Experience makes all the difference
As soon as a construction project kicks off, a wide variety of factors require attention. In all matters relating to formwork, MEVA’s experts will support you on job sites across the globe.
As a long-time employee, Steffen Pippig is fully aware of the needs of building contractors. He has worked in the industry for 20 years and has first-hand experience on projects on every scale.
Tell me a little bit about your career at MEVA.
I worked in construction as a bricklayer for roughly eight years before getting a degree in civil engineering. I started at MEVA right after that at their headquarters in Germany. One of the engineers I worked closely with came to the United States to set up the subsidiary… when MEVA U.S. got to the point where it needed engineering support, he requested me that I come to the U.S., and in 2002 I moved to the United States. Back then it was basically a three-person team driven by the idea of supporting our distributors. We didn’t even have our own rental fleet at that point in time. I kept this position until 2013. Since then, I have been heavily involved in the sales side for special projects and technical support.
MEVA has had a lot of innovations that are the industry standard. In your experience how has that developed and is there anything that stands out in your mind for North America?
There is no doubt that the development of the assembly lock as the fastest and easiest way to connect formwork systems back in Europe was changing the industry. It’s kind of interesting to see how long it took to become world standard. I knew all the competitors out of the European market; but there was a whole new batch of competitors here in this country that I had to learn about, and they have good products out there. But I think MEVA’s products compete with those very, very well because of our innovations and the alkus facing. Another big reason is MEVA’s willingness to adapt to new markets by changing the systems and making them work exactly for that market. For example, in the North American market: Making the formwork systems in true Imperial measurements with high capacity (like Mammut), integrating tie off bars, and making the systems usable with taper ties. All things that are not common in Europe, but MEVA was willing to do this for our customers here in the U.S. and make it standard. It was dictated by the needs of the market and our customers, and not dictated by our prior ideas about formwork.
What other developments has MEVA come up with either here in the U.S. or in Germany that have benefited our North American customers?
Well, new developments that are going world-wide like automatic climbing, rail guided climbing; those are things that benefit MEVA and customers universally. I am very pleased and very thankful to MEVA Haiterbach for allowing us over the past few years to take further steps in developing our products to make them even better fit the market that we are in. This has allowed us to come up with some market-specific products like the MGC-F foldable and the MEVA32 as a new shoring system. I’m very pleased to see these products being so strong and so quickly accepted in the market.
How do you personally try to bring MEVA to your customers?
I like to be with customers and talk about construction, about their needs and what they need for their projects, I like to be involved – not just from the outside, but really get deep into the details of the projects, trying to think outside the box. I think this is where my strength comes in; being from the engineering part of the business – coming in with much more understanding of what our systems can do, not just standard applications but actually using the systems in non-typical applications as well, without costing the customer a lot of money for custom solutions. I would like to quote MEVA salesman Robert Herndon – he just recently said something like this: “The customer doesn’t care about how much you know until they know how much you care”, which I think is very powerful. I don’t know where he got it from, but there’s something to it. I very much care about every single one of our customers and projects – from the largest to the smallest. It’s not about me, it’s about the customer; it’s all about servicing their needs, their schedule, and their timeframe. They all deserve the same quality support from MEVA.