To stay competitive, manufacturers continually seek higher outputs, tighter tolerances and faster machine speeds. They need to adapt to new materials and technologies, and at the same time, pursue ways to run leaner operations. That’s a lot of complexity, and to get the job done, it’s imperative that they collaborate with the right partners.
KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER EQUALS GROWTH. It’s not enough for us to be just another knowledgeable supplier. We have to be a partner that can collaborate seamlessly with our customers across the globe. As an example, when we developed a next-generation, proprietary coating for a manufacturer of gas and oil pipes, they wanted to implement it globally. The coating was a critical part of the company’s market positioning—to be known as a premium pipe manufacturer. And it was essential that every facility worldwide could manufacture to the same exact specifications. In other words, pipes shipped from Houston had to be identical in quality to those shipped from Qingdao, São Paulo, or any other location. With a goal to roll out the new coating to three continents—North and South America, and Europe—nearly simultaneously, they needed our help. Quaker quickly assembled a global team to work closely with the customer’s team. And our application engineer, who had been responsible for the start-up in Europe, worked in North America for several weeks to ensure the technology transfer went smoothly.
In another example, Quaker had rolling oil business with an aluminum manufacturer in the United States. However, the customer’s South America business seemed out of reach to us. A firmly entrenched competitor had handled their business for 20 years. Nevertheless, we remained in touch and continued to discuss our approach. In 2015, convinced that we would bring them innovative ideas, help them tap global best practices and reduce their overall costs, the aluminum manufacturer chose Quaker for a section of their mill in South America. By collaborating closely with the customer’s team, we reduced their costs by more than 20%. This success led to trials for Quaker in Switzerland and Korea and has opened discussions for other regions as well. Repeatedly, we find our strength in collaborating with customers helps us grow and thrive.
KNOW-HOW, WHEN AND WHERE YOU NEED IT. As a relatively small company that works with large global entities on complex and asset-specific problems, we’ve learned that our success relies on collaborating effectively among ourselves, 24/7. This is especially important in our business where there is great value in having firsthand, hands-on experience to make informed, accurate decisions. But we can’t all know everything. So, when a customer is faced with a problem, we tap our global team—some of the best chemists, process engineers and product managers in the industry.