Web Tools Geared Just for the Engineer—No Strings Attached

In the current economy, sometimes it feels like a leap of faith is needed to keep moving forward. And in an act of leading by example, a couple of industrial-oriented electric products manufacturers-—one of the markets still reeling from the current economic stagnation-—have launched new products they’ll receive no direct compensation for.

By Consulting Specifying Engineer Staff March 14, 2003

Give theroducts they’ll receive no direct compensation for.

At the recent National Manufacturing Show in Chicago, Ft. Smith, Ark.-based motors and drives manufacturer Baldor Electric Co., demonstrated its new ProSPEC service. In a nutshell, the offering is an independent web site loaded with white papers, FAQs and other information the company has accumulated over the years.

The idea, according to Kevin Dunn, Baldor’s director of engineered sales and the project’s team leader, is to present a no-pressure tool to the consulting engineer. Along with their own storehouse of knowledge, they have sprinkled an “ask the engineer” hot link

OK, what does Baldor get out of it? Essentially nothing—at least not initially. “On the back of our business cards is a formula for value. Part of that formula is service, which is what we think we’re providing with this offering,” says Dunn. “But we think it will eventually translate into sales in that it may make users more inclined to specify our products. It’s certainly a leap of faith, but we really think it will pay off in two years.”

www.BaldorProSPEC.com to learn more.

Similarly, Liebert Corporation, Columbus, Ohio, in demonstrating its new line of “Xtreme” cooling equipment for critical environments at the AHR Expo in Chicago earlier this year, also reported that

Like Baldor, Liebert wants to give engineers a place where they can easily get the information they need.

“We want it to be a tool,” says Stack. “Simple graphic-oriented icons that help them do what they need to do, along with tips and heads-up items, such as how the HIPPA Act will affect data centers.”

Visit www.liebert.com . Engineers interested in the “Consultant’s Corner” site

General contracting giant Turner Construction is even getting into the information act, having just announced the rollout of its Turner Knowledge Network (TKN) and Turner University Online. TKN is an online education and information tool that includes Turner University, a portal designed for the construction industry. Turner University currently offers 28 classes that use various teaching methods and tools—videos, text, examples and tests. The self-paced courses electronically guide users through the steps and ensure they understand the material before progressing to the next module. TKN is an interactive, dynamic way to share information and allow users to access best practices. It offers a technological complement to traditional on-the-job experience and instructor-led classes.

“Turner is taking a leadership role in our industry to be the first to develop an online university with construction-related educational courses,” says James I. Mitnick, senior vice president and creator of the TKN concept. “Through Turner Knowledge Network, Turner can reach tens of thousands of individuals with consistent content on a just-in-time basis, 24×7, anywhere in the world.”

Examples of the courses—for which there is a fee—include offerings on OSHA certification, risk management and the increasing cost of insurance. Other courses are designed for technical and general skill building.

TKN serves as an information resource where a virtual library of construction-related manuals, forms, checklists and educational items can be accessed. Numerous web site links and directories support and supplement the web-based training. Visit www.turnerconstruction.com or www.turneruniversity.com for more.