2017: giving the best of ourselves
F I G U R E S
It has been a good year and we have now had several such in a row. Each year, the objectives set company-wide by the Management team are more ambitious and it is, therefore, doubly satisfying when they are achieved. We have done this once again in 2017. This year we have grown, both in terms of stock and staff. We have broken the barrier of 30 million seals in the warehouse:• 30,000,000 O-Rings • 1,000,000 X-Rings • 225,000 Back-Up Rings (BUR) • 200,000 V-Rings • 70,000 Bonded Seals • 40,000 Rotary Shaft Seals • 40,000 U-Rings • 25,000 Wiper Seals • 6,000 Axial Seals or Gamma seals • 1,650 Spools of Cord-Ring
We have also broken the 12-employee barrier. First, with the hiring of Iñaki Bilbao in January in the Export Department and then Unai Pereda in September in the warehouse. Both have adapted very well both to the intense work rate and to the environment.
In September, we broke records left, right and centre in terms of order backlog, which we broke once again last November (with sales totalling €220,000). This year, each quarter has been the best in JIOrings‘ history, indicating that we have maintained a very high work rate among all departments throughout the course of the year.
A major investment was made to improve shared facilities at JIOrings this year. We now have a new meeting room, where we can welcome our clients in a comfortable and convenient manner; a kitchen for everyday use by the employees and for our regular coffee and potato omelette event on Fridays; as well as a multi-purpose leisure room, which will soon host the first edition of our ping pong tournament. The new JIOrings offices are designed to be open and comfortable spaces in which to carry out all the day-to-day commercial and administrative work and to receive clients and suppliers.
Q U A L I T Y
At the beginning of the year, we obtained ISO 9001:2015, issued specifically on the 21st of February, following the successful conclusion of audits by BUREAU VERITAS, which certified that our Quality Management System had been appropriately implemented in accordance with the latest version of UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015. This is another step that has allowed us to adjust workflows, redefine strategic objectives and see that we are well on our way to excellence.
At JIOrings, we work to ensure that our seals meet quality, health, safety, environmental and social responsibility standards in virtually any market. For this reason, in addition to complying with REACH and RoHS standards, we hold major official approvals from our suppliers and we are making an extra effort to obtain in-house approvals for some of the most successful mixtures.
In this respect, we have taken a significant step forward with the certification of JIOrings Nortap® silicone plugs, which, in addition to being FDA compliant, comply with the requirements established by the BfR, Bundesinstitut für Risikobewertung (Federal Institute for Risk Assessment).
C O M M I T M E N T
It is a word that defines us. With each new client we try to reach the degree of commitment necessary to satisfy their expectations. For us, making sale means convincing them that we are the best option (the quickest way to find a seal) and for that, we must earn the trust of each one of our clients each and every day. To offer a quality product with excellent service. With more than 1,500 customers (of which 169 are clients gained this year), we sell to more than 30,000,000 seals to 35 different countries, this year we have included expanding our sales to countries such as South Korea, Hungary and Estonia. All this without neglecting the national market, which accounts for 80% of our total client portfolio.
For us, the commitment is reflected in the quality of the product, in the sales processes and in the marketing of each and every one of our seals.
This year, in addition to all the loyalty activities we have been carrying out, we have placed special emphasis on the scheduling of orders. This is because it is the way in which we can improve prices, guarantee stock, avoid unforeseen events and meet all delivery dates agreed with each customer.
S P E C I A L D A Y S
We sincerely believe that the company influences and is influenced by its environment. Hence, a great deal of our efforts is focussed on achieving the most positive working environment possible, where each and every person feels part of the company and, in addition actively partners in local projects of various kinds.
To achieve the first objective, we carry out specific activities to promote teamwork and unity among employees with the aim of improving coordination between everyone and the relationship with the company: meals outside the working environment, celebration of birthdays, an annual ping pong championship, participation in popular races etc., and an annual activity, which this year saw us sampling wines in La Rioja.
As for the second area, it should be noted that during 2017 we continued to support sports via the JIOrings Cycling Team and the JIOrings Running Team, as well as via sponsorship of several sports teams (Club de Ajedrez Conteneo Bilbao Haitzak [Chess], Galdakao Boleibol Taldea [Volleyball] and Jon García Tagle’s participation in the 2017 Kneeboard World Championship, among others.). Apart from all these not-for-profit link-ups, throughout the year we have carried out a range of activities to raise awareness of Tourette Syndrome. By means of “Un paso más por el síndrome de Tourette” (Amaya Álvarez) and “Pedaladas por el Tourette” (Ángela Domínguez ), we want to do our bit in terms of raising awareness of and normalising this disorder.
F U T U R E
As every year, we will work hard to expand the stock of the seals most in demand by our customers: seals made from blends with in-house approvals, different sizes of plugs for export to the French, Portuguese and Latin markets, cord-ring in various materials….
In addition, in 2018 we want to redouble our efforts to shorten manufacturing lead times and improve agreements with our logistics suppliers, always with the aim of remaining the quickest way to find a seal. In addition, by 2018 we have challenged ourselves to improve the website experience and boost online shopping, a way to save both time and money. In January, we expect to conclude this first phase of improvement in our facilities. We do all of this without losing our focus as a young and dynamic company and one that meets the needs of our clients.
Another year with a pleasant aftertaste
We bid farewell to 2016 satisfied with the job we have done and with the rewards earned and (how could we not) thanking all of our clients and suppliers for continuing to rely on JIOrings.
2016 comes to an end and, once again, it is time to briefly summarise to help us analyse the steps we took (both for better and for worse) during the last twelve months, to reflect on our annual objectives and establish new challenges for the upcoming year.
And if we look back over it, we can see that 2016 was another excellent year for us. The reward for our daily commitment and teamwork is the reaching of some of our important milestones that we would like to share with you in this post.
Sales record and market expansion
We have done it again. This year we have succeeded in surpassing several of our historical turnover records and key achievements for the future of the company. Over our twelve years of existence, we have handled more than 4,700 clients, sold more than 200 million seals, and sent more than 75,000 packages by land, sea, and sky to 20 different countries.
Over the course of 2016, we have managed to add more than 100 new clients to our portfolio, thanks to the work of our salesmen (Óscar, Cesar, and Arkaitz) and of all the marketing and communications work carried out (Silbia). Furthermore, in November, we beat the record for monthly orders, with it having the largest orderbook and turnover in the entire history of JIOrings. The warehouse workers (Fernando, JuanRa, Gonzalo, and Laura) have not stopped preparing packages. Thanks to the brisk pace throughout the year and, above all, to the results from the previous month, this year we are going to top the annual turnover record, 1.5 million more than last year. The Accounting Department, headed by Maite, is still celebrating ;D
We hope to continue growing in 2017, and quickly, around 10% according to our Executive Director (Iñigo).
Immersed in the certification of our quality system
We find ourselves in the middle of the quality certification process according to standard ISO 9001-2015. Our objective is to achieve this by January 2017 and, thus, to be able to address new needs that we recognised among our clients. What better way to start the year?
The process of obtaining the ISO standard has made us perform a comprehensive improvement of our quality management system in order to make it comply with the international standard. We always have an eye out for ways to improve our products and services in order to be able to offer you the best product with the best service.
In order to be the quickest way to find a seal, we must be able to meet the majority of our wide range of clients’ needs. As a result, over the last twelve months we have focused on increasing our stock of O-ring seals made from Viton®, in the French R range in VMQ70 FDA red, NBR90, and NBR50. Similarly, we have also expanded our stock of spools of cord stock made from Xiametre® and Viton® original, both materials certified for food use by the CTR laboratory.
However, we have not focused on expanding stock of just these two products, but rather also in supplying our warehouses with the main ranges of all of our major products: X-rings, U-rings, V-rings, RB gamma seals, rotary shaft seals, etc. Our Purchasing department (headed by Jean-Albert) did not have time to get bored this year.
We keep collecting certifications
One of JIOrings’ competitive advantages is its rapidity, but another is that we also offer the best products. To do this, we always show the various certifications that verify that our products are of the highest quality. And in 2016 in this respect, we have certified our own new mixtures for moulded silicone seals (VMQ70 FDA red, VMQ40 FDA translucent, VMQ40 FDA brown…), among others, as well as for extruded profiles, such as Viton® (FPM75 FDA black, silicone VMQ70 FDA red…).
As this is a process that never finishes, we have created a new section on our website where we display all the official approvals that we have obtained.
Because we know that trust is foundational to our relationship, throughout 2016, we wanted to share some moments of our working and social life with you. That is why we recorded our corporate video about how we work at JIOrings, we publish photos of our annual outing to foster inter-personal relationships and a positive atmosphere, we share photos from several Fridays where we have celebrated one of our staff’s birthday… And created a lot of content on our social networks so that you can get to know us better.