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Industrial Dampers - 1/2021

Sammet Sales team members Mr Mikko Ahonen, Mr Pertti Mehto, Mr Pekka Junkkarinen and Mr Joona Kakkonen. Photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola

Project process essentials: Part 1 - Enquiry to quote

Sammet is the global technology leader in industrial dampers. This prestigious position has been accomplished through investment in innovation, accumulated expertise and a strong commitment to understanding customer needs. The result has been the high quality products and services for which Sammet is renowned.  What is less conspicuous is the project process employed by Sammet which supports the customer journey from enquiry to delivery.  

In a new, three part series, Sammet shares its project process essentials and provides insight into what customers can expect when they choose to partner with Sammet. This series will be presented in three parts: 1) Enquiry to quote; 2) Sales to production; and 3) Delivery and after sales.  In this issue of the Sammet Review, the focus is Part 1 - Enquiry to quote.

 

It starts with the personal touch

When a project is conceived, finding the right supplier can help determine its success or failure. But filling in an enquiry form or sending an email to a potential supplier can sometimes be an impersonal and risky undertaking. Where will the query end up and what happens to it? Transparency about how a project moves from enquiry to delivery can cause consternation among potential customers, especially when there may be concerns about privacy and protection of intellectual property.

Sammet receives many enquiries involving high value, innovative projects. Enquiries about industrial dampers mostly relate to dampers that regulate and control air or flue gas flow, including for power and pulp boiler systems. Isolating dampers are also popular and they are typically used to isolate flue gas in scrubbers or filter gas flows – important for ship owners who are now required to adhere to strict emission targets. Mr Pertti Mehto, Sammet’s Sales Manager is quick to emphasise the importance his team places on providing the personal touch and confidentiality to all enquiries received. “These enquiries are linked to projects which provide the competitive advantage and profits of customers, so we treat them with the utmost care”, says Mehto.

“No matter how you contact us, there is always a real person on the other side of your enquiry”

Potential customers mostly make enquiries via email or by providing a request for quote (RFQ). Some customers upload their RFQ on their web portal and send Sammet an invitation and connection to that enquiry. Some potential customers want to discuss their needs over the phone or ask questions before formally asking for a quote. “Our team is trained to answer any questions customers have. The most popular question relates to the information needed to help create a quotation and we are always happy to help”, states Mehto. Where a customer has a contact within Sammet they can email their questions directly to that person. Otherwise, Sammet’s sales team is on standby to pick up emails received at the sales@sammet.fi address. “No matter how you contact us, there is always a real person on the other side of your enquiry”, Mehto confirms.

FEATURE 2 Pertti Mehto Sammet Review 1/2021

Mr. Pertti Mehto, Sales Manager at Sammet. Photo: Tero Takalo-Eskola.

Timing is everything

Customers say that what they value most during their interactions with Sammet is receiving a quote which includes a detailed break down of pricing based on exact specifications, in a timely manner.  Response times can vary greatly and depend on the level of urgency and scope of the RFQ. While simple enquiries can expect a response within a couple of hours, some customers state that they are willing to wait for up to four weeks. Sammet teams always works to meet any specific customer timelines. 


Mehto explains that before a formal quotation is provided, Sammet experts analyse the request. They identify what product best meets the stated need and consider the technical specifications. Delivery time is also assessed. More complex evaluations may require input from the Engineering and Quality Teams. When necessary, the Procurement Team is asked to provide their assessment of delivery lead time. “With production facilities in both Europe and China, customers have the option to accept delivery from either continent. Deliver source depends largely on timing and potential cost savings for the customer”, adds Mehto. 

 

Keeping the lines of communication open

Before a quote is finalised and agreed, Sammet and potential customers maintain open communication. The focus is on solving customer problems and finding appropriate solutions in partnership. “We like to keep potential customers informed and negotiate the final quote agreement in an open and transparent manner”, says Mehto. Depending on the circumstances, Sammet will speak with customers daily, once a week or once every two weeks depending on the status of the project. “We will continue communicating until details are clarified and we reach a consensus amongst the Sammet teams and with potential customers”, reiterates Mehto. Communication also occurs in written form. This helps keep track of the enquiry to quote process. A file is created for each potential customer, where all correspondence and details are collated. These customer files are used to produce the final documents which are provided to the customer at project completion.

“We will continue communicating until details are clarified and we reach a consensus amongst the Sammet teams and with potential customers”

With customers from over 80 countries, keeping the lines of communication open requires adapting to different cultures and languages. Since COVID-19, communication has through necessity, skewed away from face-to-face meetings to emails and online meetings. “We have adapted well to a COVID-19 world, but miss interacting with our customers and potential customers. All of us at Sammet cannot wait for the time when we can once again meet our customers face-to-face”, explains Mehto. He says that one of the joys of his role is working with a diverse range of people. “It is a personal pleasure to meet people from different backgrounds and learn from new cultures”, states Mehto. However, to avoid misunderstandings during all aspects of Sammet’s project process, the lingua franca adopted is English. 

Sammet’s quotation process is meticulous and collaborative. Mehto finds the work gratifying. “The most enjoyable aspect of working closely with people is the reward of winning the contract”, says Mehto with a smile. So what can customers expect when they accept a quote from Sammet? In the next issue of the Sammet Review, we explore Phase 2 of Sammet’s project process: Sales to production.

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