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Wednesday, August 08, 2007
Motosat is the company that makes the Datastorm 2-way, automatic, Internet Satellite dish. We got ours installed on our motorhome's roof in late 2003. I can't imagine RVing without it. Jim got certified to install them 2005. We've had the privilege of meeting the top brass from Motosat several times because they always attend the Datastorm Users rallies. We attended the first rally in Florida in 2003, 2 rallies in Texas and we will be at the one coming up in October in Tucson. And, I do mean 'privilege'! I've never known company executives who are so accessible and who share so much information about the company, the products, and themselves. As you can imagine, with anything so high tech, there are bound to be problems. You may expect, when a group of product owners get to spend a few hours in a room with the company executives, it may turn into a bitch session. On the contrary, the rally meetings with these folks look more like love-fests. People love their Datastorms. We certainly discuss the problems, but, more often than not the problem issues are raised by these executives, Royal, Jim and Ed. They understand that addressing problems is the way to keep customers happy, not pretending they don't exist. If you've been reading this blog, you know that Jim's last installation of a Datastorm did not go so smooth. Instead of the one-day that we normally plan, this one took nearly a week, because we had to wait for replacement parts not once, but twice! Since our travel route was taking us so close to Salt Lake City, we decided to return the parts in person. We had been wanting to see their new facility, and we thought we might get lucky and be able to talk to someone, in person, about what happened. We were concerned (just a little) that they weren't paying enough attention to detail. We would like some assurances that they were aware of the issue so it wouldn't happen again. This is a busy company, and the folks we wanted to see often are traveling. We hadn't told anyone we were coming, but here we were, and we lucked out. Within minutes of introducing ourselves at the front desk, the VP of Sales and Marketing, Royal Lamb, was there to shake our hands and invite us into his office. And, when Jim mentioned his problems and the returned equipment, Royal immediately exclaimed, "Oh, so YOU'RE the one who helped us discover that new 'tilt sensor' error! THANK YOU so much!" Apparently, our experience alerted them to a problem that they were then able to fix before a lot more people had to experience it. Hah! Glad to be of help :-) That's how it is in high-tech. That doesn't explain the lack of modem in the original shipment, but he knew all about that also and was 'on it.' Our fears of them not paying attention were certainly put to rest. Then, he took us on a tour. First the offices. It's always nice to put faces to the voices we hear on the phone. Then, into the plant. These women are soldering circuit boards. They have a machine to do a lot of this, but some still need to be done manually. This brought back memories of a job I had in my college days soldering circuit boards. Jim thinks it's sexy that I know how to do that! And, here's the finished result. These big dishes were just motoring up and down, up and down. Some kind of testing. This dish was taken outside for testing because it needs to lock on to a satellite. As they've grown, Motosat has learned that the best way to control quality and keep expenses reasonable is to do everything themselves, including machining all the parts and molding all the plastic covers. Things that I wouldn't even think about. Like, to make a metal plate like this: You need a lot of power to bend it into shape. Here's the just the jaws to do the job: Thanx for the tour Royal! And, we look forward to seeing you at the Redmond FMCA convention (Motosat will have a booth there) and at the Datastorm Users rally in Tucson. Keep up the good work!