Sumitomo (SHI) Demag (Nürnberg, Germany) recently announced changes in its sales and customer service structure. The company said it was increasing its focus on application-oriented consultancy and industry-specific solutions, as it is no longer enough for manufacturers of machinery to simply deliver machines; in today’s competitive markets, where converters are continually striving to boost their production output rates and to maintain their innovative edge, customers are looking towards the machine manufacturers for the expertise and support they need to keep up with developments. Hence, solutions with a special focus on the customers and their industry have increasingly moved into the center of any injection molding machinery manufacturer’s business activities, said Sumitomo (SHI) Demag in a statement.
To that end, the company has established two new business development teams, one for the automotive sector, which is being led by Tim Hassler and the other for the packaging industry, which is headed by Arnaud Nomblot. An All-Electric Business Development Team had been previously set up, for which Naoto Ikeda is responsible. The new structure will allow the company to better tap into its specialists’ “industry-specific expertise in order to offer customer solutions with an industry-related focus,” it said. According to Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, industry-specific solutions have become the main focus of communication between customers and machinery manufacturers in international business.
The new teams will be responsible for the strategic alignment and advancement of the different business units. The main focus will be on understanding customer requirements and identifying future trends, after which dedicated industrial solutions will be developed in collaboration with technical experts.
In addition, the launch of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag’s new Application Engineering Center, headed by Thomas Brettnich, has enhanced the company’s application-specific consultancy services, which can now be provided at the tender proposal stage: specific requirements are discussed with the customer and analyzed strategically in order to be able to develop tailor-made solutions. Investments into pre- and after-sales customer care are also planned. The new concept includes special training programs as well as optimization services for the customer’s entire line.
“Understanding the customer does not only mean understanding their language but also their specific requirements”, explained Gerd Liebig, CSO Sumitomo (SHI) Demag.
The company is also looking to boost its global presence in strategic markets by expanding its international customer care programs. A new Head of International Sales Development, Paolo Zirondoli, has been appointed to tackle this challenge. Zirondoli has worked for twenty-five years in the plastics industry, eleven years of which were spent working for the Italian subsidiary of Sumitomo (SHI) Demag, when it was still operating under the name of Demag Plastics Group. Prior to his present appointment, Zirondoli was Head of Sales for southern Europe and South America with a German injection molding machinery manufacturer.
The international market presence of the corporation’s subsidiaries and sales offices will also be stepped up and plans have been made to support sales partners by undertaking local, joint activities, said Gerd Liebig.
To advance the new strategy, Sumitomo (SHI) Demag further appointed Andreas Holzer as Head of Customer Service. “National and international support as well as customer satisfaction are at the top of our agenda,” Holzer clarified. “This is the objective of our new Central Technical Customer Service.” The new central approach will provide better availability for customers, and, said the company, also optimize the company’s spare parts management, allowing customer requests to be serviced faster and more flexibly.