A retooled approach Featured

5:24pm EDT February 16, 2011
Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal Carlos Cardoso, Kennametal

To best serve customers, you have to be where your customers are.

As a global competitor, Kennametal’s reach extends to more than 80,000 customers throughout 60 countries. However, simply being global isn’t enough. To utilize the advantages of having a global company, the company has had to truly develop a global culture.

With the worldwide economic crisis looming, Kennametal knew its thousands of customers and employees in North America, Western Europe and around the world would be affected. Under the leadership of Chairman, President and CEO Carlos Cardoso, it used the recession as an opportunity to restructure its global business model to be more resistant to any country’s economy.

Cardoso divided the organization into two segments — industrial and infrastructure — in order to improve companywide alignment and flatten the organization to maximize opportunities for employee development, customer competitiveness and global growth. To strengthen its global customer relationships, Kennametal refocused its energies on customers by industry segment and specific end markets.

Using an enhanced market sector approach to better utilize its global functions has helped Kennametal accomplish its goal of helping its customers to be leaders in their industries. As a more fully integrated enterprise, Kennametal can best leverage international best practices and knowledge sharing to help its customers get products into the marketplace faster, while also offering them more custom solutions.

This new organizational structure has already won Kennametal new business. One of the world’s largest auto companies increased its share spending with Kennametal by five times its previous sales because of Kennametal’s ability to provide enterprise customs solutions for its numerous global markets. A centrally coordinated response helped Kennametal overcome its biggest competitor for the business.

Another way Kennametal has built its global culture is by re-energizing its work force, putting resources toward initiatives that look out for the safety and well-being of employees, the environment and communities where it operates. It is known for its 100 percent Safe Initiative for employees and its Protecting the Planet program, which incorporates the use of green packaging, recycling and other sustainable practices. Through Protecting the Planet, Kennametal successfully cut its energy usage by 15 percent.

The company also introduced its Kennametal Value Business System in 2003, which emphasizes the six core business execution processes and key values that drive the company’s success.

These initiatives combined have helped Kennametal move toward the future.

How to reach: Kennametal, (800) 446-7738 or www.kennametal.com