Good, better, best
Q&A with NTI team members on how company is seeking to be the best in all that it does.
NY Thermal Inc. (NTI) was founded in 1965 by Malcom Dennison in Sussex, New Brunswick, Canada. The company began as a steel and wood oil fired boiler manufacturer.
In 1995, Kevin Dennison purchased the business from his father, and shortly after NTI started developing its modulating condensing gas boilers. In 2009, NTI opened an 80,000-square-foot, waterfront facility in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. The modern design of the building, similar to that of a high-end condominium building, enticed NTI’s customers.
Today, the company has grown to be one of the largest Canadian boiler manufacturers. NTI operates two manufacturing facilities, the Saint John facility that houses manufacturing, administration and training facility, and the original Sussex location. Most recently, the company opened a west coast facility in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, to support its growing business in North America. NTI maintains a healthy boiler and parts inventory at strategic partners in Canada and the U.S.
PHC News was able to speak with team members from NTI about its recent growth and future opportunities. Steve Wieland, manager of Mid Atlantic Regional Sales at NTI, and Jason Thompson, vice president of Engineering at NTI, gave the rundown.
PHC: Can you explain what you role with NTI entails?
SW: I can sum up my day-in-the-life with “excellent communication, training and service.” We pride ourselves in maintaining open communication with all of our wholesalers and contractors. Let’s take yesterday for instance. I started my morning returning e-mails and sending out job quotes and specifications. Then, I was off to meet with one of my wholesaler managers for breakfast at 7:00am. From there, we traveled to a jobsite to do some onsite training on setting up our Sola control for a commercial multiple boiler installation. From there, I traveled with our manufacturer's rep to three different locations to do staff training, And, I finished my day by competing in a chili cook-off at another one of our distributor’s locations. Today will be a little easier, I will be doing contractor training and showing off our boilers at one of wholesaler distributor’s open houses.
JT: The engineering staff always has a number of on-going projects. So, I enter each day eager to get an update from my team, and help move each project to the finish-line. But, before I get too immersed in advancing our progress on open projects, I make it a point to quickly, and thoroughly, address any customer inquiries or problems that have come across my desk. Having spent a great deal of time doing customer support myself, I fully recognize the urgency and importance of getting customer issues and inquires dealt with in a timely fashion. Throughout the day, I am often encountered with inquiries from any one of our departments (Technical Support, Sales, Production, etc.), or even customers directly. So, I try not to be the “point-man” on any large development project, as I find it important to be available for the most urgent matter that may arise in a given day, and I don’t want the progress of our development projects to suffer as a result.
PHC: Customer service is a pillar of many companies in our industry. Is there anything that makes NTI’s service to customers unique?
SW: Unlike any other boiler or furnace manufacturer, we pride ourselves in having staff in house for technical service from 7:00am until 10:00pm, and nearly guarantee a 15-minute response time, assuming you do not initially reach a live person. Besides our technical department, we have the best Regional Sales Managers (RSM) who are also trained to answer nearly any technical installation, application or service question.
To aid in the field, in the past four years we have gradually increased to having nine RSMs strategically placed across North America. Our RSMs work directly with our manufacturer’s reps, wholesalers and contractors to insure unprecedented service.
JT: At NTI, we make customer service our highest priority. For me, everything else can wait. We do our best to instill that with all company departments that have an impact on customer service.
PHC: NTI places a high value on quality. Why is that?
SW: Quality has been our motto from the start. Kevin Dennison has stated emphatically that “if we can’t be the best at what we do, we shouldn’t do it!” This starts in the manufacturing process with us pressure testing each heat exchanger prior to installation in a boiler and ends on the manufacturing line with 100 percent of our boilers being live fire tested and combustion tuned prior to packaging. This guarantees that from when you open up the box and gaze at our pristine double clear coated metallic silver boiler and proudly install it, to when you turn it on, you will be rewarded with a fully operational working boiler.
Our personal standard for being the best shows in all of our products, our entire staff, and the community that NTI has built. Concerning our boilers, we start by having the best warranty on the market with a five-year parts and Limited Lifetime Warranty on our heat exchangers. Our phenomenal combustion lies within our gas train and ignition systems. We even go to the extreme of adding a 14,000 volt ignition transformer to guarantee smooth light off. By just looking at our boilers, you will see our pride shows in everything we do. Our boilers are built to look great, install easily, and be service-friendly. We even go to the extreme to make all of our own wiring harnesses because those available on the market do not meet our high standards of reliability.
JT: Over the past year, our production throughout may have increased by 50 percent, but our quality control personnel has more than tripled. In addition to that, there is great attention we place on our “end-of-line” boiler testers, who are the cream-of-the-crop among our production-line workers. Each boiler tester goes through weeks of training before they are signed-off by the head of Engineering. After which, each boiler tester has full access to the head of Engineering, to alert him of any issues, or ask any questions.
PHC: Why did NTI decide to open a new facility recently?
SW: Although we would love to have every contractor to our headquarters in Saint John, we know that the travel time from the west coast can be arduous. Having a training facility and warehouse on the west coast just makes sense to be able to service all of our customers to the best of our ability.
PHC: A new facility is a big investment. Can we expect any other investments from NTI in the near future?
SW: NTI is always investing in our future. You can expect new products, expanded facilities and advancements in technology, all the time.
PHC: What message would you like to leave with our readers?
SW: We strongly believe that our business is a partnership with our contractors and wholesalers. It’s a “we” not an “I”. We believe in our team. We support our team. We cherish the relationships we have with each and every one of our team.