Trimo

Manufacturers roof and façade systems and steel assembly buildings
Slovenia
Company name: Trimo
Company size: Large
Company web site: http://www.trimo.si
Date of Foundation: 1962
Nr. of Employees: 250<

Case summary:
Trimo developed a strategy to differentiate their Products and service through Innovation and Design, against a background of an industry, construction that could be considered conservative, low-tech, mature, cost-oriented and not very innovative. This has been highly successful both financially and in their recognition as one of the leaders in thisMarket. Focussing on architects and designers as key decision makers, they have develop their Products and Services, including technical support and understanding of future trends to enables the best possible result for the end user. They have invested in Design, R&D and promotions to build a strong image of an innovative company that always offers something New and surprising. Recently Trimo has developed environmentally friendly Products and Services mainly in solar energy. The Culture of Design and Innovation is supported and nurtured throughout the company at all levels.

Growing to a leading company:
Trimo d.d. started its professional journey 46 years ago as a small company with 3 employees. Today, Trimo d.d. is one of the leaders in pre-fabricated steel buildings and panels made of stone mineral wool for roofing and façade systems.

From a local company, which up to the end of the 1980’s mostly sold products in the ex-Yugoslavian market, Trimo has become a leading European producer of roof and façade systems and steel assembly buildings. That is why Trimo now sells in more than 50 countries, from Algeria and Ireland, to Brazil and China. The group has 14 companies, most of them located in other countries and production facilities in Slovenia, as well as Russia, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates.

The financial and production results of Trimo have been growing since the 1990’s. In 2006 and 2007 the growth was greater than 30%, and the average annual growth in the last 10 years has been almost 20%. In the last few years Trimo has achieved many national and international awards, including repeatedly, best manager awards and the national award for quality management. It was the first Slovenian company in history to win the European Business Excellence Award (EFQM) for leadership last year in Athens.

All Trimo’s successes have been achieved by following a planned business strategy which is based on strong investment in R&D and design, as the key components of the growth strategy, providing differentiation and creating a competitive advantage for the company. Although the company operates in the conservative, low-tech, mature, cost-oriented and, could be considered, not very innovative, construction industry, Trimo decided to be different from its competitors with a clear strategy and brand-building foccused on innovation and design.

Trimo is, in today’s market, recognized as a trendsetter in the field of designing and developing new solutions for roof and facade systems and steel constructions, which is why company (together with its partners) gained many awards for design and architecture – in 2007 Trimo received its 2nd European Architectural Award for steel construction, won 1st prize at the Kiwi Soft BE Award 2007 for design and project solutions for steel construction; an award from BIO – Biennial for industrial design in Ljubljana in 2006; an award for product innovation at BAU 2005 in Munster; many national prizes for innovations and design and many national awards in the field of architecture for projects achieved with Trimo products…

The strategy of Trimo d.d., with which the company wants to grow and break through into new geographical markets and new segments, is focused on cooperation with architects and designers, because they have a lead decision making role in the process of selection and application of building elements and materials, making them the most important “clients” when selling Trimo’s products, This is evident in the philosophy of the development process, which in its first phase, includes strong cooperation between architects and industrial designers in planning and testing new products. Trimo’s position between architecture (whole building) and industrial design (products for roofs and façade systems) is unique and very complex.

The emphasis is on aesthetics and a combination of innovation, functional, technical, and well-designed solutions, with the aim of increasing the value of a product by offering a complete solution to the customer. In this way, in the last 15 years, Trimo has successfully changed its image in the eyes of customers and, from a producer of industrial buildings, become a desired partner for many demanding projects in almost all sectors of civil engineering and construction – commercial, business, sports, education, and others .

Using innovation and design (words which the company always uses together) Trimo successfully adds value to all the products and services.

Trimo consistently follows a philosophy of selling ‘complete solutions’ instead of defined physical products (square metres of façades, or tons of steel). This primarily means the design, engineering, quality assurance, functionality and aesthetics of solutions used, which enables the best possible end result for the user. It is not just a product that has been optimised in only one part of the process (for example price, assembly, maintenance or project management), but the whole solution that is optimised for the end user – the customer.

Since Trimo chose to focus on architects, as the most important users of their products in the business strategy, they have developed strong technical support and marketing. The technical support is focused on quick and effective supply of technical information about products, and also on interactive communication with architects and investors to identify future needs and design trends.

In the technical support and design & development department, Trimo developed physical products and CAD/CAM programmes for supporting the work of architects (packages for easier design and an innovative use of Trimo products) as well as for easier use of Trimo existing solutions as for detecting the future demands and trends of the market.

That, and many other ways of communication with the most important customers (key customer management) is the difference between Trimo and its competitors – Trimo implants the results of interactive communication and open innovation business model into the development and design of their products and services.

The other difference is a strong focus and investment in marketing and promotion activities – the company works with graphic designers, artists in different fields (theatre, performance art…), and promotion agencies. In that way Trimo is building a strong image of an innovative company focused on the most successful design, which always offers something new and surprising.

One of the most important elements of the business strategy was the commitment of Trimo’s managers to clearly support innovativeness and creative design and encourage such thinking throughout the company. Today this attitude and thinking is an integral part of the culture of the whole company. It includes staff at all levels – not only the top management.

There is a lot of evidence and many examples of the above statements:

· The various awards which Trimo has given to architects, designers, students of architecture, industrial designers, and employees;

· The development process, in which cooperation between architects and designers in development teams is nurtured (It is named the R&D and Design Department);

· Many workshops each year with architects and designers;

· Sponsorship of architectural and others cultural events at the national and international level;

· Strong cooperation and support to the Faculties of Art and Architecture in the region;

· Investment in creative working space (architecture and design awards and nomination for Trimo own working space, e.g. Golden pencil, biggest Slovenian architectural award and European Architectural Award for steel architecture for TRIP – Trimo Reaserch and Innovation submarineshiP)…

In the last few years Trimo has placed great importance on developing solutions for better use of energy by developing products for alternative (mostly solar) energy as well as environmental friendly products and solutions – it started with the family of products called Trimo EcoSolutions and was the first Slovenian company to join the “Planet Positive Initiative”.

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