A specialist on Riblets and CFD simulations is mixing up the market for BST – with success.

A specialist on Riblets and CFD simulations is mixing up the market for BST – with success.

Once upon a time… No, this is no bedtime story for kids but the beginning of a success story. In 2008 Andreas Flanschger and Peter Leitl founded BST as an innovative start-up for Riblet technology. One of the first employees was Richard Gruber, at present, Head of Sales at BST. He started his career at BST with a one-week engagement for a wind tunnel test in the automotive sector. Clearly, a life-changing working experience as it was the kick-start of his career at BST and of three successful years in motor sports with the DTM series for BST. After years as a seasoned lead engineer, Richard yearned for a new challenge. As BST continuously expands its area of activity the challenge was set for Richard. Last year he became Head of Sales. His technical background and experience are of great benefit to him in his function, as he is familiar with the local business practices. In the following he presents his thoughts on the potential and the top challenges in sales he sees ahead for BST and how to beat them as well as the importance of increasing BST's presence in new markets and online. Want to know what fascinates Richard about his job? Read more…

What do you like most about sales and your current position?

I’m fascinated by all the possibilities this job offers. Yes, out-of-the-box-thinking is an overused business cliché, but it really applies for my daily work as it also means approaching problems with a novel perspective and a more creative — off-the-beaten path — lens to solutioning. And that`s what I do day after day for the sake of our clients to show them the potential of their own products when enhanced by Riblets. To find solutions for their specific requirements. It’s my job to sell to the man the unique Riblets experience. Demonstrating how you can - technically speaking - get out the most, tickling out even the last few percents by using Riblets to improve the performance. Coming from the engineering area I now focus more on a general approach but at the same time I must keep an eye on maintaining the high quality our customers are used to.

What are - looking into the future - the greatest strengths and perhaps also up-coming challenges?

The greatest challenge for us in racking up sales is to make Riblets tangible for the client. Riblets are a technology you can’t see, touch, or get hold on directly, so it’s a bit of a challenge to convey the advantages of Riblets to the customer. Nevertheless, Riblets have a proven impact on the performance criteria. At present, there exist several drag reducing technologies to cut down emissions and to make energy consuming operations greener. We all know, in the years to come, there is no way around using environmentally friendlier technologies. They are without any alternative. The Riblet technology is the one, which right now is ready to go. For more than 50 years a lot of time and money has been spent on researching Riblet technology. Now the time has come to reap the rewards. We at BST are in the position to deliver the expertise and quality that is required as we have a highly sophisticated technical team, more than 14 years of experience with Riblets for all kind of applications in a vast range of industries and the know-how to bring Riblets to the ground for a more energy efficient world.

What are your approaches for increased customer value and the quality of BST’s services and solutions?

In my understanding it is our job to show the client the full Riblet potential. We can provide industrialization deliverables that involve all stages of a production process starting with the Riblet design, the Riblet impact, the ROI right through to the proof of concept with all kinds of Riblets – (Riblet foils, lasered Riblets or Riblet coatings) according to the customer’s needs. Just to give you an example: We did Riblets for a business jet required for Mach 0.7 speed. Starting with the simulation it took us no more than two months to support the flight test which served as a basis for the decision-making process. As you see, we are extremely skilled and act very fast. We dispose of laboratory facilities, have a broad knowledge, and can act as your partner throughout the years for Riblet maintenance issues and the determination of maintenance intervals. Our approach is to channel our vast expertise, market knowledge and networks into the relationships we have with corporate customers of all sizes, to drive successful industrialization and to maintain the Riblet quality throughout the product´s whole life-circle performance.