Raimundas Petrauskas, Head of Schmitz Cargobull Baltic, a company that manufactures truck bodies, trailers and semi-trailers, and the executer of one of the most successful projects managed by the Lithuanian Business Support Agency, shares the success story of Schmitz Cargobull Baltic and invites to turn to consumers and exploit business opportunities more often.
What are the key conditions for business growth? What determines business success?
The world is changing, and probably one of the most important tasks for companies is to be useful to their customers, i.e. to see opportunities.
The world is moving forward and what was relevant 20-30 years ago is now changing rapidly. Conditions are changing, digitization is underway and we are looking ahead to what future shipments and our future customers will need. One of those growth opportunities is to see where the world is moving forward and to provide our customers with goods and services that are useful, needed, and benefiting.
Once you have seen the possibilities, you need to think about how to implement the change effectively. Many actions can be done, however, a very important aspect of the customer journey is making processes useful and efficient. We follow the LEAN philosophy to eliminate wasteful, worthless work. It is one of the most important components that helps get things done faster and use the same resources more, while meeting customer needs.
What is the significance of innovation for companies? Can international business be competitive without innovation?
It is clear that innovation is indispensable, but sometimes it is supposed that it costs a great deal of money, but it is not entirely true. In fact, innovation can be implemented in processes, products and many other areas. Innovation does not necessarily have to be expensive or similar to rocket science.
How important was the EU investment for Schmitz Cargobull Baltic?
Actually, it has encouraged us to some extent to engage in a project we were not sure about. EU investment allocated by the Lithuanian Business Support Agency allowed us to implement a risky project and create three products. One of them was very successful, another one was moderately successful, and the third perhaps was not successful, but they all brought one benefit - we gained a platform on which we could later develop other products. I think those investments were worth it. To this day, we produce products, which were influenced by that EU project. We went through this whole process and think it was the right decision as well as a good experience in cooperation with the Lithuanian Business Support Agency.