It was partly a difficult decision, because the other members were competitors of Peikko. We did not want to belong to some secret club of competitors where some pricing could be agreed, we were not wanting to reveal some info to our competitors. We considered the time spend on this kind of club as time wasted - the customer meetings are just always much more important.
Yet, we decided to give a try to see what competitors can do together the influence the technical surroundings. Our experience has been mixed, however, we are committed to VBBF. It seems that parties respect the EU competition law and no illegal talk has been going around, e.g. on pricing.
To my disappointment not so many general technical projects have been started. It is just almost impossible from the competition point of view to agree on generic projects for the public benefit as all companies are worried that somehow the others would benefit from their own technical knowledge. It remains to be seen if any viable outcome is coming from this area.
But what I think has really started is that VBBF is able to influence institutes like DibT, Deutsche Institut für Bautechnik, as a group. There is a huge bottleneck of resources on these institutes and to influence this issue as an individual company is next to impossible, but as a group the voice has much more possibilities to be heard. In Europe we need to get the product approvals for our new, innovative products much faster to be able to also competitive outside Europe. And this is clearly in the interest of the whole connections industry, not just one company.
I hope that joint effort, the work of VBBF, can be fully transparent to our customers and will benefit them long-term. Time will show how successful we are with this respect. But at least Peikko gives a fair try.
More info: www.vbbf.de