Mike Galinac (left) on the shop floor at GTI
I visited GTI Precision this past Friday - what an amazing shop. The owner, Mike Galinac, is committed to quality and it shows. At GTI, eveything is laser-focused on providing the highest quality experience for its customers. Every detail - its machines, its parts bins, its tooling, training - is pursued with customer experience in mind.
By taking this approach, GTI attracts the kinds of customers that value this level of precision and quality. GTI doesn't bother with - and it avoids - customers that focus primarily on price. (Read this story about GTI at MMS Online.)
Make says this wasn't the easy path, but it's a whole lot easier in this spot because competition isn't as fierce and customer relationships are more lucrative.
To explain it further, Mike shared a story with me the general conditions in many other small- and mid-sized manufacturers he deals with. And it might help you - so here goes.
According to Mike, most machine shops continue to pursue work and customers in traditional ways, focusing making chips rather than customers and innovations that will make them more attractive to higher-functioning prospects. His description of their approach was a tongue-in-cheek comment:
"QA program? Our quality system is when the customer doesn't call to us tell us the parts are wrong."
What kind of customers do you think this approach will attract? What sort of customer experience do you think that strategy delivers? I don't think it's unreasonable to assume that anyone like this is gonna find his business marginalized - if he hasn't already.
Embrace change. Obsess on the customer. Differentiate yourself from your competition. Pick a lofty postition, and invest in the technology to make it happen.
Be like Mike. It may not be the easiest approach, but it beats the alternative.