By Dave Brockway
Intelliquip’s European Sales Manager David Mullin and I recently made a road trip from Portsmouth on the southern coast of England to Glasgow, Scotland. We clocked nearly a thousand miles when all was said and done, visiting clients and prospects all along the way.
It was tiring and very invigorating at the same time. I get a kick out of touring fluid handling equipment plants. I am always intrigued by the common appearance of the core products being produced, yet, I also marvel at the distinct workflows, methods and processes used by different manufacturers.
Some of these variations are influenced by the size and breadth of the company. Some trace back to the natural resources, government rules and culture of the plant’s home country or region. And what’s even more fascinating is the nearly desperate drive by many global corporations to make uniform products using uniform manufacturing and sales practices no matter the geographic location of their plants.
I call it the Krispy Kreme Dream. Executives of all global companies in our industry niche ask “Why can’t we make one product throughout the world and make it the same way everywhere? Why can’t we market and sell it the same way in Europe as in Japan? Why can’t we be like, like Krispy Kreme Doughnuts?”
Well, first, a few facts about Krispy Kreme. They started serving their amazing doughnuts in 1937 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and their products are now sold in 24 countries around the world. Their menus are NOT the same the world over. As one might expect, they make regionally-inspired treats, like Mud Cakes in Australia, Cute Bear Puffs in South Korea or Cheesecake Con Fresa in Puerto Rico.
Some of these look pretty tasty.
However, their “iconic Original Glazed” doughnut just celebrated its 80th birthday in July, 2017 and it appears that these “bites of joy” are, indeed, the same the world over. Their website maintains that their secret recipe was bought eight decades ago from a New Orleans chef and has remained unchanged ever since, standardized by uniform equipment, pre-mixed dough and detailed preparation manuals.
But does it really taste exactly the same in Tokyo as it does Topeka? How can we be sure?
It might be fun to find out.
My take-away and advice to global fluid handling equipment makers? Wake up! Wake up! It’s just a dream. The complexity of CTO and ETO equipment, along with the fact that if improperly applied it could injure of even kill you, make it ripe for local government and industry standards and regulations.
Maybe, like Krispy Kreme, there are certain parts or processes that are uniformly incorporated across your branded products. Protect your secret recipes to the extent you can. But, most likely, you will need to continue to respond to unique regional requirements with unique methods and products.