With the construction ricovery, Ascensores Cóndor not only increases its advice and its sale throughout the country. The Company is also constantly being reconverted with new products and attractive proposals for elevator operators. The certification, creativity and competitiveness are in their current agenda.
The new mortgage loans argentinian Banks are offering have been a factor that has an important influence in the construction of new housing and that arouses great optimism in the directors of the Company, who constantly receive requests for advice for new projects.
The growth of the field makes 2017 and the years to come to be very auspicious for Ascensores Cóndor, whose production goes 50% inside the Argentina. Misiones, Neuquén – where they have a lot of movement in several large buildings of more than 15 floors-,Puerto Madryn, Comodoro Rivadavia, Tucumán are provinces and cities where Cóndor Elevator Kits have had an exponential growth in their sale and represent a large percentage of the elevator market.
The changes Condor shows, although are influenced by the economic reality changes, have a lot to do with inner organizational changes, with ways of working and with a planned project of measures that greatly benefit the company. But first let’s talk about the quality of the products.
Three months and a half ago Cóndor obtained the ISO 9000 Certfication which consists of a series of standards inherent to quality and continuous quality administration, which is applied to organizations, whatever their nature, devoted to the production of goods and services. Santiago Sol, head of Manufacturing in Cóndor, was responsible for this certification and explained that “Certification is carried out on the process which is a flow that starts with the purchase of inputs, and includes sale, the comercial área, how the document stuff is implemented, and how the manufacturing and the dispatch are carried out until the customer satisfaction. All the areas are thoroughly analyzed. Santiago gives us an example very interesting so to understand the accuracy that processes should have: what kind of measuring tape do we use to cut the sheet? If two operators used tapes belonging to different brands it could be a difference between them that cause an error. And if it is one, what would we do with it? Do we keep records of it?
How is it documented?, where does the material go?, is it reproccesed?, is it reused? The Certication process lasted one year and 5 months until obtaining it, and a bit more to obtain the logo. But before we get on with the Standard, we had started with a continuous improvement job to achieve it. We started with tidy up and cleaning and doing things that are not visible to the naked such as restructuring of job positions, analysis for the use of materials and to ensure that there was a good flow of them so to avoid idle time, all of which produces increased costs, untidiness and other inconveniences. All this helped in the improvement of the image of the Company. When we achieved order and neatness we put ourselves to work to achieve the ISO Standards. For this we had to adapt a lot of documentation, we passed several audits, and we achieved the initial certification: the ISO 9001/2008, the initial one. Anyway, the Standard is the floor, not the roof.
“Next year we are going to get 2014 and we will continue optimizing us “, concludes Santiago.
In the meantime, and before the Certification came out, many products were changed, not only because of norm, but because the equation of improving costs, qualities, processes. Cabins were redesigned and also the way to manufacture them; new models were created and many processes were standardized. Designs of ramps, gates, elevators were changed; there are countless jobs that were made to move forward, to be competitive, to have a good quality. On the other hand, Cóndor have dabbled in heavy load products that they did not enter before, such as high capacity freight elevators. They are providing very large companies that consume these type of products, such as Cargill, Coto, La Anónima, among others.
As a result of this process of improvement and competitiveness, statistics were prepared by sending Cóndor representatives through the whole country asking the customers about the products quality, the delivery time, how the elevators set up worked. They seemed to be very satisfied because the products met their needs.
In addition, and in compliance with Resolution 897, there have been certified the fireproof F60 cabin doors, the Fermator doors mechanisms, of which they are direct importers. The speed regulators they use have already been certified by their own manufacturers and Cóndor will soon certify the wedge box or steel parachute box in the INTI. The wedge box is manufactured by using a brand new machining center, which has arrived at the factory recently.
Juan Luis Sánchez, CEO of Ascensores Cóndor, second generation of this leading fifty year old elevator factory from Argentina, tells us that: ” In the Past,Ascensores Cóndor produced in a way that maybe was not focused on product optimization but in the idea that the “heavier the better”, everything was oversized. A very thorough work was done over the most of the components in our engineering department, which resulted in a product that can be better assembled, with an important time saving at the installation site. The elements have become lighter , processes have been optimized, which implies fewer hours machine and labor incidence.We noticed that the product is being accepted a lot, although today the price variable influences and commands many aspects. However, our representatives in the interior country and also in Capital, have seen the possibility of selling a kit to elevator operators of a complete elevator that simplifies the work and solves the problems, saving them time and effort. ”
The Kit for the elevator operator: a change of business policy
“We have been evolving in many aspects -continues Sanchez: quality certification is one them,the processes in the product to have something lighter, more optimal, with less incidence of labor and including new technology. We noticed that it was very important the fact of being able to focus in the kit, and the reason is that there are installers for whome it is complicated to have a giant scaffolding to buy a machine, a control of maneuver, ask for the doors, and that in addition they have realized it was a waste of time for them to dedicate so many man hours and then get a result that is not the one they intended to”. “When you have the support of a company like Condor that fortunately has invested a lot in engineering – I think Ascensores Cóndor is the company that had invest the most into its R & D-sector, then it is only necessary to be given the sizes and we do the job, we manufacture everything and package in a conditioned box and both can deliver it or hold it until somebody comes to pick it up”.
Pablo Gerez, Sales Manager who carried out an excellent positioning managment throughout the provinces, where Condor achieved a very important advance in the late 3 years, notes that “in order to better understand the issue of Cóndor’s engineering, all that development that Cóndor does has to do with the fact that is the unique Company that has the support to do it. The difference is that other companies offer to elevator operators the guides or the cabin and then they have to get by with difficulties. We send everything tailored according to the order we got. It’s like a Meccano, we put everything together and it’s perfect.Once the installers test our product and they see that it has regulation and that everything works, they go back to buy because,in addition to the price-quality ratio, they have a good product with all the engineering incorporated and that’s something few can offer. ”
Juan Luis Sánchez notices that currently installers at Buenos Aires city have passed through a comercial evolution and got aware of the time value. “All the time that they used before to go buying , to assemble and to see how the job resulted , now they have the possibility to use it to go selling or to see how business are going on, or simply dedicate it to do their own things. And I doubt many companies can match the variety we offer”.
“The novelty is that we are now focused on the kit to sell it to the elevator operators anywhere in the country, wether the Capital city, Great Buenos Aires and the rest of the country, to everyone in the same conditions for them to install. We do not compete with them, we want to be suppliers of the elevator operators. The idea is to offer them a product easy to assemble and without maintenance issues, with our support, guarantee and our immediate response”.
” Building engineering firms are buying our kit to us, directly. And thas literally. IngeniThey are buying us builders. Literally. So is the ease or versatility they find in our product. They tell us I’ll buy you the kit, and I will manage with the assembly and the installation, that means they will look for some installer to do the job. They do so because they know that there is a brand, that they have bought a reliable product, that has an open system anyone can operate on. And we use supplies that are in the market, it can be maintained by anyone.
The idea is above all that our installer colleagues don’t stop consulting us. They are going to receive the same treatment and competitive price given to our representatives in terms of quality product and service.
We offer the installers the kit for them to instal it and him I installed it and maintain it”.
The team of professionals .
“One of the things I want to emphasize, stresses Sanchez, is that one of the reasons why Condor continues to stand out, is the team of professionals working at the Company. We spare no expenses in investing on trained personnel and not only do we have staff that is with us many years ago, but we have incorporated new trained staff, ideal and committed not only to the company but to this elevator industry that has a certain magic that catches you.
One of those new professional incorporations is Daniel Barnade, who since two years ago is doing general coordination of the business. It is a very versatile accountant when it comes to work as a team and in the maximization of each area “.The company has given people the opportunity to grow. And everyone contributes with their ideas that are poured into work meetings that take place each fifteen days and are useful to everyone to get aware of the adjustments that need to be done in their tasks.
Condor didn’t fire people during the crisis, today there are 160 employees. They get along well with the union and that’s bacaise of the management policy : the company looks after the employees. In this new stage- comments Barnade “there is a general growth plan, a business plan. The business units are segmented, there is an administration vision to achieve other results, we are focused on quantitative and qualitative results, to take the company to another level. We are aiming to a level that is above the average market: be the number one of elevator manufacturing in the country and grow within the market. The Company board holds us and the decisions we are making and that allows us to go on growing in the production, comercial, administration areas, including advertising and new invesments”.