Procter & Gamble has awarded Kaman Industrial Technologies a multi-year contract to supply its U.S. plants.
Kaman Industrial Technologies now provides P&G for the first time with a single, standard source for all its bearing and power transmission supplies. As part of the agreement, Kaman is adding more than 12 new branches to support P&G's plants.
The Fortune 500 company – which makes a wide range of paper, health, beauty care, food and beverage, and laundry and cleaning products – becomes one of Kaman's largest national accounts. "P&G has a lot of business when you put it all together," says regional manager Don Roland.
P&G selected Kaman as the supplier that provided the best overall value. By eliminating costly redundancy and duplication of effort P&G expects to substantially reduce costs, depending upon the size of the plant, says Fred Christ, Kaman's corporate account manager, who also serves as P&G project manager.
At P&G's plant in Mehoopany, Pa., Kaman branch manager Chris Kelly (right), works closely with Dave Ball, a P&G buyer, in finding new ways to increase productivity and reduce costs for this leading manufacturer of home products.
P&G was already familiar with the kind of high-quality, cost-efficient service Kaman provides its customers. Its paper mill in Mehoopany, PA has been a customer for 25 years. P&G wanted to know if any distributor – including Kaman – could offer the same kind of service nationally to the rest of its plants across the U.S.
The two companies work well together at Mehoopany, says Christ. "We have had a mutually beneficial relationship. Kaman gives a lot, and in return we get a lot. They feel the same way. P&G looks upon us as an extension of itself. We are its power transmission purchasing arm. They know that we know this business inside-out."
Kaman met P&G's challenge. "We were able to demonstrate that we could do the same things at their other plants that we did at Mehoopany – help them operate more productively and profitably on a national level," says Roland. "Most of the programs we will provide P&G nationally are working successfully now in Mehoopany."
P&G did not rush its selection of a national distributor. The company started looking for a national distributor about two years ago. "This was the first time P&G has ever gone out and acquired their power transmission business nationally. They were meticulous in their selection – very thorough and deliberate in their analysis of all the suppliers in the marketplace," says John Kronenwetter, Kaman's national account manager.
A significant factor in the selection process was Kaman's proposal. "If we weren't able to offer best value, it didn't matter how much history we had with them. It was very competitive," Kronenwetter says. "Procter & Gamble was not just shopping for the lowest price. What most attracted them to Kaman was the total value its technology and services added to the total package – along with a competitive price."
"Their decision was based on an overall evaluation of cost, quality of products and service," says Christ. "If a company can't supply the service, cost doesn't mean much."
"Anyone can fill an order," he says. "In addition to providing service that is timely and competitive, Kaman offers customers the follow-up and technical expertise they need – and provides alternatives and savings opportunities."
P&G chose us, says Christ, because "we are more than a bearing and power transmission supplier. We provide solutions. We work with our customers to help them reduce their cost of doing business and become more competitive. This is what sets us apart from our competitors."
Christ says, "We find ways to help our customers increase productivity and reduce costs. It can be as simple as using an energy efficient pump motor to lower kilowatt consumption; or reducing inventory carrying costs by eliminating duplication and unused products; or enabling a customer to buy supplies from us electronically."
One program more than any other that sold P&G on Kaman is something called "Documented Savings," already successful in Mehoopany. "Our cost-management program is the heart and soul of the package we put together for Procter & Gamble," says Christ. "Documented Savings is an excellent example of why P&G chose Kaman. They know that we are extremely innovative. A lot of companies are doing things now that were first done by Kaman."
Another important factor in P&G's decision was the value offered by the diversity of Kaman Corporation itself. Says Roland, "It is the high-technology services we provide. The vastness of Kaman. We can draw from Kaman Aerospace, Kaman Sciences and Kaman product specialists – then blend these talents and skills to meet all their needs."
Christ spent most of 1996 implementing the new distribution program. "Except for Mehoopany and Oxnard, California, none of Procter & Gamble's plants had done business with us," says Christ. He visited each P&G location across the U.S. to introduce the new program – explain who Kaman is and what the company offers.
"Each plant has its own needs and problems, says Christ. "A paper mill, for example, might be interested in inventory management. A health and beauty care plant may want or need more technical support – an account manager who understands their products and can help them solve problems. Another plant may have a need for bar coding. Each plant is different."
"It's a good relationship", says Christ. "It is built of mutual commitments and mutual respect. P&G is an outstanding company. They are excellent people. I think our cultures blend well. They are much like Kaman – open, honest. We have their best interest at heart and they have our best interest at heart. We are all winners with this agreement."