Your contact on this topic
Director of Regional Center China
KHS Filling and Packaging Equipment Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China
KHS competence: Mr. Schwarzmann, what prompted you to join KHS? And why China?
I’ve been familiar with KHS as a supplier of filling and packaging systems for many years. In the middle of last year it became clear that my former employer was going to have to close the office in Vienna. You could say it was a stroke of luck when one day I had an unexpected phone call from Dortmund. KHS interested me as a well-known innovative company which was also creative in a number of unexplored areas. I was asked if I could imagine moving to China. This was very unexpected for me and not planned in the slightest but somehow I found the idea exciting. I now live in Shanghai. Different ways of thinking. Different ways of life. A different business. It’s simply exciting!
What makes the market and the customers in this vast country so special?
KHS China is undergoing a period of steady growth. The dynamism is huge. This means that the competition is also very strongly represented and aggressive. Almost all of the global players are active here. And also countless local suppliers. But the Chinese value European and especially German equipment. A lot happens through connections and good contacts. If it’s not possible to recognize an impending project very early on, there’s practically no chance of securing the order. Speed and short delivery times are vital. But so is ease of operation. This is what the customers are like here. “Very demanding” and “high tech” but also “simple” and “pragmatic”. This is pretty impressive and very different from Europe.
What can customers expect from you?
We already have good customer relations throughout the entire country. KHS plays a leading role in the beer segment especially. As the language is very important, our sales personnel are all native speakers. But customers also want to see the management. They expect this person to be able to make decisions. And this is where I play my part. I share my work with my colleague Geoffrey Chan. He’s responsible for procurement, finance, human resources, and administration – while I’m in charge of the sale of new systems, after sales, and project management. The initial aim for me is to meet all of our customers’ important decision-makers over the next few months. Trade shows and other events help here. Customers must know who they can turn to when they have an important issue to discuss.
Why do customers in China appreciate KHS?
We recently carried out an anonymous customer survey and had a very clear result. Our customers consider us to be an experienced technological leader and rely on our service. But of course we won’t rest there. Here in China you have to be able to permanently adapt to new situations and this is what makes the situation here so attractive to me.
Would you tell us your motto?
Only a team can be successful. Our employees know and live up to this motto. I’m not a lone wolf and I don’t know anybody who’s been successful as one in the long term.