How Instrumentation Manufacturer, Bürkert, Achieves Innovation and Success in the Fluid Control Industry
Innovation is the aim of many businesses, especially in the industrial manufacturing industry. But often, while attempting innovation, companies will struggle to generate the same revenue and success that large-scale manufacturing can provide. Solenoid valve manufacturer, Bürkert, thrives in both aspects. In a candid video interview, Bürkert CEO Heribert Rohrbeck explains the Bürkert outlook on business and innovation, and his belief that a "techie's" take on the world can lead to industry success.
Customer satisfaction is at the heart of what instrumentation manufacturer, Bürkert, offers. What's the philosophy behind this?
Bürkert has a distinctive culture of genuine personal development, integrity and care for its people, customers and suppliers - something that goes beyond corporate social responsibility for marketing and recruitment purposes and into the fabric of the organisation. Some of this culture is created by design and is part of the management philosophy, but much of it is nurtured simply because it allows personnel to relate better to customers, which translates into profitable business.
The first thing we remind ourselves about when looking at business-to-business customer interaction is that no one wakes up in the middle of the night and exclaims "I must buy a Bürkert valve", it is more likely that an engineer or designer will be thinking about finding the best solution to the challenge they face right now, be that a new design or a replacement for an existing system.
What is the design and engineering philosophy of the instrumentation manufacturer business and how does that apply to servicing customer needs and this generation of new products and ideas?
Our business is built around working with customers to find that ideal solution; we effectively put ourselves into the shoes of our customer and see it from their perspective. Sometimes that component or system turns into series production and we go on to manufacture tens of thousands of items, sometimes we produce just one unique solution - although it is usually constructed using one or more of the hundred thousand products and components we already have in our portfolio.
It isn't normally difficult to encourage our design and process engineers to support customers and work in partnerships, it's actually harder to create the kind of partnership relationship you need with your customers in order to develop a position of trust. Once achieved however it is from this point that you can stimulate really valuable creativity, problem solving and ideas. From then on, you are by definition - driving innovation.
You must have a good understanding of your customers business; how do you achieve this?
We value openness and trust, it makes for better collaborative working. It is our challenge from a management point of view to achieve the right balance between this trusting work culture, profitability and commercials strategy. There is an old adage that if you 'Chose a job that you love then you won't have to work a single day in your life'. This is only partly true, we have to go to work, but when we are given challenges that we can rise to and have some creative input, then that is very satisfying, and we make better decisions, and better judgement calls.
What is the vision of the future fo Bürkert as a leading valve manufacturer?
The vision of the future for Bürkert, includes global teams providing local support, understanding our customers and employing innovation to deliver the best solutions and service, putting customer satisfaction at the heart of what Bürkert offers.
Around the world we are establishing more Systemhaus locations and investing in the infrastructure to support our customers globally.
The power in the philosophy behind this growth is in understanding customer needs and then creating, delivering and managing added customer value. Using our flexible manufacturing combined with our wealth of already proven products and system solutions - when teamed with a culture of innovation - we can continue to give our customers a competitive advantage.
In short, we want our customer to view Bürkert consultants as unique partners for fluid control systems that they specifically insist on. If you have any fluid control enquiries, contact Bürkert for expert advice.
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