To support our ambitious plans for growth, we regularly monitor industry trends, check progress against our strategic goals and identify emerging opportunities, including those for potential acquisitions. In doing so, we gain important insights into our company and its place in the world. But nothing drives our growth like understanding our customers and their world. That’s why we strive to develop truly collaborative, long-term relationships. It’s only through these relationships that we can fully understand a customer’s decision-making process or discover avenues to win new business with superior technology or service. Insights like these are a key part of reliable growth for Quaker. That’s why we pursue them every day.

BEING STRATEGIC ABOUT ACCOUNT MANAGEMENT IS WIN/WIN. There’s no doubt that strong and thoughtful account management produces measurable benefits for our customers. The better we know our customers, the better we can help them; and the more we grow our business. It becomes a virtuous circle—what’s good for our customers is good for Quaker, too.

Case in point: We were working with a bearing manufacturer at several sites. By making a concerted effort to build stronger ties and deepen our understanding of their business, we helped them improve operations and created a path to growth for Quaker. As a result, Quaker became a global supplier for coolants, honing oils and cleaners, won the company’s business in China and Brazil and expanded business in EMEA. Again and again, we have used this getting-close-to-customer approach to drive growth. For example, we leveraged our successful work with a global automaker in France to gain long-sought-after business with a Japanese automaker. And our work in die casting with Japanese components manufacturers has positioned us well for growth in the Asian automotive market.

BEING CLOSE GIVES US STAYING POWER. It’s a part of Quaker’s business model to get as close as possible to, if not embedded in, our customers’ production teams. Not only is this the best way to add value to the customers’ manufacturing processes, it gives us valuable insight into their challenges. What we learn from being so close gives us long-term staying power and plenty of opportunities for growth.

Today, almost every global manufacturer has its own company-specific, world-class production program. At Quaker, we’ve built a strong capability to work successfully within these platforms. And this has become a competitive advantage for us. When a global automaker trained its people on their production program, Quaker’s team trained alongside them. Now years into the relationship, we are conducting the training for the customer’s new team members and presenting audit results. And when the largest manufacturer of minivans in China (a US/China partnership) wanted to introduce a US-based platform there, Quaker was able to help by sending in people from the United States to transfer the knowledge. Because of our commitment, both these customers now see Quaker as a true partner in their growing businesses.