One market, two strategies

The comparison of two Spanish Lisec customers shows different sales approaches within one country: Cristec is exporting, while Termiglass relies on the supply of regional customers that are a maximum of 100 km away.

Cristec is located in the north of Spain, about 150 km from Barcelona. Founded in 1987 the company now employs 63 people and has a yearly turnover of nearly 9 million euros – almost 40% of which is generated with laminated glasses.

Today, Cristec has an export rate of almost 60%, exporting its products mainly to France, UK, Holland, Italy, US and Portugal. That used to be different only five years ago, where the company exported nearly nothing.

Josep Planes, general manager of Cristec, said: “At the moment it is very quiet on the Spanish market. What it boils down to is to look into the world and find opportunities for glass solutions.”

Cristec only produces to order and has no stock at all. It is already thinking about investment, and planned is a jumbo insulating glass line, since large size ISO products become ever more important.

“Being able to produce 12m IG units is definitely a target, but not this or next year, alas,” Josep said. “One more year then the seven lean years should be over. If we start investing in machines, Lisec will be definitely part of our plan.

“Lisec has always tried to provide us with solutions which meet our requirements and needs. A really important aspect was that in that time they could offer us the intelligent bridge for laminated glass which none of the competitors could do.”

Cristec invested in a PKL in 2000, and bought a 6m cutting table which was the first of its kind sold in Spain.

The second customer is located 500 km further down the south, close to Madrid: Termiglass. The company was founded in 1999 and started with Lisec machinery and software from day one. Termiglass currently employs 85 people, and it is currently running at 50% of its capacity.

Managing director Manuel Torres said: “The situation is very tough at the Spanish market right now. Nevertheless, we will not increase our export rate – we produce the best quality made in Spain for Spain.”

Domestic sales make up for 95% of its turnover – customers are not more than 80km-100km away. Right now, this means difficult or ‘tricky’ orders and small batch orders.

“We even produce orders to help out our customers, knowing that we will not earn a penny on it,” Manuel said.

On the question whether Termiglass feels the impact of Eastern European window producers who do export heavily, Manuel said: “No, we don’t feel the impact. The renovation market we serve requires high speed and we believe that this can only be offered if the company is close to where the demand is.

“As a general rule, our delivery time is two days maximum. The key to the initial success of the company was how quickly we could deliver in combination with the high quality we were able to provide.”

Also Termiglass counts on an investment-friendly period to start soon and if so, they will work together with Lisec.

We started with Lisec, which was the right decision and we will continue to do so,” Manuel said. “What Lisec makes a good business partner is the fact that sales people very carefully find out the exact need of the customer and propose a solution the customer needs to grow his business – never more, which is a good feeling.

“Equally important for us is the availability of spare parts for all of our machinery. In our case, this availability, together with a good maintenance and service, has enabled us to be working with machines of more than 17 years old.”

Installed Lisec machines at Cristec: several cutting tables, breakout table, intelligent bridge, intelligent warehouse, double glazing line 3.5m x 2m and 5m x 2.5m. Software: GPS.OPT, GPS.Prod, GPS.Order.

Installed Lisec machines at Termiglass: 4 KSRs, three complete lines with automatic sealing machines, two bending machines, four base butyle, three manual sealing machines, four cutting tables, one PKL. Software: GPS.Order and GPS.Prod.