A conversation with Oliver Ruetz, sales manager at Quarzwerke.
1. What does the corona crisis mean for Quarzwerke?
Our areas, such as the foundry and partly glass, are particularly hard hit. The shutdown of many of our customers in April due to production stops in the automotive industry has dramatically reduced the need for our sands in the past two months. Many foundries are operating day-to-day, which means that we can hardly plan for the following month.
2. What has changed?
First of all, there are currently no customer visits. We also cannot receive guests, whether at the factory or at trade fairs. It will show how and how often our customers will be received in the future.
Communication is now going digital. We use video conferencing and significantly more emails. But good old telephone sales are also experiencing a real renaissance. It is important that our customers can reach their contacts immediately.
3. How does sales department adjust to this?
In addition to maintaining the customer relationship, the tasks of our sales department are primarily to identify the changing needs of our customers and to propose solutions. For example, with the assembly of our sands in Haltern, a customer is given the opportunity to meet changed conditions with optimized screening lines.
Here we make suggestions and procure good logistics concepts. But the reference to stable sieve lines and constant chemistry is always part of the luggage when talking to the customer. It is important to us that the quality of the first delivery is as good as that of the last.
4. What do customers value about Quarzwerke?
The network of the Quarzwerke locations offers our customers access to equivalent qualities. In many applications, customers appreciate the feeling of security when quartz movements from independent locations can produce alternative products.
Quarzwerke operates rail loading operations at many of these locations. More and more customers are looking for this environmentally friendly logistics alternative in order to use truck transport only for the last few kilometers. Modern supply chain systems, such as intermodular transport or rail handling with silo storage in the customer region, are being used more and more frequently.
5. What are your plans for the future?
We want to listen more. We want to take good ideas from our customers and process them into products and services so that the customer and ultimately we can continue to grow.
And: we are looking for success with logistics. This does not mean to earn more with transports, but rather we want to convince customers to use better and more valuable products with intelligent logistics.