Assembly outsourced: “Customer trust is very important”

Assembly outsourced: “Customer trust is very important”

“Customers who show an interest in outsourcing assembly have often studied their own production and concluded that it is too unwieldy or too expensive. We then like to make an inventory of how far they have progressed in their decision-making.”

Hein Rommers is responsible for field sales at Multifix, he likes to talk to customers about strategic decisions such as outsourcing their assembly. Which in practice means listening: “I like to tell customers about what we can do for them, but it is more important to identify their needs. What are they looking for? And can we supply that? Therefore, I need to know what the underlying theme is: a problem, need, or something else? We will then describe our solution in a proposal.”

Are your talks with customers becoming more strategic?

“The market is increasingly demanding partnerships and added value, as we can see from the success of Multifix Assembly. This development also fits well with what we have established as a strategy. Our ideal customers are OEMs with their own product, who are looking for a specialist who is good at the combination of metal, plastic and electronics. Many buyers are only concerned with the lowest prices, at the OEMs there is a new generation of buyers who look at the long term. This way, you get a greater interdependence with each other, so you will eventually agree on the price.”

“As Multifix, we have to make a good inventory of what the customer needs are, in order to understand what the main theme is. Is the outsourcing already decided upon? Which products? And what term? But also with which possible parties they want to outsource, and what expectations they have of this. Just hands or the entire supply chain? We can then offer the right custom solution, which is financially interesting for both.”

That sounds like a lot of work?

“This inventory takes a lot of time, but it is also extremely important. On the one hand for a higher chance of success in the transfer of work to colleagues, but also because of the burden on your internal organization: you have to be sure that it has a chance of success before you involve colleagues. I try to estimate this well in advance.”

“But if we agree with the customer, I will involve colleagues as soon as possible who will do the work later. Not so much in the inventory phase, but from the application phase. Once the deal is done, the transfer will go faster and smoother. When handing over the project, I do not want any noise on the line. I prefer that my colleagues have already had contact with the customer.”

“Customers often want me to stay involved. After all, the relationship you have built remains of value. Customers also keep approaching me, especially when something is wrong, and that is no problem. I always want to develop further with customers, which is also a reason to stay involved.”

How long have you been at Multifix?

“I have been working at Multifix for 21 years now, before I was an advertising salesman and branch manager of a copy shop. I had known founder Arthur Burgmans and my current boss Arno Heesters for some time, but I came in through a vacancy.”

“I started at Multifix as a field salesman, at the time only in fasteners because we once started with that. Over the years, the Multifix package has developed and so have I. The market for fasteners is a real fighting market, fortunately Multifix decided quite soon after my arrival to expand the range with the production of customer-specific parts in China.”

“From that moment on, I was also allowed to start selling the products of the new Multifix Special Products division, an interesting expansion of the package and market opportunities. At the customer side I started talking more often to the purchasing manager, because outsourcing involves strategic decisions. With the arrival of Multifix Assembly, assembly has also been added to the package, which contains a lot more in terms of market possibilities and conversation content. And now that our management has set their vision and mission as a dot on the horizon, I feel that I also want to be part of it.”

So life is good for you at Multifix?

“My conversations with customers are increasingly more strategic and I really enjoy that. Raking orders with discounts has nothing to do with strategy. Outsourcing of assembly is a strategic problem, so it gives a good feeling when you can bring it to a successful conclusion.”

“We are a financially strong company and have made the right choices within our sector. We are also not finished yet, new opportunities are added continuously. The development from price to concept sales makes the work interesting for me, it is not strange that I have been working at Multifix for so long. I grow with the company.”

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