Makino’s motto is “quality first”. This is how a Japanese high-end machine tool manufacturer been able to underline this market perception for over 80 years. At Makino Europe Consulting and Sales our mission is to bring the extraordinary products developed by Makino to our European customers. But what drives a sales engineer?
1. The desire to gain a customer’s confidence
2. Knowing how a customer will profit from buying a Makino product
To fulfil these two major requirements, it is absolutely necessary to clearly understand a customer’s needs and the market requirements. One mandatory requirement to create a close, strong bond with the customer to understand their genuine needs.
At Makino we are organized by business segment. We are dedicated to a specific segment and this focus allows us to grow our know-how with regard to market needs and to offer the most suitable solution for each customer.
We know that is impossible for a manufacturer of moulds for general goods to have the same production requirements as one dedicated to the aluminium die-casting of automotive components. The processes, material flows, machine operators and company structures change dramatically when we move from one company to another.
Makino does not have a bulk targeting strategy; we target specific producers after performing in-depth market research and building up long-term relationships with these stakeholders. Sometimes it takes years to create the necessary level of intimacy with a customer so that in-depth, honest exchanges are possible; but this is the only way to come up with the best possible solution to meet their production requirements.
Dedicated machine tool design for the market
We are not a universal machine manufacturer; we create dedicated products for specific market niches that go the extra mile in performance terms. Over time, this has enabled us to build up a very extensive product portfolio to cover manufacturers’ needs in very different fields.
The question can never be whether a specific machine is capable of producing a particular part. The answer will often be an easy yes. The correct question is whether a specific machine is suitable for producing the part in a specific customer environment. All the machines in the Makino portfolio can produce the vast majority of parts. But at Makino we are not talking about simply cutting a component. The end-user needs a solution to produce the part – a solution that fulfils their needs and maximises their profitability.
We frequently observe the same parts with the same quality, the same price and the same delivery time on the market. Thanks to the relationships we have with customers and our market expertise we know that every part is made by a totally different process that depends on the company’s structure, culture, workflow, employee skills, etc.
Intimacy leads to customer success
To lead a project to a successful conclusion we therefore need to have gained a customer’s confidence so that all these points are clearly understood. When we have reached this stage, we are in a position not only to provide a suitable answer to a widely distributed RFQ, but also to offer unexpected solutions through our applications engineers.
As a sales engineer at Makino being capable of in-depth technical-economic analysis and determining which machine is the right one together with all the relevant options, features and associated training are mandatory requirements. Taking all these key points in consideration will lead a customer to a very profitable investment and result in long-lasting partnerships with our customers, which bring Makino a lot of repeat orders.