Meteor: unceasing improvement

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After over fifty years of history, the growth of Meteor does not stop due to a work method that favours the dialogue and the collaboration, to the strong propensity for innovation and the constant attention to sustainability in each corporate area.

Despite the complexity of a constantly evolving market, last but not least COVID 19 emergency, Meteor continues its growth course with a strong commitment to unceasing improvement, based on the principles of KaiZen method, adopted since 2008. For years, the company has been implementing this methodology that allows it to research higher and higher efficiencies, staking on the enhancement of human resources and on collaboration. Moreover, the will of improving is intertwined with the need of taking market demands into account in the constant care of sustainability in every ambit of the corporate life. Together with Luca Nadal, Sales Director and Tanja Colautti, Marketing Manager of Meteor, we analyse in detail the results achieved by the Venetian company and what the concept of constant improvement concretely gives birth to.

Luca Nadal, Meteor Sas Sales Director

How have you faced these years of pandemic?
Since the beginning of the health emergency, we have accomplished all measures provided for protecting workers’ health and for preserving the work environment. Furthermore, we have adopted the smart working to assure the continuity of supplies to our customers. Despite the difficult time, in 2020 we scored a turnover increment amounting to +10% versus the previous balance sheet. Our strategy of business differentiation, subdivided into the markets of household and professional appliances, has allowed us to reach positive results even in a critical year like 2020 and for 2021 we expect an increment by over 20%.

Meteor sas di Fabio Dell’Oglio & C. Headquarter in Mareno di Piave (TV) Italy, www.meteoritaly.com

In what does KaiZen method consist?
This methodology of Japanese origin has allowed us to create and to refine in time a real business culture of continuous improvement. It in fact aims at stimulating human resources’ involvement and the sharing of experiences to reach the targets of optimization, efficiency and flexibility, with an approach that develops the team work. Initially this method was applied in production areas, starting “workshops” focused on specific themes like the proactive participation of managers and operators. The involvement increases the sense of responsibility and the sharing, permitting to draw inspiration from everybody’ experiences to consider a determinate ambit of the corporate life from different points of view and to find the most efficacious way to improve. Due to the positive results achieved, the “workshops” modality has been extended to all business areas, purchasing, logistics, production and sales. Moreover, KaiZen activity is more and more often intertwined with the attention to sustainability. An example is what happened during the lockdown period through the smart working implementation: we have activated some “workshops” with the goal of digitalizing documents so that they were available for the various operators wherever they were. This initiative was also aimed at increasing the awareness of the intelligent paper use, avoiding useless wastes.

Tanja Colautti, Marketing Manager of Meteor

What other steps are you taking in the sustainability ambit?
We pay utmost attention to this issue and, concerning this, we have started a Project, sponsored by Fondirigenti, which provides for a course of training days and the involvement of several corporate areas to begin a process of cultural change, with the target of becoming, for all of our partners, not only a qualitatively and technologically advanced supplier but also a “Sustainable” partner/supplier.
Through an awareness-raising course, we aim at identifying in the Agenda 2030 of ONU the goals that can represent for the company the boost to new targets of sustainable growth, goals that will be pre-established through the classification of its ESG indicators – Environment / Social / Governance. Following the analysis of the company’s requirements, we have surveyed the need of incrementing our know-how and our competences about these matters, to start communicating with our partners with total transparency.
The need of integrating the company’s environmental, social and good business governance is based on the awareness connected also with the reduction of risks and the creation of value. It is in fact necessary to highlights that ESG aspects do not represent a separate range of action with regard to the company’s business but, on the contrary, the risk management on its whole, on one hand, and the capability of seizing the market and growth opportunities, on the other hand, cannot set aside an analysis of the environmental, social and governance elements.

How do you improve human resources?
We increase the value of human resources starting from the commitment to offering them a comfortable work environment. In the production area of the new structure there are for instance very bright spaces and the floor heating (uncommon thing in this kind of environments). Moreover, also the canteen has been cared to be a pleasant place. Besides, as I mentioned before, Meteor strongly believes in the involvement of all collaborators, meaning with the term “involvement” an active participation in corporate activities that creates a stronger relationship with the company and a higher commitment to the execution of one’s own tasks. We strongly believe that highly involved employees have a stronger propensity for taking the control of the events that concern them, reaching higher levels of self-esteem and self-promotion and a better emotional balance. Each function with one’s own work team periodically organizes some meetings to present the company’s state-of-the-art and the short/medium/long term vision, so that all achieve a general overview and more sharing is created. Moreover, we organize several training activities, exploiting digital tools, too.

Is the constant improvement obtained also by using innovative machines and technologies?
Yes, certainly. Visual Studio and Ignition software introduced into advanced assembling lines allow the collection of useful data for analysis and statistical activities, they permit to take decisions more quickly according to the information collected, optimizing the manufacturing process. Furthermore, we use forefront machines and technologies also in the R&D area. We avail ourselves of the FEM software for the electromagnetic and mechanical simulation and of a 3D printer for rapid prototyping, with clear advantages in terms of flexibility, customization and cost-effectiveness. Moreover, we also avail ourselves of GOM machines that permit the electrical and mechanical parametrization of products and the more precise component measuring than with conventional methods. Thanks to these advanced tools, it is possible to carry out the supervision, identifying the eventual criticalities of a component in a very precocious design phase, avoiding wastes of materials and accelerating the time-to-market.

Concerning your products, what are the latest novelties?
We have designed and developed a device called SM50, mainly used in commercial laundry for machines with capacity from 10 to 45 kg. It is a motorized, compact and easily installed lock, which enables pre-locking feature and pull-in and lock of washing machine porthole. It is equipped with emergency release system in conformity with child safety regulations. Moreover, a new product for the automation of ovens and dishwashers is under development.

Servolatch SM50 for use in “professional washing”  is the result of the years of experience matured by Meteor also in other applications i.e. for medical sterilizers

What targets are you going to hit in the next future?
Above all, to maintain the growing trend of revenues, following the trends of technological product evolution demanded by the market, with specific focus on end-users. We want in fact to support our customers with the whole corporate organization, to offer them the best possible service, sharing in the satisfaction of end-users’ requirements.
Besides, we aim at increasingly strengthening our brand’s reputation in the market where we operate, through coherent choices that aim at the collaboration with customers, at the implementation of innovative projects, developed inside the company, but also through partnerships with external realities, possible takeovers included.