Sustainability and Innovation
Mark emphasised that it is the innovative products that solve problems for our customers and add value. The margins from the sales fund the next innovations so it is a sustainable cycle.
Paul adds that “A steady supply of innovative products that add value to the customer is crucial if we are to prevent our product range from becoming commoditised. A healthy product cycle includes products in all categories from Standard product, to production ready technology to innovative products. Employees don’t just benefit from jobs for the future – their work is interesting too.”
“Yes!” continues Mark “As you solve problems for customers with innovative products your solutions save them money and we earn fair margins for the value we provide. This commercialisation of new innovations increases our profits, which are in part reinvested in research and development. The reinvestment leads to new innovations and the cycle continues.”
Even when products are reaching the commodity stage of the life cycle, there are ways to develop profitable sales, “High quality product always attracts more sales, vertically integrated supply chain, manufacturing in low cost countries and providing a good level of support to our customers enables us to be successful with standard products too.” says Mark. Our core capabilities and our global footprint enable us to compete at all stages of the product cycle.
The Roadshows clarified that our technology roadmap is closely aligned with those of our customers. When it comes to adopting new technologies though, engine manufacturers will be cautious. We are confident that our variable flow technology will enable customers to achieve even higher levels of fuel efficiency more quickly than their current solutions. The Roadshows gave us the opportunity to address customers’ questions and concerns. We showed the added value our innovative products can bring so that they will be more confident to make the switch.
Customers are always more careful when considering new technologies, they are typically more expensive and the customer needs to be convinced – they don’t just want proof of concept but they need proof in validation – reliability and longevity in field. The future is about validation and closer working with customers’ design engineers to prove the new innovations deliver.
Paul concluded that for him the greatest benefit of the Roadshows is the deepening relationships with engineers at our customers and the increased number of contacts. Tom added that the opportunity to showcase our technology portfolio and understand where our technology needs to develop is also a major benefit. He said “If we come away understanding where the opportunities for the future lie, which developments are of greatest benefit to each specific customer and what currently excites them the Roadshow has been a success”. In doing so, we have promoted Concentric as a technology company with value added solutions that address their needs.
Mark closed by saying, “There are bigger pump and hydraulics systems suppliers out there but we showed how we can compete. For an organisation of our size, we surprised some our customers with our breadth of product, global footprint and capability. In fact one customer commented that we ‘punch above our weight’.” The Roadshows continue with customers throughout Europe. There are also opportunities to engage with potential new customers in developing markets like Asia – particularly with those manufacturers who have a reputation for being early adopters of technology.