The key is to offer customers what they have been demanding
ANTONIO MARTÍNEZ, the managing director of Bomaq Industries SL of Murcia, Spain, is a man of many talents. He’s the founder of a relatively new forklift manufacturing business that has released a new multi-purpose rough terrain forklift that covers almost
Q: Tell us a little about yourself. Paint a picture of your experience, what motivates you and who inspires you.
I think I’ve been an engineer since the very time I was born. While other friends enjoyed playing with the toys and cars, I enjoyed disassembling them, and checking what was inside... The best gift for my birthday or Christmas could be a tool set, a battery, some switches and lights... I finally studied Industrial Engineering, and I can say that my job is my hobby; I really enjoy designing machines that can do a useful work in the best way possible. Great part of my career took place at Mecano Continental (Mast Explorer manufacturer), for about 10 years I learned a lot from customers, and from my old boss (Francisco Sánchez). One of the most important things that you don’t learn at the University is to listen: listen to your boss, listen to your mates, listen to the customers & to the market. If you listen you get a lot of information, some is good, some is bad, but it’s up to you to decide what you do with it. If you don’t listen and make your own world (products, companies,...), you are out of the game. Some times Engineers have the problem of dreaming too much without listening to the market, and at the end, you have to please the market and find your place in it if you want to success. I think that’s the key of a small company like mine today, to offer what the biggest don’t do.
Inspiration is difficult to find sometimes, and it depends on what you refer. My personal inspiration and mostly the main thing for what I’ve decided to go ahead with this is my family; I think that without them I would have left to Germany to find a job, but I want to create something for their future, as things are worse everyday for the youngest.
Q: Bomaq – it’s a new-ish product. Can you outline the research and development phase; how the concept came to life?
If you want to find a place, and your resources are very limited, you have to bring something new, something never seen before, but taking care of not going too far away of the competitors, because sometimes things that are too different create the opposite reaction. From my experience with Mast I worked in after sales, engineering, design, production, ... And in 10 years (if you listen) you can take a lot of useful information. This is the key of the Bomaq product, to offer customers what they have been demanding from a Rough Terrain forklift truck: ergonomics, design, simplicity, compact size, manoeuvrability, easy of use & maintenance, ...
I can’t say I have created the best product in it’s category, but I’ve tried to give an answer to 10 years of complaints & suggestions. There are many competitors, for whom I have a great respect, like Ausa, Manitou, Piquersa, Agria, JCB, Likftking... Surely you know more than me, but if you do the same than the others, at the end it will be a price fight, and a small company like mine would be surely lost, as I don’t have the purchasing capacity of any of the ones mentioned before.
Another important key in the design of the Bomaq is the use of the latest technology in CAD available. I spent more than 3000 EUR in a computer 2 years ago (the most powerfull cad station yet), which helps me (1 engineer), to simulate almost everything of the machine. This way I can do the work of 10 engineers, and with a better coordination, as everything is in only 1 brain, and don’t have to share or adapt my job to the other 9 technicians. Tools are very important to develope a job; sometimes things get very difficult for not having the appropiate tool to do the job. I’ve applied this also to the assembling, creating toolings and even a TV screen with assembling steps detailed to prevent mistakes. Something so simple as having 2 screens on your computer can make you increase your productity up to 50%, and reduce mistakes of translating by mind information from one application to another; cost: 100 EUR.
Q: Who was part of your team and how did they influence the project?
I began alone, with the support of my family, and now I’ve hired one person for assembling (former Mast production responsible), and another person for the papers (invoices, notes, taxes, contracts,...). So right now we are 3 people working directly at Bomaq. I know we are few, but costs have to be under control, and resources have to be optimized to the maximum, while we grow.
I think next movement will be to hire a electrical assembler, because I’m still doing all the wiring and fuse box of the machines by myself, and then an engineer for after sales and spare parts support.
Bomaq’s new rough terrain BMP Series 4WD Forklift isn’t restricted by work choice.