The last few months have seen SKF South Africa substantially expand its engineering team and services to keep in step with the company’s new technology and service developments, as well as to address changing customer demands.
According to SKF engineering manager, Chris Lubbe, customers are experiencing the negative impact of the country’s exacerbating skills shortage. “With fewer skilled people to take care of equipment on site, customers are placing increasingly heavier demands on OEMs like SKF and are requesting more support from our engineers. The transformation of our engineering team, which has grown five times over the past eighteen months, enables us to address this market shift.”
SKF is also putting less focus on capex and more effort into its renowned contract services, after-market maintenance management and reliability service portfolio. “These have always been part and parcel of the SKF landscape, we are just taking it to the next level,” states Lubbe. SKF’s expansion strategy aligns perfectly with the company’s focus on taking full ownership of its equipment throughout its entire lifecycle which goes hand-in-hand with building solid, long-term customer partnerships. “Our engineering team now takes more responsibility for understanding and improving the machinery operating at a customer’s site. We are now perfectly positioned to offer support to all our customers, whether they are operating world-class maintenance programmes or older, less efficient plants; these require two very different skill sets,” he adds.
SKF’s current complement of fifteen engineers support the company’s various departments in four areas: applications, project engineering, custom design, and condition monitoring. “It all starts with our sales teams who have to find optimal solutions for a customer’s application,” explains Lubbe. “Here our application engineers step in to provide general support to the sales department.”
This is part of a broader long-term strategy to equip the sales teams with more technical skills to achieve improved overall efficiency to the ultimate benefit of the customer.
“The amplification of SKF’s engineering services will be an ongoing drive that reflects the significance we place on offering life-time services to our customers,” concludes Lubbe. “We are excited to partner more closely with our customers and assist them improve the profitability of their businesses.”
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