What’s Best for the Customer?
Tim Thiessen 08.12.2022
When Okuma made the decision about how to deliver products and services in the Americas, our first thought was “what’s best for the customer”? For more than 40 years now, we’ve partnered with independent distributors to sell and support our products. And we continue to feel, perhaps now more than ever, that this serves the best interests of our customers in a variety of ways.
Feels Like Family
When I look at the mission, vision, and values of our distributors’ organizations, I see a lot of alignment with our own here at Okuma. For example, we share an emphasis on a family-centric environment (you can see just a few of our distributor family members in the photo above). Many of our distributors’ companies were started by a family member and are still run by family today.
Okuma’s rich heritage began with the spirit of innovation spearheaded by our founder, Eiichi Okuma back in 1898. And even after more than a century of growth and innovation, our company still feels like family – in fact, many of us at Okuma America have been together for 30 or 40 years.
Loyalty and Stability Over Time
Our family-centric culture can contribute to employee retention, which is increasingly important in today’s competitive workforce environment. We take care of employees like family, through good times and bad, and this creates loyalty and a sense of stability over time. This approach has served us especially well as we banded together and navigated the extensive disruption brought on by the pandemic.
First and Foremost: Ensure Our Customers’ Success
I think sometimes there’s a prevailing notion in the marketplace that machine tool salespeople are singularly focused on earning a commission check, and closing the sale is more important than finding a well-suited equipment solution (playing the “long game”). However, in the culture shared amongst Okuma and our distributors, the absolute last thing we ever want to do is sell someone a product that they really don’t need, or that might not perform in the way that’s required to support their business.
Our vision is first and foremost to ensure a customer’s success with a machine tool purchase and watch the growth that can come from that. This is the type of scenario that results in additional orders over time, and we see this quite frequently.
Our vision is first and foremost to ensure a customer’s success with a machine tool purchase.
What’s Best for the Customer is Best for All of Us
To operate in this manner requires a certain amount of passion – passion to serve customers, and passion to serve our industry. On a daily basis, Okuma’s passion becomes the fuel for our fires, and it really is quite noticeable in our people. This is where our mission comes into play, “We passionately pursue a customer for life.” Because...what’s best for the customer is best for all of us.