Cat Lift Trucks: Global Factory Network Goes Beyond Regional Proximity for Production

Cat Lift Trucks: Global Factory Network Goes Beyond Regional Proximity for Production

The primary advantage of its global setup lies in the collaborative efforts of these materials handling facilities to devise optimal solutions for each customer.

A Different Kind of Matrix

While collaboration across various departments and locations is significant, their engagement doesn’t perfectly align with the conventional description of a matrix organization. Typically, a matrix management approach involves individuals reporting to both their departmental supervisor and multiple managers in other departments. However, this arrangement is not the typical practice at Cat Lift Trucks.

Nevertheless, the factories can be regarded as distinct business units that align within a matrix to attain collective objectives. Instead of operating independently, they pool their diverse professional knowledge throughout the matrix, enabling each facility to enhance the Cat lineup of forklift and material handling offerings.

A Worldwide Entity… Catering to Local Needs

Bernard Rosier, Global Planner

The company’s operations across Europe, Africa, and the Middle East involve the coordination of 11 factories, encompassing production facilities in North America and Asia, alongside the EAME region. The EAME operation is a subset of the broader global Cat Lift Trucks organization.

“This is an authentically international enterprise, characterized by worldwide outlooks and dynamics,” explains Global Planner Bernard Rosier.

His primary role within the company involves overseeing the flow of purchase orders (POs) across its network of factories, from the creation of POs to the point of being ready to ship (RTS) at the factory.

“My coworkers and our associates hail from numerous nations and diverse cultures. Collaborating, traveling, and sharing insights with one another is something we take pleasure in. These connections contribute to the formation of an incredibly efficient worldwide workforce.”

Carmen​ van Boeckel, Product Manager Counterbalance

Carmen van Boeckel, Counterbalance Product Manager, encapsulates how this advantages customers. Her team collaborates with Cat lift truck dealers to guarantee the availability of robust and competitive materials handling products. She maintains close cooperation with R&D teams and materials handling equipment dealers throughout product development, and subsequently with marketing, sales, and aftermarket personnel during and after product launches.

“The continuous engagement with diverse markets and customer requirements helps us recognize emerging trends and needs, enabling us to proactively tailor the product to address evolving demands. This flexibility and nimbleness play a pivotal role in sustaining a competitive advantage in the constantly evolving global market.”

“In essence, serving as a product manager in a global enterprise offers unmatched chances for advancement, creativity, and triumph, ultimately culminating in the creation of exceptional products that strike a chord with customers around the globe.”

Contented Employees, Dealers, and Clients

Randolph Roy, Manager, Technical Service

Navigating the global landscape naturally introduces additional complexities for Cat Lift Trucks employees, yet they embrace this approach with enthusiasm. Randolph Roy, Technical Service Manager, is responsible for delivering technical assistance, training, and documentation for forklift trucks, necessitating interactions with all 11 factories.

“Applying consistent processes and a unified communication approach across each factory is crucial, while recognizing the diversity in applications, priorities, and cultural perspectives among different countries. I find this to be an engaging and rewarding challenge,” Randolph Roy explained.

Bridget Westra-Knox, Manager of Customer Relations

Bridget Westra-Knox, Manager of Customer Relations, shares a similar sentiment. Her role involves overseeing the ‘order to cash’ business process, which encompasses tasks ranging from receiving forklift truck orders to routing them to different factories and ensuring their successful fulfillment.

“Engaging with factories across the globe is akin to embarking on a cultural exploration, a journey that is both enriching and fulfilling,” she explains.

With a workforce that finds satisfaction in this international matrix approach, exchanging ideas and striving to comprehend individual requirements, it comes as no shock that dealers and customers are equally content and satisfied.

Adding her perspective, Carmen van Boeckel elaborates:

“Furthermore, the availability of a worldwide talent pool facilitates the enlistment of exceptionally skilled professionals, guaranteeing a workforce that is proficient and adept. The capacity to tap into diverse global markets also translates into access to state-of-the-art technologies, materials, and resources, thus elevating the caliber and competitiveness of the product.”

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