RKB Bearing Industries Group is a Swiss manufacturing organization that has been operating in the bearing industry since 1936. We are proud of our more than 80 years of active presence in the bearings industry and we are committed to developing further this valuable legacy. COVID-19 meant for RKB, as for all other important manufacturers, additional challenges generated by its direct and indirect effects. As far as the direct effect is concerned, RKB had to find and implement appropriate solutions for a severe decrease in the demand of all regions and industrial sectors. Equally important, we had to properly adjust our internal activity to the indirect effects of COVID-19 in terms of work safety and working procedures. The fact that RKB has its headquarters in Switzerland was also beneficial and the fast and helpful decisions of the Swiss government allowed us to keep on working. We are focused on development and innovation and we offer a diverse product portfolio covering most industries and ranging from small-scale size bearings to over 4 tons bearings. The fact that bearings are crucial components for a huge number of industrial applications represents a major opportunity, but also a challenge for RKB. Providing necessary products proved to be a solid basis for the continuity of our business even in adverse circumstances.
Essential industries have never stopped during these challenging times. Therefore, bearings continue to be needed. With this optimistic but also realistic view, we pro-actively tried to successfully face this year’s negative market environment, mainly characterized by decreased demand and multiple uncertainties.
In answering the current challenges, RKB Management believes it was important that we never stopped identifying and implementing solid solutions regarding the full range of our activity, from design and production to clients’ training and service. In a context when all clients are focused on cost optimization, it was also important that we continue to provide tangible competitive advantages for our customers. In this respect, we act so that our products and all the related activities we are performing deliver an attractive return on investment (ROI) and value for money to our customers.
To overcome all the difficulties generated by the new coronavirus pandemic, RKB adapted to the times and chose smart working. Our colleagues continued to be performance-focused and effective during this difficult period. They were amazing and showed a great team spirit. We used video calls all the time to keep in touch with everyone. In addition, we revised documents, increased our knowledge, always reading and learning, and organized online seminars.
The lessons of the past crises were valuable in dealing with the current one. For example, in the time of the steel industry crisis, we diversified our product range to reach other businesses. When the Euro Crisis arrived, we expanded our presence worldwide via partners and branches.
As a result, we now have a worldwide distribution network and exports to more than 50 countries. RKB sales force grew based on long-term partnerships and trust, mutual respect and interest in achieving each party’s business objectives.
RKB business model considers warehouse availability and just in time service as a critical central resource for the ongoing organic growth of our company. The evaluation of RKB business performance during this year confirms the validity of this strategic option. RKB has one of the three largest stock of standard and technological rolling bearings in Europe, carefully supervised by an advanced software system – RKB Active Strategic Stock Management.
Our large and locally based warehouses solved many critical situations that our clients across the world were facing. They made possible RKB prompt reactions to many urgent clients’ requests and confirmed our just-in-time delivery commitment.