It's a Product of Our Culture.
Yaskawa is very proud of its commitment to quality. Each associate’s personal commitment to doing the right thing for each other and the customers is ingrained in our culture.
While many may think Yaskawa quality starts with our drives, we like to think of this idea of quality as something more. For us, it’s about the overall experience our customers get when working with us.
We asked a few Yaskawa associates to share their thoughts on what quality at Yaskawa means to them. Integrity, relationships. Adapting to customer needs and always being ready to help all ranked near the top.
“Quality is intertwined with integrity here. Every day, it’s about doing the right thing even when no one else is watching. Yaskawa embodies integrity and honesty. And, that carries into the products we make. Our products do what we say they will do,” Jordan Engel, Yaskawa drives sales engineer, said.
“Quality permeates the organization. It’s one of the reasons I joined the company. Quality transcends the product we put in the box. It’s really about the people here. Their qualities are reflected in everything we do – from spec’ing drives to pricing, delivering, commissioning and supporting them. At each step a customer is going to understand the Yaskawa experience is different than what you can find anywhere else.”
Engel said he first recognized how Yaskawa was different while working for a competitor in 2012.
“I was really working on a Yaskawa customer. Trying to get them to see how my company at the time was better. They gave me all the rope I wanted,” he said. “When I was finished, they said, ‘You know, Yaskawa is our number one supplier.’ I asked, ‘Of drives’? They replied, ‘No. Of anything. They are the top supplier for our entire company. There’s nobody better at serving our needs.”
“I always remembered that. It told me Yaskawa was an ‘A’ player. I eventually came to work here.”
The past 18 months have put a particular strain on many businesses, and Yaskawa is no exception. But, steps the company has taken to maintain its high level of service have helped keep customers up and running.
Perpetuating a consistent and high impact drives training program remotely is a good example of how that effort has benefitted customers, according to Paul Avery, Yaskawa senior product training engineer.
“It’s a challenge to move from face-to-face, classroom training to a remote platform, but we seem to be making that transition very well according to our customers,” Avery said.
“In-person training is very visual. You work with real drives. You create a bond in the room feeding off body language. You can sense the levels of engagement,” he said. “So, when we went remote, we made adjustments in the curriculum. We’ve created more time for discussion. We use on-screen visuals and apps to make our points. We probably listen better and push for answers from people more to keep them engaged.”
“The feedback has been very positive. It’s help us form a new approach to how we train. By listening to our students, we are still able to maintain a high level of quality training that empowers them as they interact with our product.”
Speaking of students, Tommy Hines will start a position with Yaskawa’s Motion group after completing his internship with the Drives team. The decision to stay with Yaskawa was an easy one for him.
“It’s been a great experience, even remotely. The people are just so likeable and supportive,” he said. “My main task was to research and document competitive marketing efforts. What was cool about that project was I was given a lot of freedom in determining how to handle the task and report back to the team. That was empowering to me to be trusted that much. I think that kind of thinking – trusting and supporting each other – runs throughout the entire organization.”
Customer support is another area in which Yaskawa receives high marks from its distributors.
“We have distributors that have worked with us for 25, 30 years, or even longer. That says something to me. It can’t be just about the drives. There has to be something more, and I think it comes down to the way we treat them,” Jenne Ballard, distributor marketing specialist, explained. “You can get through anything with a customer, if you always treat them fairly, as a friend. It really does come back to a line we use here, ‘It’s Personal.’”
Ballard explained that Yaskawa is the kind of company that doesn’t think twice about putting extra effort into its customer relationships. And, that sets Yaskawa apart.
“You want to go that extra mile for your customers. Not because you want to make that dollar, but because you want that customer to enjoy their experience with you. That’s Yaskawa. It starts at the top with Mike Knapek and Mark Bernicky. I am always comfortable knowing I can reach out to them any time I need them. And, I know they would make themselves available to me and any customer that needed their help.”
In her 26 years at Yaskawa, Ballard has built many close relationships, both externally and internally.
“I know it sounds a little cliché, but this is the kind of place where we are family,” she said. “We’ve been through kids and marriages. Sicknesses and celebrations. You know, we’ve all been through a lot together. So, Yaskawa isn’t just a job, our customers and employees are my family.”