The Best of the Best: Celebrating Suppliers
The winner of the 2017 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year Award is Saint-Gobain!
No industry can thrive without a strong support base of responsive, quality suppliers. We sought to celebrate suppliers to the ceramic and related industries with our 2017 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year Award, and we were thrilled to receive many enthusiastic nominations. Nominators praised their suppliers on qualities ranging from responsiveness and product options to reliability and overall performance.* I’m thrilled to announce that Saint-Gobain is the 2017 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year!
Saint-Gobain was nominated for the award by Shepherd Isaac, kiln supervisor with TOTO USA. Isaac rated Saint-Gobain overall as “excellent,” with a few categories scoring “above average.” “The product that we buy from them has proven to be the best for our process,” he wrote in his nomination. “We have used all known competitors over the 17 years that I have been in the industry. Saint-Gobain’s product performance tops them all. The sales representative has been outstanding to work with. With her background in ceramic engineering, she has advised me on certain applications with positive results. She has been very helpful on occasions when I needed the delivery time shortened.”
Isaac’s sales rep is Susan Rozak, application engineer with Saint-Gobain Ceramic Materials. She believes a strong focus on customer satisfaction is a key ingredient to not only her success, but also that of Saint-Gobain and all of its customers. “We are really trying to do a good job with our customers, realizing they’re behind everything,” she says. “If my customer isn’t winning, then I’m not winning. We’re all in this together.”
Rozak appreciates Saint-Gobain’s ongoing pursuit of improvement, whether in product quality and development or customer service. “We’re working to define what happens at every stage of the customer’s journey—from how they find us in the beginning to their satisfaction with the finished product,” she says. “And we’re always trying to learn how we can get better.”
Two companies received strong nominations and clearly deserve an honorable mention: CoorsTek and Morgan Advanced Materials. The person who nominated CoorsTek rated the company as “excellent” in nearly every category (with the few remaining categories “above average”). The company’s overall product line and ability to provide a direct solution motivated this nomination.
According to CoorsTek, the company strives to understand each customer’s needs and exceed their expectations. “At CoorsTek, customer service is not a department,” says Patty Mishic, chief commercial officer. “It is a core value, a mindset and behavior we want every employee from our executives to our newest manufacturing technicians to our Ph.D. scientists to embrace and live.”
Robert Pavlik, Ph.D., of Pavlik & Partners, LLC nominated Morgan Advanced Materials. Pavlik rated Morgan as “above average” or “excellent” in all categories. “They have a differential advantage with amorphous graphite surface coatings, and my experience with their product/process development and partnership has been excellent, especially the graphite die mold facility in CT (USA),” Pavlik wrote in his nomination.
*Editor’s note: Nominations for the 2017 Ceramic Industry Supplier of the Year Award were open from November 2016 to March 2017. Nominees were rated on a four-point scale (“below average,” “average,” “above average” and “excellent”) in 12 categories: product quality, product range, ordering process, on-time delivery, order accuracy, friendly customer service, efficient customer service, problem resolution, customer education, innovation, eco-friendliness and overall experience. Any additional comments provided by the nominators were also taken into consideration to determine the winner.