Over 100,000 happy people so far
Catalin Udroiu has been with COS for 23 years. He joined in 1997, starting off at full speed, with a project of more than 1,000 workstations and he has been actively involved in installing quality office spaces for well over 2,000 clients, including more than 100,000 workstations. He is currently Head of Logistics, leading a team of 25 professionals handling installations, move management, storage, maintenance, aftersales service and support.
Colin Lovering sat down with Catalin recently to find out more about him and his extraordinary team. The interview is the second of the series Just Be COS. Catalin was in COS since day 1, October 1st 1997 alongside Christophe Weller, CEO & Founder and Raluca Dragomir, Finance & Administration Manager. Catalin has many stories to share, as he has witnessed COS grow over the years and become the leader in office design & build in Romania today.
- You have been with COS for 23 years now and we will talk more about that in a while. Tell us a little about you, your life outside COS and before you joined the company.
After graduating the Electrotechnics (with a specialization in economic engineering), I have worked in ENEL for 2 years (currently ELECTRICA), followed by 1 year as sales representative for a pharmaceutical and cosmetic products distributor and then 1 year as Commercial Assistant at Steelcase Romania, where the first projects I coordinated were Societe Generale and Bancorex. In 1998, when Christophe Weller founded COS, I joined the company as the Logistics Manager.
- Tell us about the team you lead, what is their main function and how do they link up with sales, sales support etc.
I started coordinating subcontractor teams and after one year I created our own team of furniture installers of 5 people as well as managing the warehouse facility for COS. We now have a professional team of people and specialized vehicles, warehousing facilities, tools and equipment. The team’s varied roles include the delivery and installation of furniture, relocation of complete offices. Me and my team are in constant communication with all the company departments, including sales, design, sales support, finance etc. We are active right from cost estimation, delivery programming, through to ensuring everything is correct and finalized and the customer can move in.
- As a crucial group of professionals within the COS team, what is it that your guys bring to the list of reasons why organizations want to work with COS.
I believe it is definitely the experience of the installation team in so many finalized projects, thorough knowledge of the product portfolio and the flexibility towards the client’s requirements, reacting in a timely manner to diversified requests.
- How are you and your team managing the sensitivity of the Covid 19 situation? What is the feeling of clients and building owners how do your team reassure them?
We are following strictly all health & safety requirements on sites with masks, gloves and disinfectant gel. Also, we apply the rule of measuring every person’s temperature before their daily activities. Our guys always make themselves available to answer any questions or concerns the client may have at any time.
- In terms of quality, I guess your team are more aware of what quality manufacturing means as they assemble all the furniture on-site. What advice or words of caution would you give to anyone looking to buy lower priced products for their office?
Through my experience, I have seen many poor-quality products with quality issues in less than 12 months. Nobody knows better about the quality of office furniture than our team. My advice is think twice about buying cheap products, because over the lifespan of an office it will probably cost you more than good quality furniture. And also, my guys would probably kill me if I asked them to start installing low quality furniture!
- Touching on that subject, I’m sure you’ve got many stories to tell over the years. Any spring to mind?
I could spend hours telling you stories, from bringing Bucharest traffic to a standstill to having to remove the glass façade of an office building and hiring a crane to take a huge meeting table through the window, as it wouldn’t fit in the elevator. What a day that was!
- Finally, what would be your one piece of advice you would give to businesses and, indeed, your colleagues at COS?
I would say to all of them ‘Keep up the good work’ so we can continue to successfully complete all projects on time and at the utmost quality. I would also like to reassure them of our consistent cooperation and support in everything we do.