Building reputable businesses that connect with others

For companies working in a fast-paced environment where clients expect equipment in short timeframes, there is a need for partnerships that provide the right solution, quickly. Miri Schroeter writes.

A particular reputation can result in failure or success. And in a world where many speak about negative experiences more than the positive ones they encounter, a company needs to hold a good name among industry. As a part of sustaining a reputable business, PwC stated in a survey – What drives a company’s success? – that companies were more likely to succeed if they had a clear understanding of their own business.

The survey shows that companies find it harder to understand their own strengths than to understand their customers. By knowing themselves well, and leveraging their distinctive strengths to build a clear identity, companies can outperform their peers. But many companies aren’t basing their strategies on this insight, the study found. In fact, companies have widely divergent views on how to develop strategy, despite evidence that a capabilities-driven approach delivers the best returns. Additionally, companies with a clear identity – standing for something unique and consistent over time – tend to perform better than others.

The survey, which included 720 participants, identified what people recognised as key strategies for success. The most important drivers of success of the world’s 105 largest companies include having a coherent business strategy where everything the company does points in the same direction. It also includes the importance of products and services perfectly fitting together and supporting a company’s value proposition.

Successful companies are also deemed to be agile, fast-moving innovators that stay one step ahead of challenges. Having a clear business strategy and a precedence to put customers’ requirements first, are some of the reasons engineering solutions company Agito chooses to work with ifm.

ifm sells sensors, safety systems, light curtains and other products to Agito so it can fulfil its projects, which include building conveyor systems, PLC control equipment and automation systems.

Agito managing director Michael Musca said he prefers to work with ifm because the ifm team is takes time to look at a company’s needs. “They care about us and they actually care about what they do. They answer the phone, they provide good services and they are invested in what we are doing.

“They need to understand what we are doing to be able to sell the right equipment to us. They make the right suggestions for new equipment they have because they know what we are about.

“That’s important because if you don’t know what’s available, you might just do what you’ve always done. Sometimes, for example, buying new products can be more cost effective,” said Musca.

He said ifm’s service and support differentiates them from companies that offer similar prodcuts. “They’ve got a good system in place to get the phone answered every time and the people care and are interested.”

Agito uses ifm’s AS-Interface (ASI) system, which allows devices to communicate. “It’s simple and the installation time is a lot less than other systems. We have halved the installation time.

“ifm supplys the network of controls to allow us to drive things. You don’t have to wire a single wire through a device. You add to it as well. That’s what I like about ASI – it’s always able to grow.

“Other systems can be more expensive,” said Musca.

Agito has used the ASI system for many applications including in food manufacturing facilities and in airport motor control systems. The ASI system includes inductive dual sensors for position detection on valve actuators, position feedback for single and double seat valves and for diaphragm valves, and inductive sensors for use in machine tools.

Agito builds specialty machines such as robotics or PLC control equipment. The company works predominantly in the food and beverage industry on projects such as conveyor systems for bakeries and soft drinks manufacturers.

“We build new equipment. We design it and decide which products to use. ifm’s products are easy to use, provided that people have a bit of training. Nothing is simple in electronics.”

While Agito trains its staff in- house, ifm is also able to provide training to customers. The company offers internal and external seminars and presentations about individual devices or whole product groups.

All documents about system documentation are also available as a download.