Greater project and customer orientation and a more efficient organizational structure: KHS Mexico has revamped its Service Division and forged a closer network between individual departments such as Project Management and Production. The new system of organization with fixed KHS contacts for individual customers goes far beyond the mere provision of spare parts and repairs, however; by focusing on holistic turnkey systems and entire lines production downtimes are avoided or reduced to a minimum. Conversions are also now playing an increasingly significant role. Bottlers are reaping the benefits – among them Coca-Cola.
To improve customer satisfaction and enable greater project orientation KHS Mexico has set up what is known as a matrix organization. For some time now Service and Project Management, Production and Sales have been much more closely networked, allowing them to engage in an intensive exchange of information. ''This creates synergies and makes processes more efficient,'' says Michael Steggemann, the man responsible for After Sales and Service at KHS Mexico.
Senior service engineers fixed contacts for customers
The most significant step taken to achieve even greater customer orientation was to assign five area inspectors who actively split the enormous region up between them. ''The main deciding factor behind the operation was that every customer should be able to be physically reached within two hours – an extremely ambitious goal considering the infrastructure and vast size of Mexico alone. We’ve greatly improved customer contact with the introduction of this new role,'' explains Steggemann. ''Our employees know their contacts within the company, their potential and their requirements down to the last detail. Our customers find it important that we don’t simply repair single machines.'' The KHS service team examines the entire line and can offer turnkey systems which either prevent production downtime entirely or cut it down to a minimum.
Alberto Sanchez is one of KHS Mexico’s senior service engineers. He makes about 100 customer visits per year. One of his tasks is to ensure trouble-free production at the various bottling plants. ''Our customers know that we work together with them as partners to find solutions for their filling lines,'' he says.
The service business in Mexico and the region goes far beyond simply providing spare parts and repairs. Conversions now also play an important role, for example when an old glass filler is to be converted to PET. Another example is the recent replacement of filling valves and return air tubes on a system used by Coca-Cola. ''This was the first of several upgrades we’ve provided for this customer,'' reports Sanchez. ''We constantly analyze the equipment on site and on the basis of machine states and performance data such as efficiency and quality identify which parts need to be improved or replaced.'' With its new valves Coca-Cola now bottles at a 25% higher filling speed.
Customers benefit from further training for KHS personnel
In Mexico basic and further training are also writ large in house. As part of an intensive management training program for all of the organization’s personnel, for example, skills in project and spare parts management and engineering have been taught since 2016 – partly by simulating specific practical projects. In terms of project orientation and customer satisfaction training on line optimization has also been given since 2018 to heighten employees’ awareness of holistic systems.