Telecom and Data

Finding the right fit: A strategic approach to customer partnerships

Harvey McDowell Jul 12, 2019

Nexans data center solutions : we help you grow your hyperscale datacenter

To understand its position in the marketplace, a company should be able to summarize its strategic mission in one sentence. For Nexans Data Center Solutions, it might sound like this: “Think like a local partner, act like a global supplier”. This approach reflects our belief that a true partnership can only be based on shared values and vision.

Choosing to be your local company 

With industrial footprint in 34 countries, Nexans is a truly global company. Yet we also like to think of ourselves as a local company with decades of experience in each market we serve. For example, we’ve been operating in the LAN space in the United States for 30 years. The same is true in Europe and China. In Brazil, it’s been 20 years. 

We’re not a company that just ships you a product from the one side of the globe to another. No, we live here in the same environment as you. We saw it grow and we grew up with it. We know your standards. We know what kind of tools and procedures you like to use, because we have a deep understanding of how you work.

“ Think like a local partner, act like a global supplier. ”

Harvey McDowell

Vice President – Strategic Business at Nexans Data Center Solutions

Sustainable partnerships based on values

Our customers can be confident we can get them the products they use. But they can also count on us to bring added value to their processes, by adopting rigorous approach to on-time deliveries and quality control.
To hold itself to the highest performance standards, Nexans uses a measurement called “on time in full,” or OTIF, which indicates how many complete orders are supplied on time without any article missing. In the TL 9000 quality management system, it’s referred to as “on-time delivery to supplier promise date (OTIP)”.

And keeping our promises is key to any sustainable partnership. So every time we tell a customer we can deliver, we’re making a commitment - and we take that very seriously.

The data is the best proof. In our Fuquay-Varina plant in the US, our aggregate OTIP is over 95 percent, which is significantly better than the average – even among the best suppliers, as we can see in the TL 9000 system. 

Quality, not quantity

The key for an excellent service is to choose quality over quantity, so we choose the customers that make sense for us and for whom we are sure we’re a good fit.

Indeed, we look continuously for what we call a value match. And the only way to do that is to sit down and talk about it. Sometimes we find that the customer is solely focused on price. That’s their right, but if they don’t value things like on-time delivery and safety, we will not speak the same language. It’s better to know that going in.

Finally, based on my experience, those customers who are passionate about quality, service, market knowledge, will be the ones who will we will be successful with and who will be most successful with us.

About the author

Harvey McDowell

Harvey R. McDowell, III, is the Division Vice President, Strategic Business Leader for Berk-Tek LLC, a Nexans Company. He began his career in 1985 as an R&D product engineer with Siecor, designing fiber optic cables for enterprise networks. He worked in the following years as an R&D engineering manager, operations manager and director of engineering for flame-retardant cable manufacturing. He joined Berk-Tek LLC in 2003 as operations manager for the fiber optic cable segment, and served in key positions through 2016, when he assumed his current post, where he oversees strategies related to Nexans NA’s telecom business portfolio, partner agreements, and M&A’s. He holds a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University and an MBA degree from the UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School. He is a recipient of the WCMA Distinguished Career award, holds several cable patents and has published papers.

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