September 6, 2012

3 precasters, 3 perspectives

In the last weeks I have been happy to meet several customers – construction companies, design companies and precasters – in multiple countries. After summer it feels like “customer euphoria”:  I have really got a boost of motivation while being able to learn from the business of our customers. Here some thoughts from 3 precasters, companies that make concrete columns, beams and walls in their factories, to be later assembled at the building site.  And I was happy to visit the factory floor of each or them.
The first company had decided to build a new factory in a new country. It was very interesting to hear about how they are developing and changing the habits of making precast elements in that particular country – with new insulation materials, with new surface materials etc. The drive to develop the company by expanding geographical area and by bringing new technologies to customers – it impressed me a lot.
The second company had already invested in new machinery some years back, but now had decided to invest on processes. The LEAN philosophy was evident on the factory floor – there had been serious cleaning on-going and obsolete machinery, tooling and suppliers could not be found on the factory floor. New vendor-managed inventories had been taken into use and all equipment had special, marked places. I have never ever seen a cleaner precast factory!
The third factory I visited had invested in bringing new design methodology.  They had selected a new structural design company with roots from another country to work they detailing in a new manner – and only after that purchased several new machinery.  The company had decided to sell not only what the customer typically requests, but components with increased quality & functionality.
What made me extremely proud was that all these three companies had selected Peikko as their main supplier of connections  - see some used products in the pictures – after the visits I was really impressed not only on the customers, but also on my own local team members who had served the customers so well.
I wish I could use the teachings of these customers in our own Peikko business. When have you last time learned from your customers?

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