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Technical report of the BEUMER Group: Sharing your accountability

With its Residential Service BEUMER ensures a high availability of the installations and systems of logistics service providers in the chemical industry.

Within the framework of its wide reaching Customer Support business, BEUMER Group provides Residential Service. It enables logistics service providers to delegate the responsibility of availability, performance and profitability of filling, palletising and packaging installations to BEUMER specialists. The single-source provider has extensive experience and knowledge of technical and logistics matters in the chemical industry, helping ensure the high efficiency of their machines. In order to provide trouble-free operation, BEUMER employees come to customer sites world-wide, even long-term, if required.

Chemical products are at the beginning of the logistics value chain of many products, in very different sectors. A monitored, error-free and, most of all, appropriate handling of chemical products is therefore extremely important. These products need to be reliably filled and palletised, as well as securely packed in order to be delivered damage-free to the processor. Logistics service providers are now more frequently handing over these tasks to manufacturers, who have to meet very high standards. The materials can have very different characteristics: very high product temperatures, for example, or special flow characteristics leading to a low dimensional stability of the bags. Kornelius Thimm, head of Customer Support for BEUMER Group in Beckum, Germany, and very familiar with this industry, explains: "These products have to be handled safely and gently throughout the entire process chain. Plus: the throughput rates of the installations and systems are continually increasing." Another demand to be met: the control, regulation and clear representation of the complete material flow. Kornelius Thimm knows that "if the service provider does not meet all these requirements, a competitor will do it". BEUMER Group offers comprehensive service in order to make sure that its filling, palletising and packaging systems are always perfectly adapted to their tasks and that all processes run smoothly: about 1,000 Customer Support employees currently back the service providers world-wide.

Thimm explains that Customer Support is a separate department, independent of the BEUMER Group’s conveying and loading technology, palletising and packaging technology and sortation and distribution systems. He says: "It’s basically a company within the company. We have our own Sales Department and develop our own projects." The goal is to support users for even better results and to respond to their rising requirements. This includes training programmes, which are tailor-made for the customer and their systems, as well as qualified Customer Support technicians who offer around-the-clock telephone support every day of the year, worldwide, and help reduce downtime to a minimum. In case of malfunction, the hotline offers around-the-clock competent telephone support (24/7/365).

Residential Service: We assume responsibility
BEUMER Customer Support offers customised service agreements. "In principle, those agreements are specially designed to meet the individual requirements of our customers", explains Thimm. "The service schedules as well as the response times are agreed upon in the contract." The agreements include, for example, the supply of spare parts, preventive as well as routine maintenance, and the operation of the systems. The head of Customer Support identifies a pronounced trend: 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. Kornelius Thimm promises: "With our Residential Service the user can receive filling, palletising and packaging solutions from one source, at any time. BEUMER employees take on the responsibility for operating times, performance and economic efficiency of the systems. If required, we will appoint a team of specialists which will ensure proper machine operation and availability on site."
BEUMER believes that the customer should have access to a Customer Support technician that originates from the same cultural background and speaks the same language. "For this reason we cannot just send colleagues from Beckum to Singapore", says Thimm. 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. BEUMER is a global company and capable of meeting this challenge.

Appropriate concepts
Within the scope of the Residential Service, BEUMER employees provide service providers with a steady and sustained improvement of their processes and results. Mr. Thimm explains: "We rely for example on the Six Sigma systematic approach. This statistical method is based on the DMAIC, a process which is clearly structured in define, measure, analyse, improve, and control phases. In the "D" phase, the team defines the examined processes on the basis of data and facts. In the "M" phase, the process performance is measured before being analysed it in the "A" phase. The problems that appeared at the analysis stage will be thoroughly examined and solved during the "I" phase. The "C" phase is the last one. BEUMER employees use it for supervision and control purposes. Thimm says: "This method enables us to improve the quality of our customers’ processes. It makes it possible for them to reduce their costs."

A view to tomorrow
BEUMER employees continue to carry out preventive maintenance. Thimm explains: "This way, we can avoid uncontrolled machine breakdowns, which can be very expensive." Maintenance and inspection are executed at regular intervals. This includes preventive maintenance and other measures such as applying a protective coating or installing warning devices. The BEUMER team constantly manages and reviews the quantity and availability of the spare parts on site and, if necessary, adapts accordingly. The activities of the BEUMER team include Facility Management as well. Kornelius Thimm adds: "We develop and realize concepts which enable a long-term and trouble-free operation of the buildings. Our employees check the technical installations and maintain them regularly, at agreed intervals."

Thimm says: "We do not only take care of companies that use our systems." All companies with intralogistics equipment can use the BEUMER customer support and residential service. "Our goal is to continue to improve trouble-free material flow in order to guarantee value-added processes", explains Thimm. "We assume the complete responsibility and ensure this way that the service providers remain competitive in the long run."

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