„Of the end product. When I see what has been created through our own craftsmanship: first we create the design on the computer - and then this is turned into something that people use every day.“
“I RELY ON IT. AND IT WORKS, TOO.”
Harry Schmidt in an interview on the subject of deadline coordination
Mr Schmidt, what was your most exciting project in 2014 and why?
The gym of the secondary school in Pforzheim was thrilling, for example. It really had everything: from normal steel railings right up to heavy plate steel railings. It was very extensive. I am also happy to make staircases. I am more an ordinary metal worker (grins), rather than a steel construction worker.
What irritates you in your work, what would you like to change?
Everything is getting faster. This was also the case earlier, but a phone call often provided an interruption. But now people want an offer for every little thing. For larger objects I think that is OK, but for the small ones I often have no real interest. Offers are made for the waste paper basket.
What typifies a good supplier for you?
Reliability is very important for us, because we work according to deadlines. We forecast the completion date. And when the manufacturer doesn't deliver, then we have to compensate.
How has the deadline pressure changed for you in recent years?
Things are getting more hectic. I try to plan and schedule deadlines to give time for the customer. Nonetheless, I am not always successful.
In how much of a rush are your customers?
Our customers are actually always in a rush. Above all, an architect or construction manager specifies a time and date that must be kept to.,come what may. To private people on the other hand, I might be able to say: "sorry, we have to put back the deadline," when someone is ill, for example. Private people are more flexible.
"70 percent of my orders are urgent, time pressure is therefore nearly always there. "
How do you deal with customers who want everything "yesterday"?
In no time at all the customer is somewhere else - I therefore simply try to find the best possible deadline or to win some time.
What proportion of your everyday work is taken up with short-term orders compared with long-term orders?
Strangely enough, it's always the case that everything has to be straight away. Many customers haven't had a railing or makeshift solution for over six months. When the metalworker then says it will take four weeks, many shrug. Most private people also save up beforehand - and when they then come to us they want it straight away. 70 percent of my orders are urgent, time pressure is therefore nearly always there.
To what extent do you profit from the MEVACO service that in-stock products are ready for dispatch within 24 hours and configured parts after a maximum of 4 days?
I consider it important to know there is a partner behind me whom I can trust and who delivers quickly. When a customer says: "I would like to have that within a week or I will go somewhere else" - then it is naturally ideal to go to MEVACO.
That means, you sometimes also win an order because you get material faster from MEVACO than from elsewhere?
Yes. I keep it in mind that I will receive it in 2-3 days. This also relieves pressure on me, because I know it will come so fast.
How important for you are the availability check in the online shop and the binding delivery deadline on the order confirmation? Do you use this for your own order planning?
Of course, it plays a role for me. I am not the kind of person who does this very often - the MEVACO online services are tremendous for me. Earlier I had to wait, for the fax. We also used the online shop earlier, but it has now even been updated - the services are really fantastic.
Do you often place orders with MEVACO "at the last minute"?
(Hesitates) At the last minute, no. But I count on it. And it also works.
How often do you order desired products?
Not very often up to now, occasionally.
"We also used the online shop earlier, but it has now even been updated - the services are really fantastic."
Are the 4-day delivery periods important for you?
It's possible to explain to customers that it takes a longer. But when I say it will be faster, then that goes down well with customers. So it often makes sense for me to use the fast delivery time.
Do you have a suggestion as to how MEVACO could provide you with even better support with scheduling your projects?
Also offer edge work. So that the plates are produced as finished products. Then we only have to fit them. In online terms MEVACO is already fairly good.
There is nothing else you want?
No, it's ideal.
What are you proud of in your work?