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Brexit: how are Scanprobe managing the unknown


Posted on: August 13th, 2019

Brexirt: how are Scanprobe managing the unknown

Back in May of this year, Scanprobe were approached by Bridget Summers at Footprint PR and asked to contribute a piece on Brexit to feature in the June edition of Drain Trader, with a view as to what it means to us currently and what we are doing to safeguard our business interests in amongst all of this uncertainty. Whilst a lot of the country are inevitably tired of hearing about politicians and self-professed experts speak about Brexit what seems like every day, we saw the opportunity as one of a few UK businesses who are UK-owned to give our perspective on this landmark in UK history as not just something interesting to partake in, but also to see how others in our industry align.  As the owner of the company, who better to give his and the company’s take on Brexit than our Managing Director, Jon Barry:

 

“To be honest we are growing very tired of hearing or reading about the “B word”.  Ever since it was created amongst the confusion of what it meant, what would happen and what wouldn’t happen it has been used as both a reason not to do something and an excuse as to why something has happened.  As we are still firmly in the EU for the time being, for us the problem sits strongly with the scaremongers (behind the politicians who we will just side-step for today) because until Brexit passes it is clear that we in the UK, as with the rest of the world, do not know the real implications of it.  Let’s not forget just how tragic the year 2000, aka Y2K, was meant to be, with planes falling from the sky, power stations melting down and so on.  But this does not mean that when the UK finally leaves that we will be at the front of the line waiting to complain about how bad it is, if indeed that is the case. We want to be as best prepared as possible.  And just to give you some context, I began writing this article in France, continued as we crossed over into Belgium, took a break in Holland and it was then completed in Germany as we travelled to a large international trade show to support one of our international distribution partners.

 

The latest date for Brexit is 31st October 2019

The latest date for Brexit is 31st October 2019

 

To be fair, long before “Brexit” was a glint in Peter Wilding’s eye, we were already on the road to preparation, simply because our product range is manufactured in the UK using British-made parts and labour in our Surrey-based factory.  This is where we see the true value in the term “family owned business”; it is not a term reserved solely for our marketing department to plaster all over their posters and videos, but instead it means that we have a vested interest in where our materials are sourced for a number of reasons, including but not exclusive to sustainability and quality.  Where possible this helps to keep production limitations within our control.  Obviously when it comes to selling to the European market no-one, including ourselves, know what the implications of Brexit will be, so we have been hard at work building a strong international distribution network spanning North America, South Africa & Europe helping to take our expanding product range to the wider international market.  We identified this as a key objective moving forward, simply because these partners have an absolute understanding of their respective markets, and we are fortunate enough to have aligned ourselves with partners who are also leading the way through market share and inventiveness.  Late last year we were also part of an EU trade initiative to Japan organised by the Department for International Trade as we look to break into the Asian market with our camera systems.  Having the support and organisation of the DIT was vital in this exercise as the cultural differences between our two countries is such that one wrong move could put an end to such a venture, but instead we had a team of people advising us of the correct customs, assisting us with translation and arranging networking events in order for us to maximise the opportunity.  Ultimately it was a very productive and enlightening trip for us, and hopefully has set us on our way to appointing our first distribution partner in Asia.

"Brexit - what now, what if, what ever" in the June edition of Drain Trader

“Brexit – what now, what if, what ever” in the June edition of Drain Trader magazine

 
When it comes to selling internationally, it is not always as simple as just putting the Scanprobe product range into different international markets, sometimes compromises need to be made in order to slot in seamlessly.  In our case we have allowed for our products to be re-branded in colour and/or name in order to meet with our distributors own brand and product naming strategy.  This relates directly back to my earlier point that these distributors know their markets completely, and how to approach their (prospective) customer base and how they are likely to best react.  Proof of this can be seen with how our latest push-rod camera system, the TrapJumper, has been received in the US through our distributor Spartan Tool LLC.  We worked closely with them when developing the name which both has a clear meaning to their market but at the same time is catchy for our own domestic market, and in order to meet with their company branding we manufacture it in their own distinctive deep red.  Since it was released in October 2018, the TrapJumper has sold over 300 units in America alone.
 
So to summarise, whilst it seems as though the majority of the country is nervously awaiting the day that the United Kingdom finally leaves the EU, at Scanprobe we are working hard to make sure that we can not only make the best of it, but find a way to work with it.  We take great pride in being a British company in terms of ownership, location and sourcing of materials, and this should be a pride that resonates across the country to make British products and services highly sought after for their quality and ingenuity.”
 

With the latest and seemingly final date for Brexit set for 31st October 2019, Scanprobe’s intentions are to make sure we are prepared for it as best as possible, rather than sit back and be amongst the first to complain about it.  Of course, with all of the uncertainty surrounding exactly what Brexit will mean to the people and businesses of the UK, and indeed the rest of Europe, it is almost impossible to prepare for it fully.

 

Come what may.



WinCan reports without the PC software? Yep…


Posted on: March 18th, 2019

From the moment there was a Maxprobe, there was WinCan’s pipeline inspection software embedded into it.  Paired with their office-based software suite, drainage professionals could use the Maxprobe push-rod camera system with WinCan embedded to compile the intricate details of their pipeline survey into a clear and concise WinCan report so to summarise their findings.  The industry was very happy with how WinCan’s solution slotted into the industry, but standing still is dangerous…

 

Print or send your WinCan survey reports direct from the Maxprobe to mina, our mobile app

Print or send your WinCan survey reports direct from the Maxprobe to mina, our mobile app, available as a free download from the App Store

 

So now it is 2019, and technology continues to evolve, and WinCan’s involvement with the Maxprobe range has continued to evolve with it, as Scanprobe introduce our latest innovation – the ability to create a full WinCan pipeline inspection report directly from the Maxprobe control box, and then to share it to your mobile device and from there to the customer!  The days of being tied to your desktop computer are no more, and neither are the delays to your customer whilst you compile the data and format your report, the Maxprobe control box does all of this for you at the click of a button.  Better yet, all of this great functionality is included as standard in all new Maxprobe units – NO SUBSCRIPTION REQUIRED!

 

This latest update to the Maxprobe doesn’t stop there, as, using the mina survey free mobile app, the user is also able to create their own detailed survey map with industry standard icons, on top of a Google Maps overlay and then import this into their WinCan survey report.  Once you have imported your drawing in a matter of minutes, you can send your detailed WinCan report directly to your iPhone or iPad to then share with your customer or colleagues via any file sharing application you have installed on your device.  Suddenly your WinCan report has even greater detail and provides a deeper level of understanding to all stakeholders in the pipeline inspection project, from the end customer to the surveyor, all the way to the contractor.

 

So to summarise:

- FREE full WinCan reports
- FREE app

 

Saving you:

- time

- money

- effort

 

Standing still is dangerous, so we’re making sure our feet barely touch the ground!

 



mina is here to revolutionise the pipeline inspection industry!


Posted on: February 18th, 2019

Initially released in October 2018 at the No Dig Live trade exhibition, mina was showcasing it’s built-in pipeline inspection survey drawing package but hinted at a greater level of connectivity.  That greater level is here, as with this latest update mina now boasts the ability to connect your Apple iPhone or iPad to your Maxprobe (UK, RSA & Europe) or Explorer (USA) wirelessly.  And with this comes a brand new way to interact with your customers…

 

The connection options available with mina Survey

The connection options available with mina Survey

A wireless connection between the Maxprobe/Explorer has opened the doorway to streaming live video from your pipeline inspection system to your Apple mobile device, simply through the mina app, as well as enabling the user to send full WinCan or mina survey reports to the same device, to then share by whatever means the device has.  This could be anything from a simple email client, WhatsApp, Dropbox or GoogleDrive – any form of file transfer application, as well as the built-in services on Apple mobile devices.  This latest development of mina has removed the long delays usually incurred when waiting for the survey file to be delivered back to the office, processed into a readable format and then delivered to the end customer, a process which could take days and also involves the cost of the PC software.  With mina, the pipeline inspection engineer can complete this entire process on site in a matter of minutes, delivering a full WinCan or mina survey report to the customer, being able to explain any details face-to-face and closing off the job there and then.  And this is a completely free app!  As if this wasn’t enough, mina’s live streaming functionality enables the pipeline inspection engineer the opportunity to show their end customer a live image from inside their pipework without having to take them out to the manhole itself.  For the customers who are not aware of how the pipework system works, this feature removes any confusion about exactly what the problem(s) are, or gives a visual confirmation that any problems have been corrected, all from the comfort of an iPhone or iPad screen.

 

This is not the only customer-friendly feature of mina, as the built-in drawing package also serves to help everyone involved, both customers and colleagues, to understand the complexity of the pipeline inspection survey which has been undertaken.  After all, more often than not the pipelines are not in clear view, so to be able to provide a clear digital survey drawing on site in a matter of minutes will only serve to put your customer’s minds at ease.  Better still, connecting your Apple device to your Maxprobe via the FREE mina app enables you to integrate your drawing into your WinCan or mina survey report, adding additional clarity seamlessly!

 

So why not download your free copy of mina today from the App Store and add extra detail and value to your survey!



Maxprobe Print is completely un-PC…


Posted on: February 1st, 2019

Before you ask, no, Maxprobe Print is not an ‘inappropriate joke generator’, but it is still very much “un-PC”, and is the latest development fresh out of Scanprobe Techniques for 2019 designed to save customers both time and money.  Sounds too good to be true right?

 

Maxprobe Print empowers the engineer & speeds up the customer service

Maxprobe Print empowers the engineer & speeds up the customer service

Just as with the TrapJumper and our mobile application mina Survey, Maxprobe Print has been developed with the end user in mind, and looks to make their job that little bit easier.  After all, it’s 2019 and we, the human race, are just as impatient as we were last year, if not more so.  The news of the likes of Amazon using drones to deliver products same day has only served to heighten the consumers delivery expectations, as soon as we know we want it, we want it there and then.  So why in this day of streaming TV shows and films to your mobile phone, and even taking & making phone calls on your watch, should you have to wait for a engineer to take their pipeline survey away on a USB key back to the office, for someone at a computer to process the survey amongst the rest of their workload, and then send it back to the customer?  Maxprobe Print is the answer.

 

Once the engineer has completed their survey, using their Maxprobe Print enabled Maxprobe they can choose whether to send the survey report to their mobile device as a PDF and then share however they please to their customer or colleagues.  This can be via any sharing application that, in this example, the engineer has on their mobile device, so this could be WhatsApp, Dropbox, Google Drive, or simply their email application or send to a wireless printer.  From here to their customer or colleagues in a matter of minutes, Maxprobe Print cuts out the middle man and speeds up the entire process, whilst also making storage of their report even easier and less likely to live on the customer’s kitchen table or in a stuffy filing cabinet.

 

Maxprobe Print removes the need for a computer in order to process survey reports

Maxprobe Print removes the need for a computer in order to process survey reports

Empowering the engineer to deliver the pipeline inspection survey to the customer whilst still on site is just one of the benefits of Maxprobe Print, as we haven’t mentioned the survey reporting packages on the Maxprobe.  Seasoned Maxprobe users will know that the WinCan survey reporting platform has been embedded into the system since 2015, but still requiring the user to purchase the office software from WinCan in order to process the WinCan survey before distributing.  What the development of Maxprobe Print delivers is the ability to create a full WinCan report without the need for a PC or any additional software, not only saving time as mentioned above, but also saving money too.  But for those who currently enjoy the WinCan embedded experience using their PC, fear not, as this function is still very much a feature of the Maxprobe range.

 

How Maxprobe Print works is also incredibly simple and helpful for the engineer, as should they choose to send the report back to their mobile device before sending to their customer, the report is stored within the mina app.  Using the survey map drawing function (did we mention this is also free?) within the mina app adds even more value to your packaged up report, as once you have generated a quick but detailed survey map, you can send this drawing to the Maxprobe, and Maxprobe Print will package it up with your survey report before sending this to your mobile device.  Your WinCan or mina report will now have your drawing embedded within it, and coupled with your detailed report it will near on eliminate any confusion about the survey that has been completed.

 

We said Maxprobe Print has been developed to save customers both time and money, and we weren’t lying!



Scanprobe Shortlisted for the Thames Valley Business and Community Awards!


Posted on: December 18th, 2018

That’s right, we’re successfully through to the awards ceremony for the Thames Valley Business and Community Awards 2019, as we compete with other companies for the title of SME of the Year!

 

Thames Valley Awards - We are shortlisted!

Thames Valley Awards – We are shortlisted!

 

The excitement and “non-stop” theme to 2018 continues as a this very welcome email landed in our inbox this morning from the Thames Valley Awards team, advising us that we had made the shortlist for the awards night, which had been whittled down from well over 300 nominees to under 150 across thirteen different categories.  In the SME of the Year category we face strong competition from twenty other companies across a wide range of industries in the Thames Valley catchment area, including IT support, solicitors, a HR firm and a sash window refurbishment company to name just a handful, so this goes to show that there is a lot of excitement and pride surrounding the work being carried out in this area of the country.

 

Christian Briggs, former head of internal affairs at Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce is again part of the judging panel and said: “Judging this year’s awards will be tough. Every entry is of a very high standard and each one is unique which makes the decision harder. I’m very proud of the quality of businesses that we have in this region and these awards give them the true recognition that they deserve.”

 

This is Scanprobe Techniques’ first involvement with the Thames Valley Business & Community Awards, and for us to make the shortlist really caps off a fantastic 2018 for the company which has seen us expand & strengthen our global distribution network, successfully launch some new and exciting products (including our first ever mobile app!) and really grow as a company.  With even more exciting developments planned for 2019, lets hope that our year gets off to the best possible start at the Thames Valley Business & Community Awards!  Wish us luck…



EU Gateway to Japan – Day Three / EU Gateway 日本へ – 3日目


Posted on: November 21st, 2018

Our third day in the Japanese capital Tokyo, and by now Jon & Vernon must be well versed in the Japanese business customs that they spent the weeks building up to the EU Gateway Business Mission learning.  Another full day of manning the exhibition stand in the EU Pavilion section of the Japan Home and Building Show at Tokyo Big Site, again with some pre-planned meetings along with walk-ups also very much welcome.  The day concluded with a trip the EU Embassy to hear a couple of speeches from the ambassador Patricia Flor before a networking evening for local and global business people to attend, along with EU delegates.

 

Vernon hosting a meeting on our stand, with a Japanese Translator on hand

Vernon hosting a meeting on our stand, with a Japanese Translator on hand

Vernon: “I certainly felt more at home today. I had a far greater understanding of Japanese business customs and manners, and whilst I am picking up a few words here and there having our own Japanese translator has been absolutely invaluable.  Being able to cross the language barrier really helps us because the Maxprobe range and TrapJumper are more than as they appear; there is so much thought that has gone into developing them for the market rather than just getting a product into the market.”

 

Jon: “I agree with Vernon, you could tell from the questions that were being asked by the Japanese businessmen and women who came to see us today, and the subsequent follow-up questions, that there was a great understanding of what we at Scanprobe do and why we believe we have the market leading push rod pipeline inspection system.  It certainly feels at this stage that there is a place in the Japanese market for the Maxprobe and TrapJumper.”

 

Tomorrow is the last full day for Vernon and Jon, here’s hoping they have a strong finish and come home with some great business connections!



EU Gateway to Japan – Day Two / EU Gateway 日本へ – 2日目


Posted on: November 20th, 2018

Day two in Japan, and the first day of the exhibition, this is the day everything has been building up to.  With the help of the team at the EU Gateway to Japan Business Mission, we had been able to translate some key documentation into Japanese for any delegates who would come to visit us on the stand, and this was a very welcome piece of support!  Hopefully in time we will forge a need to at least gain a basic level of language understanding as we look to expand our distribution network into Japan.

 

Armed with his bi-lingual business cards, a sharp suit and a world of enthusiasm, Vernon has spent the day (with the help of our own on-site human translator) speaking to delegates, both walk-up and pre-planned to discuss the strengths and benefits of the Maxprobe pipeline inspection camera system, and what such a product could achieve in the Japanese drainage, gas & general pipeline inspection market.

EU Gateway to Japan - Exhibition Day One

Great to get some interest on the stand in Tokyo, Japan

Vernon: “What an amazing day this has been for me.  I have worked in many different countries over the years and today has given me the same, if not greater, level of excitement.  I am learning so much about the business customs in Japan, and equally importantly for this particular venture, the market driving factors.  In truth today has just flown by.”

 

Jon: “It’s been great to see the level of attention that we’ve had on the stand today, and the pre-planned meetings that the EU Gateway team have helped to arrange have brought a lot of interest.  Already this looks like a very intriguing marketplace and I’m looking forward to seeing how things develop tomorrow.”



EU Gateway to Japan – Day One / EU Gateway 日本へ:1日目


Posted on: November 19th, 2018

This week marks the beginning of the EU Gateway Business Mission to Japan, for which Scanprobe Techniques Ltd fought off over a hundred other companies to be selected with around 40 others to represent our business to the Japanese market.

 

For EU Gateway | Business Avenues, the Construction & Building Technologies sector covers technologies and materials related to the engineering, the design, the construction, the demolition and demolition waste services, the fitting, the arrangement, the finishing of public and private buildings as well as its renovation or deconstruction/ demolition and infrastructure works (roads, airports, ports, etc.). Recent trends underline the concept of Circular Economy – low carbon materials, greater durability or reusability/ recycling and resource efficiency.  For Scanprobe in particular, being offered such a well structured platform and fantastically arranged audience of prospective businesses to present our company and products (the Maxprobe and the TrapJumper) to was an opportunity not to be missed, and has been a welcome addition to what as already been a tremendously busy 2018 activities calendar.  As this is a very exciting time for our company, we are running a daily diary with our Managing Director Jon and UK Sales Manager Vernon as they embark on this business mission….day one!

 

On the plane to the EU Gateway Business Mission - Jon

Jon is ready to go!

On the plane to the EU Gateway Business Mission - Vernon

Vernon’s settling in with the on-board comforts!

 

 

Vernon: “Flying out Saturday evening UK time and arriving Sunday afternoon in Tokyo, there was little time to relax once we had arrived at the hotel.  There was a “Welcome & Networking Gathering” in the bar on the 30th floor of the Grand Nikko Hotel Daiba at 6pm which was a great opportunity to meet some of the other companies taking this opportunity to bring their business to Japan.  We were able to meet with the EU Gateway Communications Manager, Piero Zilio who was able to answer our questions ahead of this busy week for us, and we could share our stories and experiences so far with others making the journey across the world.  There are some very interesting people and companies joining us on this business mission, definitely feels like we are in great company here on this EU Gateway Business Mission.”

 

Vernon and Jon with Piero Zilio, Communications Manager for the EU Gateway Business Mission

Vernon and Jon with Piero Zilio, Communications Manager for the EU Gateway Business Mission

 

Jon: “Monday was a very helpful grounding experience I feel.  The morning had everyone in the ‘Ginga’ room where after a quick welcome every company had the opportunity to present an elevator pitch about themselves, and as Vernon said, some very interesting companies among us.  Once the presentations were finished, including a couple of Sector Expert Presentations, the afternoon was spent visiting Kajima Corporation Technical Research Institution (KaTRI for short!) to learn about their research and development methods, and how they themselves are helping to drive businesses and manufacturing techniques forwards.  This was a very interesting trip (and it also meant that I could leave Vernon alone to set up our stand!)  Now we are just about to have some dinner and prepare for the first day of the exhibitions and meetings tomorrow.”

 

Follow Jon & Vernon’s progress at the EU Gateway Business Mission to Japan tomorrow!

 



The TrapJumper Launches at No Dig Live 2018


Posted on: September 25th, 2018

This year’s No Dig Live was an even bigger event for Scanprobe as we launched the TrapJumper push rod camera live on the stand!

Bob's Drainage Co. have a TrapJumper in their vans!

Bob’s Drainage Co. have a TrapJumper in their vans!

With No Dig Live 2018 being a landmark event on the trenchless technology events calendar, this was always going to be the best place to launch our latest innovation into the pipeline inspection industry – the TrapJumper.  Designed to be flexible enough to handle tight bends and traps whilst still being strong enough to push the distance, we see the TrapJumper as a great addition to any pipeline inspection engineers toolkit.  The demo pipe rig was a popular feature on our stand and you could frequently hear the TrapJumper camera being pushed successfully around the cast-iron pipe across the span of the event.

 

One of the main functions of the TrapJumper which makes it different from other cameras in the industry is that it is fully compatible with the existing Maxprobe control box, meaning that current Maxprobe users will not need to spend extra to get another box – instead plug in and carry on.  Together with the portable design, the TrapJumper is very convenient to transport, with it’s compact fold-away frame, flip-down spring-loaded handle and lightweight construction, you can carry it in one hand and carry the control box in the other.

 

With 40m of rod on the reel, the TrapJumper is able to push the distance, whilst being able to manoeuvre through tight trap bends when pushed from a height.  Born from the need for drainage engineers to complete a pipeline survey rather than abandon it when their standard push-rod camera approached a tight bend, the TrapJumper means you can continue where you might previously have been forced to stop.

 

As with the rest of the Maxprobe range, the TrapJumper has the same expected functions including a self-levelling camera, camera and frame rated to IP64 and a sonde located within the camera head for both accuracy and sonde protection.

 

For more information or to arrange a demonstration of the TrapJumper please get in contact with our UK Sales Manager or visit our LinkedIn page to see more content.

 

#TrapJumper



PlumbDrain, Johannesburg: on the stand with Octopus Electronics


Posted on: August 21st, 2018

The latest stop in our whirlwind 2018 calendar saw UK Sales Manager Vernon Pain invited to attend PlumbDrain Africa 2018 with our new South African distribution partners, Octopus Electronics.

PlumbDrain 2018 South Africa with Octopus Electronics

PlumbDrain 2018 Africa with Octopus Electronics

Only a matter of weeks had gone by since our two companies had come together to take the Maxprobe to the South African market, for which we had jumped into action having the frames custom painted to suit the market, and our UK Sales Manager Vernon Pain has just returned from Johannesburg where he joined Matthew, Alan and Marianne from Octopus Electronics on their stand at the PlumbDrain exhibition for the whole 3 days.  Having seemingly decided that he hadn’t had enough of nice, hot, sunny weather Vernon was in for an extended summer whilst in the UK we became reacquainted with the rain we used to know so very well.

 

“The weather was fantastic, and so was the trip too to be fair, even if I was a bit tired when I arrived at 6:20am after leaving the UK at 9pm the previous night!”

 

Journey completed, Vernon went straight to PlumbDrain to meet Marianne & the guys to help set up, and when the doors opened the floodgates opened.

 

“It was the same all three days…all three mornings were very busy.  The Maxprobe was getting some great attention and we even managed to make a sale directly on the stand which was a perfect start to our relationship with Octopus Electronics.”

 

Vernon continued:

 

“It was a very impressive show, bigger than your average English show, and I think what helped our cause over the three days was the sheer positivity and enthusiasm shown by the team from Octopus Electronics.  They all made me feel very welcome from the word go and I was really able to enjoy my first experience of PlumbDrain and the South African marketplace.”

 

When the show closed on Friday afternoon there was no rest for Vernon, as he was back to the airport and on a flight home to London Heathrow, and finally getting home at the eye-rubbing time of 5:15am, but there’s been no sign of grumbling!

 

“It was a great experience for me, I’ve learnt a lot about their market and operation, and we took some very strong enquiries over the course of the PlumbDrain exhibition, it looks like the Maxprobe has been very well received!”



Scanprobe Techniques Limited | Registered in England No. 02682996
Registered office: 99-105 Stanstead Road, London SE23 1HH

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