Succeeding in global markets

Rockwell Automation’s Manufacturing Perspectives 2004, held October 26 in Orlando, FL, included a breakout panel discussion titled “Managed Locally—Manufactured Globally.”

Among those on the panel was Rodrigo Sanchez, executive vice president of Masipack, a Brazilian manufacturer of baggers and other packaging equipment. He shared these thoughts on how to succeed in packaging machinery export markets around the world.

• Demand for more intelligent packaging equipment is clearly a trend. Large firms require it for a multitude of reasons, but small firms are equally interested because their ability to absorb inefficiencies and still stay solvent is limited. This new breed of equipment must not only record how much product is being wasted during packaging, how much film is used, and other key performance indicators. It must also be capable of making such data readily accessible to top levels of management in some automated fashion without any need for time-consuming programming efforts.

• Don’t let the distance that separates you from a market become a liability. Masipack has a laser cutting system in its machine shop to help customize solutions that might be required at the last minute. It permits shipment on time even when there are surprises right before a machine is due to be shipped.

• “In each country we enter, we have an agent and at least one technical support person. We also standardize as much as possible on pneumatics, controls, electrical parts. This makes it easier to service or maintain machines no matter where we go.”

• “We don’t charge extra for rush orders. We evaluate an order when it comes in. If we don’t think we can take it on, we don’t.”

• “We assign a password to each customer, so a history of that customer comes up whenever he contacts us. When was the last time they bought spare parts? What service have they had lately? We’re also putting cameras on our plant floor so a customer can see over an Internet connection exactly how his particular machine is coming along on our assembly line.”

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