Bercella & Mitsubishi Electric Corporation: a positive story despite difficult times
16th December 2019, 4:59 PM. This is Bercella and Melco’s story starting point.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation (MELCO) already got in touch with Bercella’s expertise at Space Tech Expo, but we never had the chance to start a proper business partnership until the end of 2019.
Mr Takatoshi Obata, Procurement Engineering Manager at MELCO, contacted Bercella saying he had been “impressed by your products” and asking for information about several structural components for Mitsubishi Electric next satellite.
While first getting in touch with a new possible business partner, time is the key factor. You have to be fast and precise while providing all the information the potential customer may need. After a number of emails to share the first information, MELCO and us had planned a meeting in Varano de’ Melegari on 9th March 2020 but right at the beginning of that month, Covid-19 exploded in Italy and business trips were stopped too.
At this point it was clear that the situation had just become even more challenging, since we both realised that distance was about to play a fundamental part in the development of this project.
Despite the difficult times, we managed to arrange several virtual meetings to start the preliminary steps that we normally would have done in presence. For example, we set up a quality audit via Skype to show to MELCO our facilities, the machines, the autoclave, the clean room and even the Val Ceno’s landscape, as if we had physically met. All of our common efforts led us to the draft of the first offer and the real start of our partnership.
Along with time, as said before, patience, communication and comprehension are crucial in building a strong business relationship and this is even more important when you can’t meet your client and you have to find another way to do business with them.
Luckily, telco and virtual meeting platforms really helped the situation and the development of the project rolled out almost as if meetings were allowed.
MELCO, who now became our first Japanese client, chose us over competitors because of our ability to offer them a quality output with a smaller budget and a shorter amount of estimated time of production. Also, MELCO asked Bercella for a co-designed and co-engineered project which is strongly aligned with our build-to-spec corporate perspective.
All of this happened between March and June 2020 but several modifications went on until the end of October and at the beginning of November we have been able to finalise the project and to start the production of the structures.
This story represents for us the emblem of the reason why today we feel particularly proud of this new business collaboration and inspired by the positive and open-minded approach that made it possible.