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When a producer of millions of plungers a year has been delivering demonstrable added value in chain efficiency for more than a quarter of a century, you know it must be doing something right.

Guido Gerritsen, owner and managing director of APM BV in Purmerend and Haaksbergen – and the officer ultimately responsible for the development and production of all those plungers for a variety of clients – says that the biggest challenge facing the automotive industry in the coming years is eliminating errors when making products and parts.

Guido hits the nail right on the head. “Indirectly, this will make products cheaper. And who in automotive doesn’t want to hear that in these turbulent economic times?”

Business priority: margins are under pressure.

Technology is advancing faster than ever, and know-how seems to be spreading around the world more quickly and transparently. But the ultimate goal of every player in the automotive sector remains the same: to operate more cost-effectively. After all, competition in all its forms is fierce in practically every market and disruption is increasingly (visible on a daily base). There can no longer be any excuse to sit back. Innovation should not just be high on everyone’s agenda, but should be an absolute business priority.”

Influencing manufacturability

“This is precisely why we want to be sitting around the table with the rest of the industry at an earlier stage,” Guido continues.

“We hope to exert more influence over the manufacturability of individual components. We can help other parties in the chain make improvements, and in a structural way. The final result? Greater efficiency. More sustainability. Better returns. That is our core business.”

“These days, I see our organisation more and more as a developer and motivator of efficient production processes. What’s more, we understand that. We have already succeeded several times, in different market segments, in ‘smartening’ our own production lines for the benefit of our clients. To make their final products cheaper.”

Open book

“Nowadays, the will to innovate has to be a real part of every link in the chain. For that reason, I am going to keep arguing ceaselessly for more cooperation within the industry. We can always learn a lot from each other, and perhaps we should take a different look at the idea of ‘competition’. I think that we at APM are a fairly open book. We’re happy to tell you about our own trials and errors.”

“In fact, they define our innovative strength. How great would it be if we could link our innovative strength to the same quality found in other players in automotive? And vice versa. I’m sure that would make demonstrable added value even more demonstrable, and so propel the sector as a whole towards even greater efficiency. And hence even better returns.”

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