Sustainability - Medium-Sized Companies’ Recipe for Success

RCT Power, a data storage systems manufacturer, has enjoyed a very close and successful business relationship with BMK, the E2MS (Electronic Engineering and Manufacturing Services) service provider, for many years. Both medium-sized companies are characterized by sustainable business practices. What exactly does this mean? Thomas Hauser, Managing Director of RCT Power GmbH, and Nafi Pajaziti, Managing Director of BMK electronic services GmbH, provide the answers.

How can a medium-sized company assert itself in the market?

Thomas Hauser: The formula for success is not a simple one, but through my observations it clearly takes a strong team with extensive technical know-how, a great drive for innovation, and a shared vision. Our motivation is climate protection. We want to strengthen the expansion of solar energy through our practical and sustainable solar storage systems. These systems make it possible to use solar energy in a more intelligent and efficient way and make homes more energy independent. What distinguishes RCT Power from many of our larger competitors is that we are a medium-sized company with a very experienced team. We focus on cultivating long-term customer relationships and place a strong emphasis on personalized customer service. Our business partners appreciate this. Although we are not yet among the biggest companies on the market, we are still considered one of the best. This was confirmed again this year by the independent power storage inspection of the Berlin University of Applied Sciences (HTW).

Nafi Pajaziti: The EMS market in Europe has immense potential. Digitalization will have a huge influence on the market in the coming years and generate substantial growth. However, there is also increasing price pressure and vertical integration. This situation can be compared to that of a shark tank, where smaller fish are swallowed up by bigger ones. It is therefore important to act in an agile and proactive manner. BMK's corporate development has been characterized by sustainable, organic growth for 27 years. The focus is placed on our customers, with whom we have established long-term strategic relationships with. Investments are implemented quickly and flexibly. Our BU concept provides our customer with a strategic contact person, with whom he or she can work out different solutions for. The difference lies in the fact that we offer a comprehensive portfolio of products and services, which we define together with the customer. For example, we developed a new application specifically for a rework project with the machine manufacturer, Finetech. It is a special nozzle that can read several input memory variables at the same time to reduce high thermal pressure.

What is your recipe for success? Why do RCT and BMK deliver such optimum results?

Nafi Pajaziti:  Our customers come from various branches with very different project requirements. BMK is organized in such a way that we can be customer-oriented and act quickly and flexibly. The range of possibilities is always expanding. Our customers – most of them long-term customers - appreciate this. For RCT's projects, BMK has created a fast, active supply chain in combination with a professional production structure based on lean principles. RCT Power and BMK are equal partners in terms of company size and culture, communication structure, and common mindset. Both companies are heavily focused on long-term success based on real customer value.

Thomas Hauser: Our customers receive a highly efficient storage system from a single source. Both the battery and the inverter are from RCT Power and thus optimally coordinated. Our customers can rely on RCT Power because our systems truly perform and accomplish what we claim. This was demonstrated during the HTW's 2021 electricity storage inspection. The data we submitted was verified in a laboratory test and the results showed that our two systems have higher usable storage capacities than what we previously stated. For such outstanding outcomes, we need partners who share our same vision and adapt quickly and flexibly to our processes. For us, BMK is not just a service provider, but rather a part of the entire project.

How did your business relationship develop?

Thomas Hauser: We have been working successfully with BMK since mid-2019. BMK has always been a reliable and fast partner for us in warehousing and commissioning of our battery storage systems for photovoltaic installations. Our wish was then for BMK to also take on other tasks for our inverter production. We are very impressed with the flexible and professional implementation. Our time-to-market was reduced and together we can make a difference for our customers.

Nafi Pajaziti: RCT Power was highly satisfied with the first services we provided them and wanted to expand their business further with BMK. In general, we see growth in areas of sustainability with customers like RCT Power, whose products and services are in environmental protection and resource efficiency.

What is the importance of sustainable management for you?

Nafi Pajaziti: We want to live up to our responsibility towards the environment for present and future generations and to increase our company’s environmental performance by constantly improving our processes. We are EMAS* certified. We advise and inform our customers on sustainability, so that they do not have to dispose of their products, but rather with a little rework effort, can make them reusable. These solutions are profitable both economically and ecologically. As an active contribution to resource conservation, the sustainable business model was awarded the Augsburg Future Prize in 2020 and the 1st Bavarian Resource Efficiency Prize in 2021. We want to move the world without exhausting the earth’s resources!

*EMAS – The Eco-Management and Audit Scheme - is proof of a holistically implemented environmental management system throughout all levels of the company. It is characterized by transparency, verifiability, and openness to dialogue.

Thomas Hauser: Sustainability is the be-all and end-all. If we do not operate more sustainably, we deprive future generations of their livelihood. As a manufacturer, it is therefore our responsibility to question existing technologies and continuously improve our battery storage systems. In addition, a medium-sized company must deal with how it uses its resources daily. This is not always an easy thing to do, but it is clear to us that we want sustainable corporate growth and to achieve this we must grow beyond ourselves every day.

How are your employees involved?

Nafi Pajaziti:  At BMK, the enthusiasm for electronics is very noticeable and we work intensively to keep up with the times. As a result of ongoing digitalization, more and more devices are intelligently tuned to each other. BMK employees interact in their daily lives with devices developed and manufactured at BMK such as, automatic doors in public transport to snow cannons to SmartHome and to inverters. This interaction helps to inspire and motivate our employees. We have flat hierarchies to offer even entry-level professionals the opportunity to quickly take on responsibility with challenging, diverse tasks in a customer- and performance-oriented environment. Employees are involved in all decision-making processes and can put forward their own ideas. For example, during the EMAS validation process, everyone from the management to the trainees were involved, committed, and supported the goals together. This is the only way for a company to align itself sustainably.

Thomas Hauser: Transparency and trust are the top priorities for us. Flat hierarchies create an open communication culture to make fundamental joint decisions. Of course, this also means dealing with a variety of different viewpoints and expectations. This can sometimes be strenuous, but it allows for many diverse perspectives, involves all employees, and thus helps to make sustainable decisions. Personally, I see this diversity as an enrichment. Our team is made up of different nationalities and people in various stages of life. Some of our employees have been working from home since they started with us. Therefore, we take the time to regularly meet for personal interaction. Ultimately what counts is that everyone has enough optimal space to carry out their assignments in the best way possible.

What role do partners/suppliers play in this?

Nafi Pajaziti:  Interaction is very important, because the whole is greater than the sum of its individual parts. By this, I mean that two agile, mid-market players can compete with the big companies in terms of absolute device performance and in terms of delivery times and range of services. BMK places great importance on sustainable business relationships. Customers are our equal long-term partners. Through our extensive supplier network, we have established an optimized supply chain. BMK successfully completed the SMETA* audit at the beginning of the year. This is an excellent confirmation of our business-philosophy in our daily dealings with people and shows that BMK takes its corporate social responsibility seriously. Our business relationship with RCT Power is a great example of a successful partnership that is developing and evolving the market.

* SMETA, the Sedex Members Ethical Trade Audit, is a globally recognized audit procedure for sustainable and ethical behavior in business relationships.

Thomas Hauser: You can't succeed without good suppliers. No one is successful alone.

When it gets challenging, we thrive.
When is your BMK moment?