Reflections on 4 years of operational enhancements at TECTRA Ltd

Reflections on 4 years of operational enhancements at TECTRA Ltd

25 November, 2023 3 min read
continuous improvement, branding, operational excellence

As the end of the year approaches and a review of this year of TECTRA Ltd’s performance becomes possible, it’s great to see that the various operational improvements of the past 4 years seem to culminate in the best year the company has had since 2016 (4 years before 2020 vs. 4 years since 2020).

It is alluring to attribute this to “the one” specific factor or change/improvement, but in truth it’s due to a whole bunch of things, and certainly not in a “revolutionary” manner. No “transformation” or such BS, but simply looking at the entire business, identifying operational bottlenecks and opportunities for improvement, and gradually relieving them or grasping them, correspondingly.

Call it “TOC”, “Lean”, or “Digital”; call it “Giorgos” or “Maria”, for all I care. Nobody cares about the label; neither we, nor the customers, nor our suppliers.

Everyone cares about what they see and experience as tangible improvements, end-to-end, both inside the company and outside of it, such as:

  • how we respond to customers,
  • how well we are versed in doing business in the volatile Greek market,
  • how we understand customer needs and turn them into recommendations for specific sets of equipment by WAMGROUP brands, Fike Corporation and CIMMA SpA,
  • how we say “no” to some customers’ ill-informed selection of solutions and counter-propose solutions that we know get the job done,
  • how we turn these into offers with competitive pricing,
  • how we provide documentation that the customer can refer to years down the road,
  • how we communicate the progress/status of an order supported by digital means,
  • how we adapt to supply-chain surprises,
  • how we are able to retrieve information for spare parts about equipment sold 20+ years ago, etc.

I think that this is what Howie Chan and Martin Zarian (the two people I follow on branding) would consider to be “building a brand”, or at the very least maintaining/defining/updating it.

And, you know what? After having spent 10+ years abroad in corporate environments where every idea, even a trivial one, becomes The Next Big Thing…

…there is no silver bullet; there’s only the continuous openness to make everyone’s work (customers’ included) easier, faster, and with fewer opportunities for errors by and for everyone involved.

Every change has so far delivered a marginal benefit, and none of them is groundbreaking by itself; after all, the company is 30+ years old and its processes were always simple and effective.

In fact, most changes are entirely mundane, at least by the measuring stick of a large and lumbering corporation that takes ages to go from idea to trying things out.

Regardless of which of those can be credited most with 2023’s success, it’s the sum total of them over 4 years that has brought this about:

More and more-sophisticated SKUs for more customers, some also in new (for us) industry segments, served faster, and with way less time spent by us on non-value-added work.

And there’s still a lot more to do! 🙂