Original Date: 08/30/2004
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Customer Partnership
TOMAK Precision has redefined the way it does business by developing close working relationships with its customers. This relationship rewards the customer with a totally dedicated supplier that clearly focuses on their requirements, and rewards TOMAK Precision with a more diversified customer base and larger share in the marketplace.
In early 2002, TOMAK Precision aggressively started to redefine the way it did business by developing close working relationships with its customers. These relationships rewarded customers with a totally dedicated supplier that clearly focused on their requirements. TOMAK Precision was rewarded with a more diversified customer base and a larger share of the marketplace.
Prior to 2002, TOMAK Precision conducted business by filling customers’ orders that required extremely high tolerances (primarily in ball pistons and related components) with finishes to four micro inches and 50 millionths sphericity. Waiting for orders to come in was not guaranteed, especially in today's changing marketplace. Although TOMAK Precision had a history of superior performance, only filling orders to print was considered inadequate in developing new customers and reaching full market potential. Being in order-taking mode did not guarantee orders, and TOMAK Precision struggled to get new work. The company decided to restructure its growth path and offered its customers more than just the precision parts it had successfully produced for the past 49 years.
TOMAK Precision took a more aggressive approach at developing orders by establishing a Customer Partnership program. Building on its core strength of producing precision ball pistons, the company identified core competencies of precision machining and grinding, complex geometries and tough materials, problem solving, quality assurance, on-time delivery, and affordability. TOMAK Precision became ISO/AS accredited, then recognized that each customer had specific requirements and problems that needed to be solved, ultimately becoming a win-win relationship with its customers. As with any successful relationship, both partners must be well suited for each other. TOMAK Precision evaluates potential customers before making them a partner; this also allows the customer the opportunity to evaluate TOMAK Precision. TOMAK visits a potential customer, reviews and provides solutions to a problem part, provides samples of its work, and allows the customer to visit its facility to review the work. TOMAK Precision’s initial investment can reach $10K to $20K before a customer partnership is formed. However, within this framework, a close working relationship is being established, enabling TOMAK Precision to clearly focus on the requirements and deliver proven solutions to its partner in a timely and cost effective manner.
Through its screening and selection process, TOMAK Precision has partnered with four new companies that account for approximately 30% of the total work a goal in line with the company’s redefined business plan. The new customers are more diversified, extending to the medical industry, and a variety of other precision products are also being produced. TOMAK Precision expects to continue new Customer Partnerships long after the initial order and delivery of parts.
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