China is huge and simply exceeds all concept of dimension. This is never clearer than when you’re actually here – in our case working for KHS! From our offices in Beijing and Shanghai we service a country that’s home to 1.4 billion people. At 9.5 million square kilometers it’s about the same size as the United States or Europe yet has no less than eighty-four cities housing a million or more.
Can we as a team of about ninety provide KHS’ proverbial customer proximity for this continent within a continent? Yes, we can – and in doing so we feel a bit like pioneers. For as field service engineers over half of our people are always out and about at customer sites – in other words, permanently traveling. It’s not much different for the personnel here in the offices in Beijing and Shanghai; each metropolis region has over twenty million inhabitants and as commuters to and from the residential areas which are up to fifty km from the city you spend several hours a day on the train or subway.
This may curb our leisure activities after work quite significantly but not the commitment of our team! Striving towards and achieving big things is a basic constant of the Chinese way of thinking – and in this respect this matches the KHS philosophy perfectly.
Incidentally, most of our customers are also big; they include Anheuser-Busch, Carlsberg, China Resources, Coca-Cola, Heineken, Nongfu Spring, Pepsi-Cola, Red Bull Tsingtao, President, HonChuan, Swire, BIG, and TingHsin.
The spectrum of products our systems fill ranges from beer through soft drinks and water to sensitive beverages.
We also owe our strong position here to the decades of commitment to China that began with the companies which preceded KHS – long before the KHS office in Beijing was founded in 1998 and the one in Shanghai in 2004. When the country opened up its economy, we were able to build on these contacts and further nurture them, exploiting our long-standing relations to global players worldwide in the process.
What do our partners want and what do they like about KHS? Where machinery is imported from Germany, ultramodern technology is the order of the day – only the absolute best and no compromises. The trend is for ever higher line capacities with growing customer convenience: small pack formats and multipacks in PET, for example. Party kegs – for which we have just the right racking systems – have also become more and more popular in the last two years.
The incentive for investing in KHS technology is ultimately provided by a number of USPs: the high efficiency of our systems, their low energy consumption and ecological sustainability and their huge reliability, coupled with simple operation and maintenance. And we’re forever setting new standards, such as with the first high-speed 120,000 can-per-hour canning line and the first water line in China which bottles at 72,000 bottles an hour.
Our customers of course also value the outstanding service KHS provides, with every fourth client concluding appropriate after-sale contracts, usually for a year. We have a 24/7 hotline with an emergency service and daily deliveries of spare parts; we carry out regular line inspections and help our customers build up stocks of spare parts and with the annual general overhaul of their machines, for instance.
What goals have we set ourselves for the next few years? Well, China is a very dynamic, fast-changing market. At the moment high-performance PET lines for mineral water and aseptic filling especially show the biggest growth rates. If you don’t adapt to cater for changes in demand, you can’t keep up. We want to keep on growing with the market in the future, too, so that we become faster, better and stronger in all areas to the benefit of our customers, and to continue to build up our sales and services. In a country with such vast dimensions, you simply have to think and act big.
Lothar Grimm, Beijing, und Andreas Nydegger, Shanghai