Wednesday, January 29, 2014

The Driveway Bell - Perfect for Bussinesses with a Lean Operating Budget!





As a result of the recent poor economic climate, many businesses have had to make cutbacks in the form of staff reductions, in order to save money. This means that there are many businesses out there that now have to operate with less people, meaning there are fewer eyes available to look out for customers and help them with their queries. If you feel like your business is struggling on a lean operating budget, you may want to consider installing one of our driveway bells. This bell will alert staff on shift, ensuring they are ready to greet the customer and provide them with an excellent service.

With the help of our driveway bell, your business will be able to operate with fewer employees, as those employees will be aware when customers arrive and leave your business. Even if they are busy carrying out other tasks, the bell will sound, notifying them that they need to stop what they are doing and deal with the customer. Take a look at some of the businesses we believe could benefit from installing our driveway bells below.


Install a driveway bell on the premises of your car rental company, so you know when customers are picking up and dropping off the vehicles.

Rental companies              

If you own a vehicle rental company, it is likely that you will have customers picking up vehicles and dropping them off throughout the day. Whilst you may not need many staff on the premises, it is important that the employees that are on shift are monitoring the clients picking up and returning your vehicles. Installing a driveway bell will keep staff notified of the rental equipment that is being driven off the premises and returned. The bell will signal, so they can make a record of the incoming and outgoing vehicles, and to ensure that their records are up to date.

Drive-through businesses

Drive-through staff are usually very busy, especially if they have to serve customers over the counter, as well as at the drive-through windows. A fantastic way to ensure your drive-through staff are meeting the needs and requirements of customers is to install a driveway bell. The bell will sound when a car pulls onto the drive-through, so that the employees are aware that there are new customers requiring service. The more alert staff are, the quicker they can communicate with the customers, providing excellent customer service. Quick responses also enable a business to benefit from increased productivity, allowing them to make a higher profit in a single day.



Make sure your drive-through staff are ready to serve customers by installing a driveway bell.

Donation facilities

We believe that our driveway bells could also benefit those running donation facilities. By installing a driveway bell, staff will be notified when a vehicle arrives, so they can head out and give the customer a hand with unloading the clothes they want to donate. The more attentive and helpful staff can be, the more likely people are 
to return with more clothes to donate in the future.

Our driveway bells

From looking at our website, you will see that we have driveway bells for all kinds of businesses. Whether you run a drive-through takeaway, a donation facility or a rental company, your business will greatly benefit from having a bell, as it will keep your staff alert, giving them the opportunity to provide a better service to customers and generate a greater return.

Conclusion

Although the poor economy and lean operating budgets have meant that many businesses have had to reduce the number of staff they employ, it does not mean that their business or customers have to suffer. With the help of our driveway bells, businesses can ensure that their staff are alerted when customers arrive, so they know they need to be ready to provide them with the best customer service possible.
Image credits: JohnSeb & K Mick

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

New product launch – The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit





Today we want to talk about a brand new and exciting product that we will be launching here on our website in the New Year. The product is called the Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit and as its name suggests it’s designed for heavy duty use. Here we will provide you with all of the details you need to know about the product, as well as information about the sort of businesses we think will find it beneficial.




Our Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit can be used to alert individuals of a vehicle approaching a truck scale.

Product information

The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit is designed to detect the presence of a vehicle and alert the staff on-site. In order to work it requires a 12-24VDC/VAC. The bell provides a form “C” set or relay contacts to indicate the presence of a vehicle. This particularly product has a response time of two seconds and an operating range of between 1ft and 5ft. It has output delay options of one, two and four seconds. The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit has been designed with patent pending Triangular Planar Array Technology making it one of the best heavy duty bell kits on the market. The bell kit is wireless and does not require the use of a driveway hose.

 Who will use it?

Our new sensor is aimed at businesses that work with heavy weight vehicles. This is due to the fact that heavy vehicles would simply destroy the driveway hoses included in many of our other bell kits. The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit is designed for truck scales and material recycling scales. It will inform members of staff when a vehicle is approaching the scales. The bell kit can also be installed in stone yards, concrete yards, steel yards and municipal utilities districts. It could even be used in an environment like an oil field where having hoses is impractical.
If your drive-thru accommodates large, heavy duty vehicles, you may also want to consider making use of our new bell kit. Any facility with bill payment windows like drive-thru restaurants, pharmacies, banks and car parks will benefit from using the Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit.



The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit is ideal for using in steel yards and concrete yards.

Benefits of the Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit

One of the main benefits of our Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit is the fact there is no need to use a driveway hose. The device comes with a detector coil which can be mounted on a post or on the side of a building. When a vehicle moves onto the scene, the transmitter box will send a signal to the receiver chime, alerting the employees on-site.
Our bell kit will work out to be a much cheaper alternative to traditional vehicle loop detectors as instead of being installed underground, it can simply be placed on a post or box and aimed at the location where vehicles pass and stop. The bell kit couldn’t be easier to install above ground!
You will also find that our Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit will help to streamline your operations. No longer will your customers have to wait to be served by you, as you will always be alerted of their presence. Improving the speed of your operations will help to increase your business’s overall levels of efficiency.
Our new bell kit is built to last. It is made from the finest materials so it will last you years and years. We also offer bell testing and maintenance services which can help to keep your bells in tip top condition.

Conclusion

The Heavy-Duty Scale Bell Kit will be available to purchase directly from our website in 2014. If you have any questions about it or any of our other bell kits and products, feel free to drop us an email and we will make sure we get back to you as soon as possible!

Image credits: Pavel P & Nik Calamvokis

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Increase Drive-Thru Sales with Speed and Accuracy

The idea of having a drive-thru is that it allows your customers to be served quickly and efficiently, however new reports have shown that fast food drive-thrus are actually getting slower. According to QSR Magazine (a fast food industry trade publication) fast food giant McDonald’s posted its slowest drive thru time in fifteen years, with an average of time of 189.5 seconds. Some believe this is due to the complex menus offered by fast food chains, which include more options than ever before. The fact there is so many different options to choose from, means that customers are slower in making their choices, employees are slower in cooking the food and there is a greater risk of inaccuracy, which can greatly slow down the process.

In order to increase sales, restaurants must improve the speed and accuracy of their drive-thru applications. Time for change

Fast food chains have clearly noticed that things are slowing down and seeing as the unique selling point of a drive-thru is the speed it offers customers, have had to come up with ideas to improve the process. You may have noticed that many drive-thrus now have employees standing outside, taking orders using point of sale tablets. Many fast food chains are also now using confirmation boards. As the customer speaks their order, it is presented back to them on an electric board so that they can check their order is correct. This is thought to improve accuracy, which has an overall impact on the speed of the drive-thru process.

Benefits of the bell

Despite these changes, we still believe fast food restaurants are yet to catch onto the benefits of installing a bell. If you think about it, the first way to increase the speed of any transaction process is for the sales team to be notified that a customer has arrived. Bells have long been used by gas stations, dry cleaners and even specialist stores like a pharmacy. Whether you are selling donuts, coffee, liquor, cigarettes or fast food, you can benefit from having a customer bell.

Our best-selling Original Bell Kit is perfect for drive-thru applications. It comes with a signal bell, a signal bell hose (which is available from twenty five to one hundred and fifty feet in length) and a heavy duty end of hose plug. You can install it in your drive-thru so that when a customer pulls up to the window, your employees can be immediately notified that they need to take an order. The quicker the customer is greeted, the happier they will be with the speed of service, which will ultimately help to increase sales.

The idea may sound simple, but sometimes the simplest ideas are the most effective!

We also have a selection of wireless bells, which are also ideal for drive-thru applications. One of the things our customers often admire about our bells is the fact they have a stylish retro look. We believe these retro look bells are the perfect choice for drive-thrus which are often considered to be quite retro themselves!




We believe having a bell at fast food restaurant drive-thrus will greatly improve the transaction speed.

Fast speed + improved accuracy = increased sales

If you do the math, it is pretty obvious that the quicker fast food drive-thru staff can greet customers, take their orders, cook their food, take their payments and present them with their food, the more sales they can get in a day. Of course, you also have to factor in the need for accuracy, as if an order is inaccurate it will cause a huge hold up and will surely displease not only the customer in question, but all of the people waiting behind them in the drive-thru. By speeding up the process with the use of a bell and improving accuracy using a confirmation board, fast food companies with drive-thru applications are sure to see an increase in sales.

Image credits: dickuhne & LWY








Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Super Bowl Commercial & Milton's Bells

In 2012 Milton's Bells was contacted to see if we would be interested in donating one of our vintage Milton Bells to be used in a Super Bowl TV commercial.  We were told that the commercial would be advertising the new 2012 Chevrolet Corvette and would be submitted, along with several others, to compete for air time during the 2012 Super Bowl.  Naturally we were very excited to participate and loaned one vintage bells for the spot.


Tower Conoco Station, Shamrock Texas, Route 66
The commercial was shot in Shamrock, Texas and opened with panaroma of this classic art-deco gas staion on old Route 66.

A vintage Corvette, that seemeds to be driven a ghost, pulls into the gas station at night.  As it slowly rolls to a stop it drives across the bell ringer tubing, rings the signal bell waking the gas station attendant.  "Ding-Ding"

A close up shot of the old gas pump shows the dials turn as the car mysteriously fills up.

Just as soon as the car has filled its tank it miracuously transforms into a brand new 2012 Corvette and speeds off.  The surprised gas station attendent to run outside just in time catch a glimpse of it all.  In the end the commercial did not air during the Super Bowl but we were very excited to be a part of it.  It brought to life a great old gas station and piece of Route 66 history and, of course, features one of our vintage Milton bells.  It can be viewed here on our site and on YouTube.

Monday, January 7, 2013

EZ Logit and Milton's Bells

Milton's Bells has strong ties to the trucking industry. Our products are used at intermodal truck terminals, at truck at scales, loading docks, equipment yards, and even at the entrance of several oil fields. Alerting people to newly arriving vehicles is our business.
Milton's Bells has teamed up with a company called EzLogit.com which has created a smartphone application designed to record and track the daily activities of commercial truck drivers.
Every commercial truck driver with a commercial drivers license (CDL) is required by the Department of Transportation (DOT) to track their daily driving activity. Truck drivers must record things like their starting location, the time spent driving or time spent in the sleeper berth. These requirements are designed to ensure that drivers aren't driving without taking proper rest breaks and to ultimately promote safety.
The EzLogit.com smartphone app. electronically records all of the required daily log information needed by the Department of Transportation (DOT) electronically.
Every driver operating a commercial motor vehicle must track his duty status for each 24-hour period. The driver must record the city, town or village (or truck stop, highway milepost or intersection) when reporting for work, starting to drive, on-duty but not driving or released from work.
The duty status grid must list one-hour increments including "12 noon" and "12 midnight." It must include when the driver was on duty, on duty but not driving, off duty other than in a sleeper berth, off duty in a sleeper berth, driving and on duty but not driving.
In addition to the duty status grid, the daily log form must include: date, daily miles driven, vehicle number, carrier name, driver's signature, 24-hour starting time, main office address, comments, co-driver's name, total hours and shipping document numbers or name of shipper and commodity. The driver's activity record must use her workplace's time zone, be legible and in the driver's handwriting. The seven or eight day time period for the driver retaining the log begins from the workplace.
Employers must keep drivers' duty status records (and other supporting documents) for six months. Drivers must carry a copy of their duty status records for the previous seven days and produce them for inspection. Drivers also must give or mail their original duty status records to their employers within 13 days of completing them. If a driver works for more than one employer in a 24-hour period, he must give a copy of his duty status record to each one. The record must account for all time during the 24-hour period and include the name of the employer during period and the beginning and ending time for each employer. Drivers working for more than one employer must report their total time on duty during the previous seven days to prevent exceeding the allowed work periods.
Milton's Bells is proud to have teamed up with EzLogit.com to support a very user friendly and effective smartphone app. that ultimately promotes driver safety.






Monday, March 19, 2012

11 Sounds That Your Kids Have Probably Never Heard by Kara Kovalchik

Here is a fun article that features one of our products published in mental_floss by Kara Kovalchik.

Who knew that some noises could eventually become as extinct as the passenger pigeon? Depending on your age, you or your kids or grandchildren may have only heard some of the following sounds in old movies, if at all.

1. Rotary Dial Telephone

The formerly familiary swooosh as the caller rotated the dial clockwise to the “finger stop” and then the click-click-click as the dial returned counter-clockwise to the start position is now a novelty application that you can install on your iPhones for nostalgic yuks. Adolescents waiting in line nearby will wonder what the heck that sound is, while we older fogies will know you’re poking fun at us and our ancient ways.




2. Manual Typewriter

Manual typewriters had an entire subset of unique sounds that made them immediately identifiable…at one time. The keys clacked loudly as they struck the paper, the carriage lifted up with a distinct clunk when the shift key was employed, and then there was the ping of the bell warning you that you were nearing the end of the line. That meant you had to lift your left hand from the keyboard and swipe at the carriage return lever, which caused a sort of ziiiiip noise as you pushed the carriage back to the starting position.




3. Coffee Percolator

If steampunk had an aural definition, it would be the bloop-hissss of an old school coffee percolator.



4. Flash Cube

The loud rapid-fire click-clack of an Instamatic camera equipped with a flash cube was a common background sound at any social gathering in the 1960s. It was a technological breakthrough to be able to snap off four – count ‘em, four! – photos in rapid succession without having to pause and install a new flash bulb after every shot. Even back then your crunchy granola types were concerned with the amount of waste used flash cubes created, so it became a common holiday craft project to repurpose the used cubes into trendy Christmas tree ornaments.



5. TV Channel Selector

When announcers of yesteryear used to admonish viewers, “Don’t touch that dial!”, they were referring to the channel selector knobs found on TV sets. The standard TV dial went from 2 to 13, and you had to click on each number as you searched for one of the three channels that broadcast in your area. That meant a lot of clunk clunk-ing interspersed with the static-y sound of “snow” on the blank stations. Listen to this old Muntz after it’s first switched on and you’ll hear another antique sound, the soft buzzzz of the picture tube warming up.



6. Record Changer

Record changers allowed you to stack a selection of albums of 45s (seven-inch singles, not guns!) for your longer-term listening pleasure. Each record would make a soft slap sound as it dropped onto the turntable, a series of clicks followed as the remaining records adjusted into place and the tone arm swung over and lowered the needle into the outer grooves of the record. You’d hear the slightest scritch noise as the stylus settled just so into the vinyl and then (finally!) the music began.



7. Gas Station Driveway Bell

Back in the days when all gas stations were full-service, the thin black pneumatic hose that snaked across the pavement was as familiar as the fuel pumps. When vehicles drove over the hose, a loud bell ding-dinged! inside the station, alerting the attendant that he had another customer. You can hear one at MiltonsBells.com and even order one for your home driveway if you really dislike your neighbors.






8. TV Station Sign-Off

Before infomercials were invented, television stations actually went off the air for a few hours each night. Some of us TV-holics experienced physical withdrawal symptoms when we heard the announcer intone, “We now conclude our broadcast day…” around 2AM or so. The format varied little from station to station across the country; first a few technical details were announced (broadcast frequency, physical address of the station, etc.), then a reading of “High Flight” followed by the National Anthem, and then the steady beeeeeeeeeeeeeep tone of the test pattern.



9. Cash Register

Those chunka-chunka push buttons were clumsy, but (unlike the fellow in this video) veteran cashiers could check you out just as fast with these old-style machines as their modern counterparts do with today’s scanners.



10. Film Projector

One of the jobs of the classroom A/V squad captain was to run the film projector on movie days. The rapid tick-tick-tick of the sprockets really was that loud and usually accompanied by shouts of “Turn it up!” and, of course, “Focus!”



11. Broken Record

Remember when you’d beg mom over and over for something and she’d finally yell, “You sound like a broken record!”? She wasn’t referring to pops or hisses, but the repetitive effect that happened when the needle got stuck and played the same few notes over and over and over again… like at the 1:00 mark of this clip:




If you’re not afraid of revealing your true age, let us know how many of these you remember from your past!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Rush Limbaugh, Identity Alert , Gas Station Bells & Sting-Rays

 
While listening to the Rush Limbaugh show I was reminded of personal security, preventing theft and of a system that is capable of providing an early notification in the event of an intruder.


Naturally, I was expecting the radio commercial to be advertising some type of driveway signal bell system.  After all this is what we sell, and our alarms do promote personal security and help to prevent theft by providing an early notification of a potential threat each time they ring......"Ding-Ding".

The actual commercial was promoting a service to protect your personal identity and its ability to deliver an early warning alert via email in the event of an actual identity theft.  There were enough similarities between the keywords that they used to describe their product and those to describe one of our driveway alarm bells to confuse anyone who was casually listening in. 

The similarity in the keywords got me thinking of how much things have changed from the simple days of the gas station bell.  It made me nostalgic for those days when "identity alert" meant that the gas station attendant was annoyed enough to run off me and my friends riding our Sting-Ray's and Huffy's back and fourth across the black rubber hose at the corner gas station.