Providing ongoing technical support is paramount to Composites One. Most of its salespeople have years of experience in the composites industry, many on the manufacturing side. “They are not just out there to sell products,” says Garoufalis. “They are there to solve customers’ problems and help them work through issues to become more efficient and effective.”
Of course, the company hopes that serving as a resource for customers will spur them to do business with Composites One rather than its competitors. “If we’re doing the right things for the right reasons for our customers, over time we will benefit as well,” says Garoufalis.
Recognizing that “Knowledge is Power,” Composites One is also committed to helping educate the next generation of composites employees. For example, it sponsors the composite materials technology program at Davis Technical College in Utah. The 900-hour program – designed for industry, by industry – introduces students to basic composite materials, techniques and procedures, then progresses through advanced composite skills. The college boasts a 94% placement rate for students in the composite materials program, who graduate with both a local industry-driven certificate and ACMA’s Certified Composites Technician (CCT) designation.
“We are helping train people so they can go to work for our customers,” says Garoufalis. Assisting customers with their workforce needs is critical in an industry that faces challenges in finding, training, growing and retaining employees. Composites One is currently working with IACMI and Davis Technical College to replicate the program in other composite hubs around the country.
While Garoufalis and his leadership team at Composites One fully support a customer-centric business model, that’s not enough. For customers to genuinely be the focal point of a company, you need employee buy-in, says Garoufalis. “If employees don’t understand how critically important it is to serve customers, then it doesn’t matter how much we speak about it,” he says. “Team members have to internalize the concept of serving customers.”
When everyone in a company puts the customer first, then good things happen. “In our organization, it’s all about serving the customer and creating value,” says Garoufalis. “If our customers are successful, then we are successful.” And if composites companies are successful, then the entire industry will thrive, too.