The industry ecosystem
Just as we talk a lot about the diversity of natural ecosystems, we should also talk about the importance of maintaining the diversity of the ecosystems composing a sector or an industry.
A major industrial group in the elevator industry (Wittur) has recently informed its customers about the close of its line of complete lifts in Zaragoza (Spain).
It is bad news for the industry, not so much because of the decision itself, but because of how it can be eventually implemented. So far, it seems that the decision is going to be immediately applied and that it is causing a considerable backlash from its customers.
We will have to wait and see if, apart from being a bad decision for the industry, it is positive or not for the company itself. Changing substantially the conditions to a loyal clientele all of a sudden has its consequences. Not only will this decision make all the effort made for years suddenly disappear, but it will also risk possible future business operations.
It might be thought that, given that multinationals are the main customers of this group, the interruption of the line of complete lifts, which is mostly addressed at independent elevator companies, is not so critical. But this analysis is completely wrong from the strategical point of view, which was evidenced less than two years ago, when one of the negative elements that influenced Moody’s rating decline was the high concentration of sales around the four biggest elevator manufacturers.
If suppliers of components and complete lifts benefit from the abundance of SMEs, and SMEs benefit from supply alternatives, then why are this kind of decisions made with a so-short-term effect? Where is the long-term industrial vision, proper of a mainstream German industrial group with a huge reputation in our industry?
Maybe the answer is easier to find once we know that a U.S.-based private equity group, Bain Capital, is the new owner. Maybe a mostly financial and short-terming culture is replacing an industrial long-term mindset.
In the light of news like this, let’s protect our ecosystem and defend the species of industrialist (of products or services) that work and produce, not to earn millions, but to create wealth for them, their employees and society through their daily effort.
Let’s work together, independent manufacturers of components and complete lifts with installation and maintenance companies, to make our production chain more efficient, more competitive and less dependent on external interests.
Let’s collaborate to maintain a healthy ecosystem that take advantage of changes to become stronger, an ecosystem where big, medium and small companies, industrialists and also some financial oriented operators cohabite.