to become a certified technician. Because of the specialization and professionalism required in the NDT industry, certified technicians with experiences are regarded as treasured resources in NDT firms.

Change of Roscoe NDT’s Management

Roscoe Nondestructive Testing Inc. had undergone several changes of ownership and management since its establishment. Roscoe was found by an experienced NDT technician, Mr. Hans Norregaard in 1973. After running Roscoe for seven years, Norregaard sold Roscoe to a company named National Inspection Service (NIS), which was a subsidiary of a large diversified holding company. Having acquired by a large corporation and managed by trained management, Roscoe had did well for a few years. However its good performance was not sustainable due to its high overhead cost and misguided direction which weakened its completeness at the time when NDT industry was in growing price pressure. In 1984, NIS sold Roscoe back to Hans Norregaard and his business associate Grover Porter, who later on became Roscoe’s president.

Marketing Problems of Roscoe

In 1990, Roscoe faced a substantial downtime in revenue and customers. As a result of slowdown of the pulp and paper industry, mills were very cost conscious, and thus they selected NDT service providers who could offer lower prices. At time with severe price competition, Grover Porter believed that Roscoe’s technician team was the best in the industry and he refused to cut prices down in responses to the price competition in market. Porter also considered that with increased service quality, he could charge higher prices than that of other competitors and retained its current customers.

The Customer Satisfaction Survey

To better understand customers’ needs, Porter initiated to conduct a customer survey in March 1991 in order to allow Roscoe to identify areas for improvement. Out of 357 surveys distributed to Roscoe’s clients, there were 82 responses received within a very short period of time. Below table summarizes the result of the customer satisfaction survey.

Below Average/Poor AttributesAverage rating attributesAbove Average/ Excellent services attributes -Willingness to make an extra effort
-Courtesy of technicians
-Promptness of billing-Degree of individualized attention -Conveys trust and confidence
-Courtesy of staff
-Willingness to help
-Variety of services that meet your needs
-Overall service value for your money-Accuracy of inspection data -Time to complete inspection
-Knowledge of technicians
-Accuracy of billing
-Ability to deliver the promised service

From the result of survey, it was observed that Roscoe’s customers were satisfied with deliverables of Roscoe in technical side. They were quite happy with the accuracy of inspection, efficiency of inspection and technical knowledge perceived by the technicians of Roscoe. However, customers pointed out that the level of courtesy and the willingness to make extra effort for Roscoe’s technicians were generally below average. In general, customers gave an average rating on the overall performance of Roscoe in terms of...
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