Katsa is known for its long history as a designer and manufacturer of cutting-edge PTO gearboxes and clutches.
Behind the success lies a rare recipe: instead of marketing a range of easier-to-produce catalogue gearboxes for the customer to choose from, it has traditionally been the strategy of Katsa to offer gearboxes that are custom-made from scratch according to each customer’s specific needs.
This has given Katsa a competitive advantage and a clear niche. At the same time, this has also meant that the company’s marketing and sales have been limited by a relatively narrow market potential.
However, all this is now about to change.
Roughly a year ago, Katsa made the strategic decision to start developing a concept where the two opposites would be combined.
Now, Katsa is adding finishing touches on a collection of universal pump drives that are ”catalogue” in nature, but that also leave plenty of room for modification depending on each individual customer’s needs.
The end result is a collection of solutions that are, Katsa-style, customizable according to a wide variety of specific needs, but that can be manufactured in a faster, easier, and more cost-efficient way than traditional Katsa solutions.
Demand on the Rise
According to Tomi Dewes, Sales and Engineering Manager, Customised Gearboxes, customers usually approach Katsa when the catalogues of other gear manufacturers don’t have a suitable solution to offer.
This is still Katsa’s core business: the company offers something that other manufacturers cannot or, perhaps owing to lower sales potential than what might be desired, will not offer.
“Admittedly, that is a relatively expensive and slow way for the customer to get what they want,” points out Dewes.
And that’s exactly where the idea for the new concept originally came from. Katsa received a price inquiry for a custom-made gearbox, but didn’t end up winning the tender. The reason was simple: their price was too high.
“Now with this new concept, we are clearly gaining competitiveness,” says Dewes. “Meanwhile, we are making it faster and easier for both the customer and ourselves. Only one thing hasn’t changed: we are still doing something special that most manufacturers are rather unwilling to do, that is, offering gears that are highly customized.”
Katsa’s new series of universal pump drives, the first of which was introduced in April 2016 in Munich at the BAUMA trade fair for construction vehicles and equipment, gives the customer ample room for modification. To quote an example, the drives come with up to four outputs, each compatible with a wide range of connection types.
Additional features include the option to decide the direction and speed of the output rotation. Add to the bargain the compact size, and you’ve got yourself the solution your business has been waiting for.
“This series of pump drives will definitely help us stand out and subsequently find new markets and widen our customer base,” Dewes predicts.
Last autumn, Katsa started promoting its new concept (now covering five basic models) also for the marine and offshore industry at several related trade shows, including the SMM in Hamburg and the North Atlantic Fish & Workboat Show in Newfoundland. At the InnoTrans event held in Berlin, the new solutions were introduced to the transport technology and rolling stock sectors as well.
According to Dewes, the reception took Katsa by surprise, and the number of requests for quotation has skyrocketed since the promotion efforts began.
“In 2016, we signed five contracts for our new pump drives. We expect the new collection to bring in new orders for the whole range in 2017, leading to a steady turnover in 2018.”
That would mean a potential 10% growth for Katsa’s gear business. Truly, it looks like Katsa is gearing up for an increasingly prosperous future.
Text and image by Industrial PRIME
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