Agility is the secret for dealing with known unknowns
2023 may herald uncertainty but Pentair EMEA Director, Timo Keski-Mattila, is ready to react
It is often said, “if the plan isn’t working, change the plan but never the goal.” It’s another way of expressing an agile mindset and one which could be key to all businesses as they face uncertainty in the year ahead.
Speaking at the Pentair annual European Sales Conference in January 2023, EMEA Director Timo Keski-Mattila talked about agility and the importance of keeping a focus on the end-goal; to ensure Pentair customers succeed, and, when in tough times, recover faster than the rest of the market to ensure they and Pentair continue to gain share. Before the meeting Timo discussed his thoughts for navigating an uncertain 2023.
Agility was a recurring theme, underpinned by some important ‘P’ words …
Agility is not just about speed
“We know what we want to do, and we know how to do it,” said Timo, “but our industry faces much uncertainty, caused by material cost, inflation, changing consumer spending, wage rises and so on. So, as a business we must continually be agile, where and when it matters.
And agility is not just about the speed with which we react to events. It’s about how we protect our customers from price rises, how we adapt our proposition and how we invest in our partnerships.”
Proximity means continued investment in European manufacturing
“We are also continually investing in our European factories, expanding and enhancing our output. Our tank manufacturing facility in Herentals is already the biggest in Europe. In 2023 it will insource production of our market-leading, pressure-boosting WellMate tanks from the USA. This will not only improve stock and availability, but it will also decrease the lead time, transport overhead and all the emissions that go with container shipping. Another evidence of our commitment to manufacturing in Europe is that during 2023 our Pisa plant will assume the responsibility of manufacturing all our global needs for Autotrol valves.
All these lead to the same conclusion: the better we can manage and control our own costs, the better we can secure the volume and the better we can protect our customers from volatile price fluctuation.”
People are the face of Pentair
Timo is keen to stress that the manufacturing is only part of the European dimension. “Our local operations continue to support a commercial team of multilingual, multi-talented individuals who know our customers and the unique trading landscape in Europe. That might not just be the sales representative our customers meet face-to face, it’s a whole Pentair family working in development, quality testing, engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, compliance... the list goes on. Their dedication and enthusiasm flows through the company’s culture and it passes on into our customers’ businesses.”
Partnership is what make the business really tick
“We have always placed an importance on key account partnerships and in times of uncertainty they become more important than ever,” asserts Timo. “The closer you are to a customer’s business, the more you can do anticipate, react and help. Where Pentair is strategic to their business, they become strategic to ours and the outcome is always better. We can often adapt our value proposition to support their needs. That could mean anything from bespoke technical training to white labelling or opportunities to upgrade or downgrade installations. For our key accounts the equation is simple: if you invest in Pentair, we will invest in you.”
Pentair at the heart of European water
Timo is ultimately upbeat about the prospects for 2023. “We have been at the heart of European water for over fifty years, not just delivering clean, safe water across the continent, but passionate about our customers’ businesses. We will continue to innovate and invest in products that are trusted across the world.”
So, while agility can help to assure customer success in 2023 through price control, proximity, people and partnerships, there is one ‘P’ above all that will continue to make the ultimate difference. That is of course Pentair.