RUKO Precision Tools: Keeping the Customer Close Leads to Success
We all like the convenience of having things near us – a short drive to work, family and friends nearby, and the services we need close to home. RUKO Precision Tools uses that same philosophy in providing great service to its customers. RUKO stays close to its customers as well as its employees to ensure the company is ready to meet their needs in a timely fashion. RUKO OHG was founded in 1974 in Böblingen, Germany by Josef Ruppert to produce countersinker drill bits, twist drills, and tube and sheet drills. In 1980, the company was reorganized into RUKO GmbH Precision Tools but maintained its focus on the manufacture of drilling and cutting tools.
In 1990, the company moved its operations to Holzgerlingen, Germany near Stuttgart where it remains today. The modern building houses the company’s administration and manufacturing facilities. The production facilities include 28 fully automated CNC grinding machines that provide maximum precision in the manufacture of drills and cutters. This is one of the most technologically advanced production methods available.
As the company grew, it made a commitment to remain close to its customers. As a result, RUKO opened additional operations throughout Europe and the United States, including the Czech Republic, United Kingdom, France, Denmark, Turkey, and the state of Georgia in the United States. While the operations and manufacturing facilities remain in Germany and the Czech Republic, the other offices are focused on sales and distribution so RUKO can be near its customers.
Ancient tools that helped human advancement now require exact precision
Cutting tools were some of the first tools that humans used in the Early Stone Age 2.6 million years ago. People discovered that sharp stones could be used to make “cuts” in other materials. Then, the knife, scythe or sickle were fashioned as some of the original wedge-shaped cutting tools. The idea of a drilling tool, or awl, began to be used approximately 250,000 years ago when humans used rocks spun around by hand to make a hole in another object. Later on, rotary drills were fashioned to help make fire.
RUKO’s production takes place in Germany and the Czech Republic with specific products assembled in each operation.
The Germany plant has 128 employees working to manufacture:
- Taper and deburring countersinkers
- Step drills
- Rotary burrs
- Core drills
- Special drills
- Tube and sheet drills
- Hole saws
- Magnetic-stand drilling machines
- Deburring system
- End mill cutters
The plant in Czech Republic has 82 employees and produces:
- Twist drills
- Thread-cutting tools
In addition to its manufacturing plants, RUKO has carefully positioned its subsidiaries throughout the world to easily access its customer base.
Working closely with customers … and each other
Having offices located close to the customer is just the beginning of RUKO’s commitment to providing the very best quality and service. The company also maintains a unique corporate structure that allows employees to work close to each other as well. RUKO is a “flat” organization without many different levels or hierarchies. Such a structure can operate in a lean fashion with decision making remaining close to the customer. Many leading HR experts agree that maintaining a flat organizational structure promotes active employee involvement and encourages decision making. Without the multiple layers of management, the employee closest to the customer is then allowed to make decisions quicker and more efficiently providing a streamlined approach to customer requests, orders, and service.
This concept has helped RUKO maintain
good relationships with current customers as well as provide a positive working environment for employees. “RUKO is characterized by lean structures with motivated and qualified staff who are supported by modern communications technology including a client server system,” said Haddad. “This allows all members of our staff to network with each other which guarantees efficient, client-oriented service. Beyond that, RUKO employees feel empowered to do their job and help the customer. The end result is a high level of employee satisfaction.”
In the next five to ten years, RUKO employees will not only work closely to maintain customer satisfaction, they will also focus on continued product quality and innovative design. “Once considered a competitive advantage, quality is now a given or a ‘must have’ in order to be a competitor in today’s global manufacturing environment,” explained Haddad. “As machining accuracy continues to improve, our product designers will look for ways to shrink tolerance and improve fits which will in turn increase product life span, performance, and efficiency. As this is achieved, expectations will not only be related to physical product specifications but to product availability, packaging, warranty, real-time application support, and proactive contact with information related to product improvements and the expected performance benefits obtainable as a result of those improvements.”
With its future plans in place, RUKO will continue to stay in proximity to their customers – a path that has served them well during the past 35 years. As one of the world’s leading manufacturers of drilling and countersinking tools, RUKO considers itself as a European company with an international orientation. However, even with their global reach, RUKO will always be found close to their customers as they continue to serve them with the company’s unique structure and customer-focused strategy.