The Next Generation - Sammet NG 3-Way Dampers
Growing in strength - 2/2021

Mr Arto Korhonen, Engineering Manager at Sammet. Photo Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Project process essentials: Part 2 - Sales to production

Sammet is the global technology leader in industrial dampers. Through investment in innovation, accumulated expertise and a strong commitment to understanding customer needs, Sammet has established a reputation for high quality products and services. What is less obvious is the project process employed by Sammet throughout the customer journey, starting from enquiry and ending in delivery. 

In a three part series, Sammet shares its project process essentials, providing insight into what customers can expect when they choose to partner with Sammet. In this issue of the Sammet Review, the focus is Part 2 – Sales to production.

 

Moving forward

The previous issue of Sammet Review explored what customers can expect from the moment they make an enquiry to receiving a quote for the final product. In this issue, the focus turns to how a quote moves through the sales to production phase.

At Sammet, the sales team is always available to take enquiries and offer a quote that satisfies the customer. After the customer accepts the quote, the project progresses to the design team and allocated a work number in the ERP system. All relevant documents created during the enquiry to quote phase, are labelled with this unique work number and placed in a customer file. By this time, a specialist project manager has been assigned to the project. This manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of design and production, before items are ready for delivery to the customer.

Every aspect of the project management is meticulously planned. Every team member knows exactly what needs to be done. Once familiar with project details, the project manager works to bring the product to life through design. The project manager and design team prepare dimensional drawings, which are sent to the customer for approval.  The procurement department is instructed to source the necessary materials and components. Final customer approval is the signal that the final design can be sent to the production team. In large projects, products can be manufactured inseveral locations.

In safe hands

Procurement of industrial dampers requires substantial investment by customers. Finding a suitable supplier is a time-consuming and rigorous activity. Sammet customers know they are in safe hands as soon as they make their first enquiry. Mr Arto Korhonen, Engineering Manager,  says customers have stated they appreciate the care Sammet takes in listening to their needs, maintaining confidentiality, delivering high quality products and being able to access Sammet personnel whenever they need. “This type of customer feedback is what makes my role fulfilling. Working with brilliant people and getting things done together are the most enjoyable parts of my role”, says Korhonen.

Sammet Dampers Oy - Arto Korhonen

"Working with brilliant people and getting things done together are the most enjoyable parts of my role”, says Arto Korhonen..

As engineering manager, Korhonen oversees design and product development. He has over 15 years of experience with damper design and understands the technical aspects of production as well as the project management side. Korhonen’s role is extensive and involves budgeting, strategy development and implementation, resourcing, and co-ordinating activities with other teams. To do this, Korhonen keeps the lines of communication wide open. Each project is closely monitored and updates are shared with the project, procurement and manufacturing teams, as well customers. If customers request changes to their order, this will be discussed with the sales teams and the information flows through accordingly. Attention to detail is essential for translating all requests into exact, product specifications.  “I also continually assess how activities impact the final delivery and prices. We all work together and notify each other of any and all changes. Customers can be safe in the knowledge that we are constantly talking about their projects and taking care that everything is running smoothly. They are at the centre of all we do”, Korhonen states.

"Customers can be safe in the knowledge that we are constantly talking about their projects and taking care that everything is running smoothly"

Communication is clearly key to Sammet’s effective sales to production phase. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way businesses connect with customers, their teams and supply chains. Sammet has adapted well and relies on video, telephone and email to keep the lines of communication open. But everyone is keen to resume face-to-face visits as soon as possible. “Our customers tell us they miss being able to visit manufacturing sites to view the progress of their orders. We miss interacting with each other”, Korhonen reveals. With a sigh he adds, “I miss seeing people face-to-face. Contact is important. While video conferencing keeps information flowing, there is a lack of spontaneity and connection that can only occur when someone is standing in front of you”.

Keeping track

Korhonen receives weekly progress reports from the manufacturing teams. In addition, Sammet regularly undertakes its own inspections to monitor progress and quality.  When the products are completed, the project leader participates in a final inspection. Documentation is a key feature of the sales to production phase. “Whether it is a final inspection report, changes to orders or customer queries, all relevant information gathered throughout the process is clearly documented and placed in the project file for everyone’s reference”, Korhonen explains.

Project documentation is so integral to the project process that a team member is tasked with ensuring all technical, quality control and other relevant documents are created and collated. These documents are all uploaded into the ERP system and ready to share with the customer upon project delivery.

 

Play imitates work

Korhonen's purchasing decisions are often related to his leisure hobbies. He likes to hunt and fish. When making his own personal, purchasing decisions Korhonen meticulously plans and researches his products. Taking a similar approach to Sammet customers, he carefully considers all the options before deciding which product to buy. After that, Korhonen considers quality, price and country of manufacture to assess delivery time. Expert service is extremely important to him. “Hunting and fishing are fantastic in the winter but you need the right kind of equipment to maximise its rewards”, he says with a smile.

What happens once a product is ready? What is included in Sammet's after-sale services? These are discussed the next issue of Sammet Review when the last part of the project management process is explored: Part 3 – Delivery and after sales.

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