For BEUMER Group, Customer Support is much more than just a service. Approximately 1,000 employees worldwide now work for this business segment. They take care of the customer, starting with the first project discussion, through the time when the system is in operation. The offered portfolio includes different services, in particular Residential Service. With this service, companies can hand over the complete responsibility for availability, performance and economic efficiency of their material flows to BEUMER specialists, who ensure trouble-free operation of the systems – and even stay permanently on the customer’s site.
As an international manufacturing leader in intralogistics providing customised system solutions in the fields of conveying, loading, palletising, packaging, sortation and distribution technology, BEUMER Group knows the particular challenges posed by the customers. They have high demands on machine availability and, therefore, on customer support. This is why the system supplier has developed and extended its customer support and established it as a business segment in its own right. Due to its global positioning, the group has consistently optimised and extended this segment with specifically trained employees during the last few years. “We’re not only providing service products, we really take care,” emphasizes Guido Hesse, Director Customer Support at BEUMER. “This becomes more and more important to users from different industries.” A continuously high level of availability has to be ensured to enable companies to stay competitive.
Enough time to focus on the core business
BEUMER Customer Support offers customised service agreements to customers. These include, for example, the supply of spare parts, preventive as well as routine maintenance, and the operation of the systems. They are matched individually to the respective needs of the customer, including service intervals and response times as agreed by contract. “More and more manufacturers, especially logistics service providers, wish to concentrate on their own core business and to delegate the responsibility for their systems and machines”, says Hesse, identifying a pronounced trend. “Therefore, Residential Service plays an important role within our Customer Support portfolio.” This service means that BEUMER employees take on the responsibility for operating times, performance and economic efficiency – if necessary, they stay permanently on the customer’s site. The systems have to be always perfectly adapted to their tasks, and all processes have to run smoothly. “In a highly competitive environment, we convince our customers with reliability and a high level of system availability,” explains Hesse. Successful customer support requires an understanding of the mentality of the customer: How is the customer positioned? What are his goals and how does he want to develop in the future? These questions require tactfulness and cultural know-how.
Reliable operation increases turnover
A sports manufacturer, for example, relies on this service at his new distribution centre. The newly leased 40,000-square-metre warehouse complex is in the immediate vicinity of the extant building. Both buildings are linked to each other by an approximately 370-metre-long conveying system. In the head office, the supplies for retailers and distributors home and abroad are processed, while the internet orders from all over Europe are exclusively handled in the additional warehouse complex. The company intends to significantly increase its turnover in the E-commerce sector. Up to 200,000 online orders per day are supposed to be processed at peak times.
This calls for efficient material flows and reliable technology. The new building houses fully automated rack systems with about 300,000 storage places, order picking solutions, packaging stations and more. The biggest part of the intralogistics system is an almost nine-kilometre-long conveying system. “The roller conveyors and belt conveyors link the individual areas with each other and transport the goods from A to B”, explains Günther Rother, Maintenance Manager at BEUMER Group. He belongs to a team of 70 service technicians who are working in five shifts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to ensure smooth processes on site.
Smooth operation throughout the service life
To ensure that the systems are always perfectly adapted to their tasks and all processes run smoothly throughout their service life, BEUMER employees also carry out preventive maintenance. Günther Rother explains: “This way, we can avoid uncontrolled machine breakdowns, which can be very expensive for our customers.” The team carries out maintenance and inspection work on the systems at defined intervals. “We remove dirt, for example, since it may affect the operational reliability of machines and systems”, says Rother. “Movable parts are lubricated and correctly adjusted if necessary.” The team checks the safety devices of the machines and systems as well as their electrotechnical components and automation technology. Further work includes corrective maintenance like fault diagnostics and troubleshooting or repairs due to unscheduled failures of components. “We develop and implement concepts which enable a long-term and trouble-free operation of the buildings”, adds the maintenance manager. The employees check the technical installations and maintain them regularly, at agreed intervals.
All spare parts available?
“We manage about 2,500 different spare parts in total”, says Rother. “If required, we continue to adapt the scope and availability of the range.” To support daily work and ensure a high degree of transparency for our customers, the BEUMER team has programmed a precisely matched computerised maintenance management system (CMMS). ´The software manages all information relevant to maintenance in a data base. It provides order information on spare parts as timely as possible, manages the spare and wear parts inventory and calculates the demand. Each procurement process can be precisely documented.
We have worked out a spare parts concept enabling us to take the required component to the corresponding place of repair within two minutes”, explains Markus Petermeier, Operations and Maintenance Manager at BEUMER Group. “In addition, we have developed a training module permitting our technicians to train themselves on all system parts. This helps us to ensure availability as desired by the customer. And here we are talking about a level of more than 99 percent.” To ensure successful functioning, Residential Service also includes emergency schedules and exercises on system recovery and troubleshooting to enable the shortest possible response times. This also applies to remote diagnostics provided by the BEUMER hotline.
One contact person for all needs
The service technician Daniel Schweer also belongs to the team: “We also take care of system parts supplied by others.” The customer only has one contact person who is available directly on his site for all questions, which makes communication much easier. “We also gain more knowledge this way”, says Daniel Schweer. If the customer plans to expand the system, the versatile and highly qualified BEUMER team can develop a variety of individual solutions.
BEUMER Group offers around-the-clock support every day of the year, tailored to the needs of its customers, in this case a sports manufacturer. “Our goal is to continue to improve trouble-free material flow in order to guarantee value-added processes for our customers”, explains Hesse. “We assume the complete responsibility and ensure this way that they remain competitive in the long run.”
Within the scope of the Residential Service, BEUMER employees assume the responsibility for availability, performance and profitability of the machines
These services include maintenance and inspection at regular intervals.
BEUMER Group increases efficiency and safety of their systems by using tablet computers.
Guido Hesse, Director of Customer Support at BEUMER Group.