Wednesday, December 24, 2014

20 years of customer service & company growth

Richard (Dick) Schuessler is in a unique position to comment on Norland’s growth and development as a company. Hired in December 1994, Dick was the company’s second employee, brought on board by president Mike McFarland.

“I had been working as a salesman for another company, and found myself on the road more than I was at home,” Richard said. “So when Mike started the company and was looking to fill the position of Manager of Customer Service, I eagerly agreed to come on board a new and exciting venture.”

Over the next 20 years, Richard helped the company grow from its humble beginnings focusing on a core product to a world-class manufacturing powerhouse with three divisions and 65 (and growing!) employees.

Although Richard semi-retired earlier this month, he will still be around on a part-time basis to continue helping Norland succeed.

A proven record of customer service
Richard brought years of diversified experience with him when he joined the Norland family. He had an established background in sales and customer service, and electrical and industrial engineering in both the private sector and the military.

He has patents in the design of oscilloscopes, using ultrasound to detect cracks in human teeth, and at Norland helped design evaluations and testing of single effect, and high efficiency multiple-effect and vapor-compression water distillation systems.

“Distillation equipment was the initial machinery Norland produced and had great success in manufacturing and selling,” Richard said.

Initially, Richard’s main role at Norland was Managing Customer Service, the coordination and scheduling of customer start-up services and in-plant technical support services for Norland technicians who traveled around the world to help customers. He also provided after-the-purchase customer support for the full range of Norland equipment. Richard even traveled a time or two himself, recalling fondly his first international trip for Norland.

“I had the opportunity to help a customer in the setup, operation and training of equipment purchased from Norland.” Richard said. “Since that first trip, I have made many friends around the world by putting myself in the customer’s shoes and trying to help them find the solutions to their problems as quickly and efficiently as possible.”

Richard’s background
Richard was born and raised in Grand Island, Nebraska. He attended the University of Nebraska, Lincoln (UNL) and graduated with a degree in electrical engineering. He went on to graduate school at UNL and obtained a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering. He also met his wife, Phyllis, while attending graduate school.

Today, the couple have been married for 37 years and have two children, Erin and Jess, and one grandchild, Zion. Before joining Norland, Richard taught classes in Industrial Engineering at UNL. He also spent three years in the Army during the Vietnam era, where he was the project manager for the first use of fiber optics in communications.

During his semi-retirement, Richard plans on watching his grandson’s sporting events, listening to SW radio and playing fantasy sports with his son.

At Norland, Richard will still help out with customer service and scheduling customer start-up services.

“The environment here at Norland is very rewarding so I don’t plan to fully retire anytime in the near future, if health permits,” Richard said.