“There is nothing better, to reinforce any commitment than motivating people" — ULMA Begira

Ulma Forged Solutions

“There is nothing better, to reinforce any commitment than motivating people"

Although it is true that ULMA Piping can be an exception in these times of crisis, it is also true that the generalised crisis context in which we are immerse also affects, in some way, the Business. We wanted to interview its president, Iñaki Medina, who offers his reflections about the current situation.
“There is nothing better, to reinforce any commitment than motivating people"
Dec 09, 2014

Firstly, Iñaki, although we know the cycles that companies go through, what is the "secret" of ULMA Piping at this time to enable them to resolve the crisis this way?

Secrets, very few In my opinion we could say that there several key factors:

Firstly, we have known how to make good investments and we can say that the market positioning of ULMA Piping is very good.  Secondly, the sector where our products are aimed, we could say it has not suffered the effects of the crisis as other sectors have, and lastly, highlight the diversification of markets, that is a subject that we manage very well in ULMA Piping, we sell to more than 70 countries.  The combination of these 3 factors has made it possible for us at Piping to resolve the crisis better than other Businesses.

Nowadays it seems that solidarity is a key factor for success, do you think that we as a cooperative are in cohesion and committed with our Business and with the Group?

The key to success is having a Business model that is profitable throughout time

In my opinion, the key to success is having a Business model that is profitable throughout time. But if we means by having success, the survival in these punctual periods or through the crisis we are suffering, and if we take into account that under the principle of solidarity we understand that the aids to employment with relocations, as well as the economic aids with reconversions or inter-cooperative loans, clearly solidarity is one of the keys for having success at punctual periods.

Regarding the second question, if I believe that as a collective we are committed to our Business, regarding the commitment of the collective with the ULMA Group, to be honest it is a bit more complicated, think that in our daily routine we do not have direct contact with other Businesses or with the Group, and that does not help to create links.  In our case, the example is obvious, a couple of months ago, we were asked to attend an event organised by the Group (ULMA GARA) and from our cooperative not many people attended.  This is a clear example that we still consider the Group as something far from us.  Of course, as President and together with the other bodies, I have and we have to work more in this aspect.

In your opinion, what do you think are the tools that should be emphasised more to strengthen this involvement from the cooperatives/businesses and the Group?

I have something very clear that there is nothing better, to reinforce any commitment than motivating people.

In the Group we have meetings with the Management, Committees, Business Counsel, General Counsel, where we handle diverse subjects both strategic as daily routine, decisions are taken that affect all of us, but we talk very little about of how we see our implication in the Group, perhaps in these committees or meetings we should leave room to analyse what we could do so that people are more motivated and involved.

Do you think that the cooperative formula is the best way for approaching new challenges and the global context in which our Businesses have to develop?

Theoretically yes and I clearly think that way.  I say theoretically, because cooperatives are what the partners want them to be, it is a model shared by all of us, which should derive into an enormous potential to face the challenges we are up against.  Although in realty, it shows us that the society we have created and that sense of belonging seems to be quite far.

Do you believe that the cooperatives are sufficiently agile to react in such a changing environment as the current one? What measures or instruments for improvement could be implemented?

We have always transmitted that cooperatives due to the operational model we have, are agile when reacting to unforeseen situations, we have the means through the bodies to be agile, but, the agility with which each Business takes any measures depends entirely on the same.  In the case of the ULMA Group, I do believe that faced with the crisis we have known how to react with certain agility, adjusting the size of the company, advanced employment, etc. Many of these measures were not easy to carry out, although in my opinion, the decisions do not have to be taken only in an agile way, but also they have to be efficient and effective.

The last question is the same for all and is that if you feel that ULMA Group as a Group with a social aim, and instrumental Foundation, should strengthen and promote its social project.

Yes, but everyone should cleanly understand what is the Social Project of ULMA Group. I believe that not everyone clearly understands what that project is.  I know that the Bodies of the Group are specifically working on that aspect.  I think it s an interesting debate among all.