Crazy for Composites Interviews – Shachar Fine, EVP Business Development, Marketing and Sales at Kanfit

About Plataine

Crazy for Composites is a series of interviews with Industry Leaders, shaping the advanced composites industry. These interview are tie-free – casual, nothing formal and yet – pretty insightful.

In this episode, we had the pleasure of interviewing Shachar Fine, EVP Business Development, Marketing and Sales at Kanfit. He shared with us his best sales tips, experiences, and more! Watch the full video or read the interview below.

Tell us a bit more about yourself

I’m Shachar Fine, Executive Vice President at Kanfit. I’m responsible for Business Development, marketing and sales ; locating the project, the customer, the technology, all the way down to a successful integration in Kanfit or a successful project execution.

 

What are your hobbies?

Well, I have five kids, so that leaves very little time for hobbies. I try to do yoga every day. We hike a lot with the family and I do SUP, sailing and some diving. I also read a lot of books, but that’s late at night.

 

What do you love the most about your job, about Kanfit or about your position specifically?

It is a privilege to meet new people, new cultures almost every day.
The interaction with other people, considering the fact that we spend most of our time in the office staring at screens or presentations – I think it gives me a lot of satisfaction to vary it with human interactions. One of the things I love the most about Kanfit is that we don’t have much of a power distance at Kanfit – every opinion is heard, even a junior level employee is not concerned about arguing with the CEO or even the Chairman of the Board and you can sometimes hear heated discussions between the lowest levels and the highest levels, and nobody is afraid to say what’s on their mind.

At Kanfit every voice is equal.
The CEO makes the decision, but everybody is heard.

 

What would you describe as a top challenge that you and Kanfit are facing today?

It’s the same challenge for me and Kanfit and that is to keep the customer happy. With the global supply chain issues today, every day there is a new surprise, we get updates from suppliers that they can’t deliver raw materials, lack of manpower.
In Israel, the unemployment rate is extremely low, so it’s extremely difficult to find more employees. And so there is a lot of work, but there is nobody to do it.

It’s not my direct responsibility in Kanfit, but I am the one facing the customer, so I need to do the explanations.

 

What is your best tip for digital transformation? which by the way, might be the solution to the challenges that you mentioned before.

For sure, Digital Transformation is an important part of that solution.
I think getting the most senior people (in the company) to believe in the transformation and commit to the transformation is the key.
If not everybody on the team is dedicated to the transformation – it’s enough if they’re not dedicated to slow down the transformation or even stop it. I would say bring everybody in and everybody needs to understand and be a committed part of it and believe in it.

 

Is Sustainability part of the company agenda or part of the roadmap?

Well, Israel is a little bit behind the other OECD countries, so we don’t have any official requirement. Of course, we follow all the government regulations and laws, but we do more than that.
At Kanfit, it turned into a way of life and which is also making a lot of business sense in the long run. We have many customers that are asking questions about sustainability and the environmental impact and we’re doing the best we can.
For example, at Kanfit, during sunny days, we generate more electricity than we use.

We covered every available roof with solar panels and we don’t have any connection to the industrial sewage.

We recycle all the water and we reuse it. We collect all the hazardous materials and deliver them to a special recycling facility in Israel that extracts all the metals from the hazardous materials and recycles the metals.
We can say it’s one of the strongest items on our unwritten company agenda.

At the end of the day, when it makes business sense it’s even easier, because if we make more electricity than we consume – we save money.

 

What recent innovation initiative have you led and are proud about?
Additive manufacturing:  we started it in 2016 and today it is booming.
We have two metallic printers today and we already have plans for four more, and there is also a big plastic printer. A lot of very interesting products there and patient-specific implants – these are new industries and new types of clients.

When we started with 3D printing, we realized that aerospace is a very slow in adopting the technology and we figured out that the medical industry is already there. We were very surprised to find out that the raw material for implants and the raw material for aerospace is the same titanium composition. So, we started with the patient-specific implants.  Today the aerospace industry has picked up, but we’re still keeping the patient-specific implants and we’ve developed few very interesting products that are making people lives (I can’t say easier, because we treat the people that are very sick) but we make their quality of life much better.

The other thing is automation, of course. We finally were able to complete our automated fiber placement, a robot installation, and we started working and they’re already products in development and of course Plataine was one of the automation partners that helped us a lot, both by the way of automation and sustainability because of the FabricOptimizer, we save a lot of material. We throw away much less material than we used to, and this also transforms into money saved. So again, when you make business sense – everything falls into place.

 

If you weren’t EVP Business Development, Marketing and Sales then what would you be doing?

Probably something outside – sailing, diving, hiking, fishing, traveling.
Not something in front of a computer.

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