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Yves Antoni in an interview on the subject of warehousing

Yves Antoni receives us in a friendly manner exhibiting cheerfulness on the first floor of the Bleiholder GmbH & Co. KG`s large company building. The director Jörg Bleiholder welcomed as, and so did the senior partner Rolf Bleiholder who founded the company over 50 years ago as a metalworking shop and who still works here today in the office, and he shook us by the hand. Today the company site is over 2000 square metres and gives work to over 30 employees.
Mr Antoni, do you specialise in anything?

In everything! (Laughs) No, now to be serious: we must know something about everything - and more than a little. Advice is important, because advice is half the order. But we do everything: advice, technical drawings, production and assembly right up to acceptance.

What was your most exciting project in 2014 and why?

There's a building here in Pforzheim, right next to the railway station. It's called "il tronco", which means "the tree trunk" in English. We made the entire façade cladding for it as well as the fall protection. Not a single sheet is the same as the other, as nothing is level and nothing is vertical on the building. It is even more beautiful at night when it is floodlit. The great thing is that nothing is humdrum, everything is a custom-made product!

What irritates you with your work, what would you like to change?

That we and the profession are taken more seriously. We have serious problems in getting apprentices and good skilled workers.

"Reliability is the be-all and end-all."

What typifies a good supplier for you?

What MEVACO offers: reliability. Reliability is the be-all and end-all. That's said without meaning to flatter you, but it is so.

What priority is given to the subject of warehousing in your daily work?

I deal with this to a lesser degree - in fact, we're trying in to move away from the warehouse and towards ordering just-in-time. Because warehousing is one of the most expensive additional costs.

Do you still have a warehouse, and if so, how large is it?

Yes, a very small one only for emergencies, therefore with a size of approximately 50 square metres. Early it was certainly three times as large.

How often do you order only 1 item or 1 batch with single items?

Daily. We place orders based only on the customer. This is why we are also moving away from warehousing. Earlier orders were for bundles. But we are no longer able to do this, as the range of our products is increasingly becoming larger. Everything is ordered today customer-based or order-based.

This means,that theoretically today you are unable to hold so much in stock ?

No, because we would throw away two thirds at the end of the year. And it is simply too expensive. Just imagine, for instance, everything has a blue trend now: you order everything in blue. And then the green trend comes - what do you do then?

Are there materials you always have in stock?

Bolts, normal everyday materials. But no perforated sheets or expanded metals, we always order these order-based from MEVACO.

"We profit above all with cost, as we don't have any warehousing."

What is your ordering behaviour? Do you collect orders together or do you always order immediately as required?

Always immediately as required.

To what extent do you and your customers profit from production of more than 1 item at MEVACO?

We profit above all with cost, as we don't have any warehousing. There's absolutely no advantage for me, when I have two perforated metal sheets that I can no longer use. In ongoing operations we can only continue working due to the fast MEVACO delivery for the project. We don't have to plan in advance and then wait - and we don't have to leave anything undone. The customer realises that we are reliable. He doesn't know why, but he notices it. And should something go wrong unexpectedly, we quickly get a replacement. Because we are actually not absolutely perfect (grins) - only nearly.

Do you order in the online shop or by phone or fax?

Only by e-mail or fax. We will also order in the online shop some day. When one can finally manage to something, then one thinks: why didn't you do it earlier? Up to now I simply haven't had the time to take a good look at it.

Do you know that you can order "desired products", as we call them, from MEVACO?

I've known this for a long time, but I have always assumed that this, firstly, is very expensive and, secondly, it will probably take forever until I get an offer, because it's a custom-made product. I now have to change my mind about this after my visit to the customer get-together at your production site in February. When I saw how the production functioned at MEVACO, I realised: this can not really be so expensive. And everything happens in no time at all there, that means I also get it fast. I also have an enquiry just at the moment, I will now enquire at MEVACO for this, as a desired product.

Do you have a suggestion as to how MEVACO could provide you with even better support with your materials supply?

No, actually not. The previous catalogue was very good but the current one is even better. And no-one would wish for better than the service provided by MEVACO.

What are you proud of in your work?

„Of being a craftsman. Yes, that is no longer given proper recognition by everyone. But I always say, wait 10, 15 years, then anyone who can get hold of a craftsman will be very satisfied. We unfortunately have a very bad reputation, the craftsman is always frowned on. People speak about those who are absolutely useless but there are thousands of others.“

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