14 February 2019

Why should you cooperate with an international partner for a transparent roof solution?

Forzon

The answer to this question evolves along with the expertise and experience acquired by a company throughout the years, resulting in a powerful vision with broad support among the whole team.

In open talks on this subject, we always encounter "believers" and "non-believers". Non-believers often argue that people are looking for short communication lines, that discussing technical aspects would only be efficient in one’s own language, what to do in case of problems, etc.

Believers on the other will say: “Are these arguments really strong enough for not working internationally?” and “Isn’t it possible that the yet undiscussed benefits will outweigh these arguments?”

With our vision "Think Global, Act Local”, we are definitely part of the rare species of “believers of the believers”.

 

 

An exceptional case

Imagine for a moment that we must offer the same transparent roof solution in Malaga (Spain), Oslo (Norway) and Grenoble (France). We disregard for the time being whether we must install a skylight, atrium, glass canopy or awning.

An interesting question pops up here, namely: “Should we go for 1 or 3 different solutions?”

 

 

International design expertise

Think global.   Daily contact with international regions ensures that our expertise continuously increases, that – to be more specific – we can develop a kind of “design checklist".

Every region has its own different ideas about the design of a glass roof, driven by different local conditions. Gathering all this knowledge in a knowledge centre allows us to proactively apply this international expertise on a local level as well.

 

We could give dozens of examples for this. Let’s dwell on the fact that it almost never snows in Malaga and that in Oslo snow may rise to our knees in but a few hours. Did you know that designing a glass roof requires gearing a great many aspects to one another?

 

Another interesting question pops up here, namely: “Couldn’t we – both proactively and judiciously – apply the expertise of these 2 extremes in other regions with a more moderate climate?”

 

Believer or non-believer?

 

 

 

Local expertise

Act Local. An international focus is the sum of many local focuses. International credibility is only as strong as the sum of its local knowledge and presence. It is therefore important to have strong local persons and partners who “listen" to the customer, the market, the local working conditions, specifications and requirements.

 

For example, let’s dwell on earthquakes and the fact that the seismic requirements in Grenoble (French Alps region) are not the same as in Madrid. Do you know what implications this may have on your design and how you can handle this effectively?

 

Again, an interesting question pops up here, namely: “Couldn’t we – both proactively and judiciously – apply the expertise of these 2 extremes in other regions?”

 

Believer or non-believer?

 

 

Creation of a broad perspective and approach

Working together with different regions can broaden your perspective and generates motivation and commitment to sharing a joint approach and vision.

In France, let’s say Grenoble, the creation of a transparent roof solution starts from the central role of the architect whereas in Norway the client already has a clear view of his or her wishes for the construction project. Both extremes have benefits and disadvantages. In an ideal scenario, they are geared to one another.

Again, an interesting question pops up here, namely: “Couldn’t we – both proactively and judiciously – apply the expertise of these 2 extremes to offer, next to the transparent roof solution, an action plan combining the best of both worlds?”

Believer or non-believer?

 

 

The very best of all technologies

We all strive for innovation and improvement. Technology always emerges from a market demand. Imagine for a moment that your market consists of a local region only. This would result in highly fragmented technology and in the risk that combining these technologies is no longer possible whereas this is exactly what the local market asks for. This argument is both a contradictory and vicious one.

In Oslo, people ask for heated glass whereas in Madrid smart glass is in high demand.

You can already guess our question: “Couldn’t we – both proactively and judiciously – apply the expertise of these 2 extremes? Or should we just make the best technological choices?"

 

Believer or non-believer?

 

 

Communication

Communication is the deliberate coherence of language, technology, culture and personal contact. It is important to find the ideal balance between these factors. Because we have local partners with their own language and culture, we can disregard the language and cultural factor and focus on the technical aspect of communication. Personal contact is related to the vision conveyed by the company. The challenge is using the available technology correctly. A good digital document management system, a professional video call system, ...

Imagine for a moment the following: our local Single Point of Contact of a French customer is organising a meeting with our Spanish partner and our Norwegian supplier. He provides you through a digital platform with the necessary documents and invites you to click on a link and join a video conference without you having to do anything at all for this.

 

May we ask you one final interesting question? “Couldn’t this expertise warrant good and consistent communication?"

 

Believer or non-believer?

 

 

 

Think Global, Act Local ….

“Believer of the Believers”

                 

                                                                                                                            

Jeroen De Cock

 

 

 

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