There are bound to be various factors at play when a company experiences strong and continued growth over time. In my opinion, the success stories most likely have three of these in common.
The first is the ecosystem that the company is immersed in, and how the company interacts with it. Being surrounded by a rich and diverse ecosystem facilitates access to, among others, technology and research centres, laboratories, universities, professional training centres, suppliers, and clusters which supplement those areas that the company either cannot or does not want to develop by itself, yet which nonetheless help improve competitiveness and increase value added for clients.
Businesses need an open and proactive mind when it comes to collaborating and engaging with their ecosystem. A rich ecosystem will be of no help whatsoever if we are incapable of sharing, learning from and working jointly with it.
The second factor is the commitment to technology in general, and particularly to the information and communication technologies which have revolutionised and leveraged business development over recent years by lending businesses immediacy, interconnection and access to information.
Looking back somewhat nostalgically, I would say that, even though times have since moved on, two of these technologies have likely affected many of us more profoundly than others: mobile telecommunications, and above all, the Internet.
This nostalgia comes from the memory of journeys spanning thousands of kilometres incommunicado until arriving at one’s hotel (mobile phones were just getting off the ground and the rates were exorbitant), when the only way to contact work was with the phone in the hotel room.
It was a time of preparing and writing faxes (the Internet was just getting started), constant toing and froing from the hotel’s Business Centre to send written messages, over and over again, until receiving the coveted Message Sent, more often than not ending the cycle as the sun came up with the delivery of a Business Centre envelop under the door containing a fax with the much-anticipated message from the company, thousands of kilometres away and in a different time zone. Nowadays we ask ourselves with certain satisfaction: How did business ever get done back then?
The third and most important factor has to be committed talent. Now at the height of the new economy and with globalisation happening beyond doubt, the value of human capital and its knowledge have become a company’s most prized resource. Having a team of people with the necessary attitudes and aptitudes for coping with the continuous change and learning required nowadays is essential to success. Said team must also be committed to the company’s values and long-term strategy.
With the plants in San Sebastian (Spain), Guadalajara (Mexico) and Suzhou (China) immersed in strong industrial ecosystems, together with our commitment to technology as a lever for development and transformation, and a professional team which is committed and continually evolving, it is highly likely that these have played a fundamental role in the strong growth experienced in IKOR throughout the strategic plan 2013-2017. These same factors will likely keep us growing strongly during the new plan 2018-2022, which has just come into play. That’s where we are, and that’s where we’re heading!