Treat customers as the ultimate partners

Posted on May 20, 2011 :: Insight on Business, Web Exclusive.
Posted by of Insight Publications

For many manufacturers, the most important partnerships are those with your customers, according to participants at a partnership panel at Tuesday’s Manufacturing Matters! conference in Milwaukee.

One of the panelists, Mohit Uberoi, president of De Pere-based MEGTEC Systems, a manufacturer of engineered systems for markets including printing and battery manufacturing, says his team focuses on understanding customer requirements, using “opportunity analysis” meetings in which people from multiple disciplines meet with the customer to discuss how to develop the right equipment, services, or supporting technology.

“It’s a customer intimate business model,” Uberoi says. “We develop these relationships, determine customer needs, and then go out and try to determine … how we can get some additional products or technologies to sell to our customers.”

This customer-centric approach has taken MEGTEC down various paths, says Uberoi. At times, the best path was an acquisition, with others, a more conventional partnership, or in some cases, an OEM agreement with another equipment maker who markets the product but pays MEGTEC a fee for each machine sold, says Uberoi. The approach has steadily diversified MEGTEC’s product line well beyond its initial technology for drying systems used in the printing industry.

One other tip from Uberoi: don’t overlook services opportunities, especially if you make large, complex equipment. “If you have a deep relationship with a customer, I think that’s a great opportunity to sell other products and services. So you work with them [customers] to understand what those other services would be.”

To read more about MEGTEC, click here to read the February Insight cover story.

–By Roberto Michel