SEW-Eurodrive has increased its level of service to customers through its competitive turnaround times and the highest levels of after-sales support based on its comprehensive stockholding of accessories and spares. General manager of operations, Raymond Obermeyer, notes that stockholding and spares form an important part of the company’s business strategy.
“It contributes a significant amount to our business as we pride ourselves on the ability to offer availability of spares and accessories on a 24/7 basis as part of our after-sales support,” he says.
Obermeyer reveals that there is constant demand for accessories and spares with some customers ordering critical spares ahead of time in order to have them available when they are needed.
The company boasts a stockholding of 80% of the stock items that it sells. Obermeyer explains that if the required part is available from any of the company’s five national branches, it can be delivered to the customer within 24 hours.
“If the spares or accessories are not locally available, we can source them from our global network within days. We keep a large inventory of stock nationally and therefore are able to serve our customers effectively through our branch network,” he continues.
Obermeyer admits that cost-based purchasing is a challenge in the local market. “As times are reasonably tough in the industry at the moment, businesses are generally purchasing systems that are cheapest at purchase time, without taking total cost of ownership into consideration.”
A knock-on effect of this is that the market is also expecting suppliers to provide longer warranty periods. Obermeyer continues: “Instead of the customer spending money on condition monitoring, the supplier has to look after the equipment in the plants. This has led to us investing in a complete drive service (CDS), part of which is based on condition monitoring.”
Obermeyer reveals that there are two types of customers in the local market, namely those who operate the equipment until it needs replacing and those who make use of conditioning monitoring equipment and the benefits that it provides.
“There are several reasons for the different markets. Firstly, there is a lack of skills in the country, and people do not always know how best to look after their equipment. Then there is the financial implication of maintaining equipment as condition monitoring is expensive. However, investing in the maintenance of the equipment results in a better return on investment over the long-term,” he concludes.
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