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We are selling The Rival Spirit
The Danish machine shop’s success is driven by a strong will to meet every wish of each customer
When a company engages with Rival they are not only doing business with one of the most advanced and versatile machine shops in Denmark, they are also getting involved with unique competences within for instance, Supply Chain Management, thinking and acting LEAN and establishing and developing networks. Henrik Holvad, owner and CEO explains:
- Every successful machine shop delivers a high-quality product on time, but I think that Rival is a little different in our strive to involve our customers on every level of the process. We only make advanced solutions with highly skilled people and the most modern machines but in addition to that we are having a constant dialogue with the customer to make the product even better, lighter, cheaper.
Sunlight and fresh air
Rival was founded by Henrik Holvad’s parents in 1963 on the present location on a field a few miles outside Skanderborg in Denmark, and the company is not going anywhere:
- I believe that the green hills and valleys, all the sunlight and fresh air surrounding us is a way to attract good people to Rival, he says, and the Rival CEO is the best example of that: He and his family, including the parents lives right next to the company.
Certifications laid the foundation
In 2001 Henrik Holvad bought Rival from his parents. Like most other companies Rival was hit severely by the 2008 recession but the setback was also regarded as an opportunity to transform the company, according to Mr. Holvad:
- At the turn of the decade we spend an entire year’s revenue on a certification process and it wasn’t a penny too much since we simply wanted to be the best in the business no matter what it took.
The certifications laid the foundation for the Danish machine shop to go after the vast offshore business in the North Sea with its extreme demands for quality and the strategy paid off: A few years and substantial growth later seven out of ten kroners was made on the offshore industry.
Defense business was a good way to start
However, a few years ago the offshore business was hit by a massive setback due to collapsing oil prices and Rival lost a lot of customers. The management began looking for alternatives and with a highly tuned production line skilled people and all the certificates in place the defense business was a good way to start. Sales Manager, Defense, Cristian Aarup explains:
- At one of our first meetings with a big, foreign defense contractor they presented their portfolio of products and I clearly recall one of them proudly saying “we never lost a soldier in this vehicle” and at that moment I realized we were at the right place because those words perfectly embodies the spirit of Rival; we are proud of what we are doing and we firmly believe that we make a difference.
From the beginning Rival made a strategic decision to go for the land systems market since it fits the company’s competences the best. Today one third of the sales comes from defense a part that is aimed to grow to two thirds in a few years among with an expansion of the service part of the company.