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Universal Instruments' Exemplary Customer Service Receives a Frost & Sullivan Award.

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Frost & Sullivan's recent analysis program, 'Growth Opportunities in the SMT Placement Equipment Markets,' selected Universal Instruments Corporation as the recipient of the 2004 Award for Customer Service Leadership. Universal receives this Award for its proactive service partnership approach that meets both the stated and unstated requirements of its customers globally.

Every year, Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to the company that has demonstrated excellence in customer service leadership within the industry. Universal Instruments Corporation has shown tremendous responsiveness to customer needs and has continually focused on long- and short-term customer profitability goals. The company has also exhibited flexibility in tailoring its product offerings to suit customer businesses.

"In the evolving world of electronic assembly, Universal has a refreshingly proactive and predictive approach to customer service in the surface mount technology (SMT) placement equipment market," says Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Vikram Shanbhag. "This includes the establishment of a highly networked global service infrastructure with regional hubs to meet specific customer needs."

Universal utilizes a network of over 200 service personnel distributed across the globe to respond to customer installation, training, and servicing needs. The company has a global service headquarters at Binghamton, United States, and regional hubs in Budapest, Hungary and Shekou and Suzhou, China where highly skilled engineers facilitate the design and implementation of locally demanded services.

New service offerings such as support continuance, and a focus on service partnership initiatives have gained a differentiation advantage for Universal in its markets. Support continuance focuses on extending the relationship beyond that forged during the warranty period. Following current lean manufacturing trends, Universal offers highly interactive Web-based training to placement equipment operators, enabling customers to maintain planned productivity levels.

Universal has also strategically realigned its preowned equipment business to generate an alternative revenue stream. The company offers a pre-purchase machine assessment service that is very popular among buyers of used equipment, as it acts as a quality assurance approval.

The current proactive model followed by Universal includes being part of customers' production planning meetings to identify process, capability or quality deficiencies. Recommendations by the company's onsite engineers have resulted in significant line productivity improvements as testified by end users. This model is now being developed using Intelligent Device Management (IDM), which will analyze the customer's production schedule, actively predict maintenance cycles, and recommend line efficiency measures to improve overall productivity.

Universal also has an extremely well designed and intuitive Web-based support interface. Going beyond the conventional FAQ guidance offered by most Internet-based technical support functions, the Universal Web site delivers highly dynamic knowledge-based content, allowing customers in any global time zone to enter a keyword, symptom or an error code indicated on the machine, and retrieve an intelligent real time solution.

The company has also worked on building a skilled and efficient team of human resources headed by a separate functional entity called Global Services. This sophisticated operation ensures uniformity and consistency in the services provided by the company globally.

Universal has ably leveraged the new opportunity necessitated provided by differentiated service offerings in an otherwise equipment intensive market in a very proactive manner. Frost & Sullivan proudly presents Universal Instruments Corporation with its Customer Service Leadership Award for the year 2004.

About Universal Instruments Corporation

Universal Instruments is a global electronics productivity specialist, providing innovative circuit, semiconductor and back-end assembly technologies and equipment, integrated system solutions, and process expertise to manufacturers in every sector of the electronics industry.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, a global growth consulting company founded in 1961, partners with clients to create value through innovative growth strategies. The foundation of this partnership approach is our Growth Partnership Services platform, whereby we provide industry research, marketing strategies, consulting, and training to our clients to help grow their business. A key benefit that Frost & Sullivan brings to its clients is a global perspective on a broad range of industries, markets, technologies, econometrics, and demographics. With a client list that includes Global 1000 companies, emerging companies, as well as the investment community, Frost & Sullivan has evolved into one of the premier growth consulting companies in the world. For more information, visit www.frost.com.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Feb 21, 2005
Words:687
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