I was in Larsen & Toubro with the switchgear division and in charge of Materials Department at their Madh Works unit. Larsen & Toubro was a leader in switchgear. I have made a very small contribution to the initiative taken up by L & T but the major ones were in Marketing and Design. My contribution was in terms of locating the source that could manufacture and supply electrical graded brass cold forgings. Electrical graded brass forgings were made on electrically driven friction presses.
Going back to Marketing, they were responsible for identifying the market share of contactors who could contribute to the increase by almost 5%, provided they were able to supply to E.O.H. Crane manufacturers. At present the Company is not able to supply to the crane manufacturers because of the design aspect and since the E.O.H crane manufacturers were importing the contactors. Technically, L & T was capable of manufacturing the said contactor.
The Design department of switchgear was entrusted with the task of redesigning the contactor with brass cold forgings. They took some time to do the job. Initial trials for cold forgings on the friction press were developing cracks. After spending sufficient amount of time on the trial manufacturing, it was concluded by all technical people concerned that the cracks were developing and thus required a design improvement. The redesigning task was again given to the Design department.
The Design department modified the design and there after forgings were produced which were crack free. The contactors were assembled with the modified brass forgings and the marketing department was able to do their job of supplying the contactor to E.O.H manufacturers.
The company benefited a lot in the whole process. The market share increased by 3.7% bringing the total to 38.4%. L & T kept its leadership intact by leaping up another 3.7%. Consumption of Brass terminals was reduced by weight. 6.7 cores was added to the bottom line of the Madh switchgear unit. The terminals were out sourced as cold forgings instead of in-house power presses consuming Brass flats.
Moral : There are ALWAYS opportunities to grow. Companies which can identify and execute on these opportunities are the ones which succeed and grow.