Consistency – The Key to Business Success
Consistency isn’t flashy or bragged about in our age of instant gratification. But it’s exactly what you need to thrive and set yourself apart in competitive business conditions. I caught up with Karl-Heinz Kluwetasch, Owner and Manager Director of CSK, who credits his CADSTAR PCB Design Software Distributor of the Year 2015/2016 win to a combination of consistent support, customer contact through roadshows, and superior training all under one roof.
What has the business climate been like for you in the past few years?
In Germany we have a couple of sectors that are really strong at the moment – automotive is as strong as ever, and defence and renewable energy are also good. On the other side, consumer products are rather weak. We’re struggling with the same factors as many other companies in Germany from the phenomenon of German companies being bought out by Chinese companies and moving manufacturing to China, while only retaining the engineers. We’ve particularly noticed this over the past 18 months. But on the positive side, I’ve also seen several companies return back to Germany from China because of better business conditions.
This means that we’re placing a lot of emphasis on making sure our existing customers are well looked-after.
What’s your business set-up like?
CSK operates out of offices in Kiel and has a total of seven staff, all of whom have been with the company for a long time. My office is in my house, which gives me a great work-life balance.
Has your interaction with customers changed since the growth in communication technology?
We’ve talked a lot about consistency, but this is one area that has changed a lot over the past five years. I used to clock up to 70,000 km per year driving to see customers. But now I use online meetings as much as I can so I keep my mileage down to around 25-35,000 km – which is much more manageable.
Training by webinar is one of the biggest changes in the last eight years or so – it’s how I spend a large chunk of my time now. I do a lot of consultancy during a company’s design development phase and I can carry out training via my webcam in manageable chunks. I also make lots of training movies for users to view at their own pace. With less time spent travelling I can give customers much more of my attention.
How did you feel to find out you were CADSTAR Distributor of the Year 2015/2016?
We were very pleased to win this award. Our many years of experience allows us to provide our customers the best possible ongoing support, and our customers always appreciate the continuous development of the CADSTAR software. We are delighted with the deep and trusting relationship we have with our customers, so this success confirms that we are on the right track.
How’s your schedule looking for 2017?
Despite the benefits of online meetings, you can’t beat face-to-face contact and I maintain a hectic schedule of roadshows to meet current and prospective customers. We have 20 roadshows lined up for 2017, with eight of those purely for CADSTAR.
I use these roadshows as an opportunity to tell people about IPC-7351, how it’s important to achieve PLM connectivity and online connectivity, with single button updating. CADSTAR is unique in being an open system, so it offers unparalleled connectivity opportunities.