Picking an Overhead Crane Company? You're Picking a Value System, Too


They come in all forms and sizes. They can simply add a hiccup to a normal, profitable good day or leave a dent in a margin that’s hard to shrug off while smiling through your efforts to provide seamless customer service. It happens to the best of us, in all industries. Mistakes, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control on a job can sometimes force companies to absorb unintended and unplanned costs. There could be times when, despite a guaranteed arrival time, a shipment from a vendor comes in late, throwing off your project timeline. Maybe there’s something wrong with the order when it does come in, causing a delay while you wait for the error to be corrected. A misunderstanding or miscommunication on a quote can be problematic. Maybe a manufacturer has applied an incorrect label or ID number to your product. While these unfortunate moments create points of tension in your project together, they also provide you, the customer, an opportunity to observe the way your overhead crane service provider handles its business. What your crane company does to make things right for you in these types of situations speaks volumes about their values and can make all the difference in your partnership going forward. 

There are times Ace Industries has faced challenges, but we have met those challenges with problem solving and collaboration. Once, a very busy mining customer in Arizona ordered five hoist hooks for high usage process duty cranes with a weight bearing range from 5–30 tons. Our branch ordered the hooks from a large OEM European-based, global corporate, overhead crane company. However, when the hooks arrived at the customer site, we were alarmed to find that our “new” hooks showed indications of previous use in addition to being in very poor condition. They came in as open forge hooks. Further, the supplier neglected to send us the complete assemblies, their original markings were ground off, and they were missing thrust bearings. After many requests, we did receive the missing items, but the quality issues remained. Typically, hooks are identified with manufacturer markings but the numbers on these had been ground off with a grinding tool, leaving some structural damage in the process. Needless to say, we were concerned.

Because these five hooks did not meet ASME B30.10 specifications requiring a manufacturer to provide unique identifiers, the customer rejected the product. Seems reasonable, right? In turn, our Ace branch sent the unusable, damaged hooks back to the large European OEM and the response we received in return was truly a surprise! Because the European company had provided a certificate of conformity upon the sale of these items, they insisted that that should be sufficient enough to validate the non-conforming hooks for use! Even when pressed, they would not address the required markings issue. Despite the certificate of conformity, the customer refused to accept the hooks since they did not meet ASME B30.10 specifications. 

In the end, Ace absorbed the $60k cost and bought new ones from an alternate hook manufacturer that could meet the ANSI B30.10 standards. Despite the undeniable “ouch” factor involved with the price tag, Ace managed to maintain its goal of customer satisfaction and to write the experience off as the cost of doing business and a lesson learned. It’s important to be able to move on.

While this example is unusually egregious and carries a high price tag, it does serve as a warning to know your overhead crane service provider. Watch for the signs to make sure your values align and require them to fully earn your trust. At Ace Industries, our number one priority is our relationship with all our customers, customer satisfaction and our commitment to always do what’s right. 

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