Getting closer to the customer
“Naturally we want to offer better and better service all the time,” says Marketing Director Sami Packalénabout Stalatube’s future. “And the better we know our customers, the better we can serve them. We continuously strive to be closer to the customer,” he adds.
Stalatube has been keeping its customers satisfied for 40 years. This has required continuous development, listening closely to the customer, and constantly coming up with ideas about how we can serve them even better.
Two trends are strongly steering the development: the first concerns bringing improved logistical solutions and warehousing management tools to distributors, and the second involves working together with distributors to supply end users with increasingly tailored and refined products.
Both paths of development indicate that the goal is to avoid having raw materials sit around in storage throughout the chain. Stalatube has both of these issues covered. The professionals working on theprocessing line in Jokimaa can tailor just about anything according to the customer’s specifications, from the smallest components to the largest, pre-welded units.
Although the operations currently focus mostly on the customer’s precise drawings, Stalatube is eager to increasingly take advantage of its own engineering know-how.
“We aim to deliver more ready-made orders. We can, for example, laser-cut fasteners on the ends of tubes to facilitate assembly or we can load packages onto separate pallets and number the parts so that the customer can assemble the product just like a piece of IKEA furniture,” reckons Packalén.
“This, of course, requires that we know what the end-use application is. Improving the transparency of the delivery chain is, in fact, of crucial importance to our development,” he points out.
Transparency would increase Stalatube’s opportunities to advise customers in, say, materials choices.
“Once we know the application area, we can think about the most suitable material for it. Lean duplex, for example, has become a standard material alongside austenitics. It has a lower nickel content, but its greater durability and corrosion resistance bring cost savings and make it suitable for a wide range of applications.
”Services designed for the management of wholesalers’ warehousing are also a target for further development, although the currently employed concepts have been able to guarantee fast lead times and reliable deliveries. This enables the customers to run their stock with less buffer stock and higher turning rate.
With existing extranet services customers are able to track deliveries and check out the material situation in Stalatube’s warehouse.
“The next step could be tracking system that allows us to ensure the sufficiency of goods without the need for separate orders and to complement the customer’s inventory automatically when certain limit values have been reached,” explains Packalén.
Although the expectations placed on technology will be high in future, the company is not willing to sacrifice personal contact with the customer.
“The personal touch has been part of Stalatube’s strategy since day one, and that is something we want to hold on to.Nowadays there are good support tools for maintaining relationships. We want to take advantage of such opportunities,” Packalén sums up.