Competence required in relationship management, urges engineering boss

PrecisionEng300The boss of a prototype and production engineering firm has warned that for smaller engineering companies “detail, control, focus and being able to manage a system of engineering activity so that the outcome can be clearly determined are at the heart of the very work itself”.

Gerald Balk, managing director of Emerald Precision which specialises in CNC milling and turning,  believes that although competitive advantage in a crowded marketplace presented a similar challenge to all smaller precision engineering companies, relationship management was an area that smaller engineering companies need to become competent in.

He says that although it is easier to understand the importance of quality as a differentiating factor in building a competitive edge, it is “less immediately obvious how important the relationship itself between supplier and customer is or how to achieve it”.

He continues: “For a precision engineering company, maintaining a consistently high quality of work, and having high quality systems and customer service are actually important parts of managing a good business relationship that ultimately leads to customer retention.”

Balk says his own company carries out all work in-house, investing in machinery and people as well as working to achieve ISO certification in a bid to achieve ultimate excellence.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.

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About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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