The introduction of Amazon’s 2-day shipping has completely shifted consumer buying expectations. If speedy delivery options aren’t available, buyers may take their business elsewhere. Even though turnaround times are naturally longer in manufacturing, this expectation of expedited delivery is finding its way into the high-pressure marketplace.
To meet this market demand, many manufacturers are moving toward standardization – Haskel included. Below, Haskel team members Graham Fox, Jeff Sill, and Stevan Berry, the individuals leading this change, explain how this move will impact the market.
Standardizing the product sales and service model offers benefits to the manufacturer and the customer. For Haskel specifically, we’re focused on two key elements to better serve the market:
There is the obvious benefit of faster sales, production times and quicker implementation for the customer. In some cases, our team is expecting lead times to be reduced by 75% which is a significant number in the high-pressure industry. Standardization of high-pressure products comes with cost benefits too. It causes a move to volume product, which leads to reduced costs. The competitive advantage that comes with each of these benefits is what is driving many manufacturers towards standardization.
The model of meeting customer demands – and market demands – does change with this shift. With such aggressive lead times being sought, standardization gives customers the ability to basically ‘click and collect.’ Customers aren’t willing to wait around anymore. The same mindset that has taken over our personal buying expectations has really driven business buying habits in the same direction.
Manufacturers can no longer rely on traditional methods to sell products. If you don’t move forward, you’ll likely be obsolete.
The demand wasn’t there before, it’s grown significantly in recent years. The market hasn’t had to function like this and it’s a big shift. We’ll likely continue to see lead times shorten and those manufacturers who don’t break from tradition – whether it’s products or something from other areas of business – will be left behind.
At Haskel, there have been significant strides taken to meet these new market demands. Several of us are new to the team and bring different perspectives to the business. We’re all working to identify key opportunities in high-pressure equipment, looking for those ideas that will drive the business forward.
We’ve targeted our gas booster product line for the first move toward standardization. It’s one of our quickest moving product lines, so it was the ideal option for testing an approach. We’re not necessarily doing anything earth shattering, but we are simplifying the approach we take to our production model in a way that will allow us to align more closely to what the market now demands. Our team is working to offer customers more holistic solutions to specific needs, similarly to the automotive industry’s standardization of vehicle packages.
Internally, this move is going to require a culture shift. The engineered-to-order model will remain key to our business, but the way we approach certain product lines will require thoughtful transition into standardization. Communicating this value to customers will be an integral part of a successful transition as well. We’re looking forward to the opportunity to bring something new to the market.