Among the many branches of industry the beverage sector is practically unique in its belief in continuity and long-term partnerships. This is where KHS earns credit which, together with its predecessor companies, has shown great initiative in this field for 150 years. Tradition and reliability are incredibly important to the Dortmund systems supplier: values which are also venerated by its customers and rewarded with partnerships lasting many decades. After all, this sector is to a large extent also what’s known as a “people business” where trusting relationships between individuals play a substantial role. This applies in equal measure to small craft brewing companies and large global concerns. Apart from the personal note it’s chiefly the facts and arguments which trigger the decision to invest, however. KHS flexibly adapts to cater for the requirements of its diverse range of customers and develops proactive ideas for joint solutions, the successful implementation of which binds the various partners closely together. For craft brewers, for instance, the KHS portfolio is constantly being adjusted to include products which meet and are scaled down their respective market demands. In the USA, the homeland of the craft beer movement, many of the systems specially developed for this segment are also manufactured locally.
Emphasis on proximity
The word “local” takes on a very special meaning in After Sales where highly qualified service engineers and suitable spare parts have to be available quickly – both from the customer’s point of view, who wishes to run the production shop with as little disruption as possible, and in the interests of KHS itself. There’s more than just a grain of truth in the platitude that “Sales sells the first line and Service the second”. In view of the extremely long service lives of its machines KHS service engineers nurture close, long-term ties to beverage producers within the framework of various service packages. They ensure continuous high availability and optimum efficiency – and thus customer satisfaction the world over.
»KHS can give us just the end-to-end systems we need.«
In order to continue to expand its proximity to operators and potential purchasers of its systems, in the past few years KHS has consistently focused on regionalization – with an organizational structure which is based on four main market zones.
The Asia/Pacific market zone, for example, is divided into the four regional centers of China, Southeast Asia, India and Australia and has a total of sixteen sales and service centers. The specific focus here is on the rapidly growing economies of the world’s most heavily populated countries with their vast market potential – all of them found in this market zone. Around 170 locally based service engineers are readily available for flexible assignments throughout the whole of Asia.
»It’s perfect that we have a partner who can match our pace.«
With its five regional centers for the southern, northern, central and eastern areas and Russia the Europe/CIS market zone provides support in fifty-five states with a population of over eight hundred million and a time difference of twelve hours. Historically speaking a traditional KHS domain since the company’s founding, the region harbors many opposites, whether these be political, climatic, cultural or linguistic. All customers, from startups through hidden champions to global players, are treated and assisted with the same degree of professionalism by KHS.
With three regional centers and four production plants – two in the USA and one in Mexico and Brazil respectively – the Americas market zone covers North, Central and South America. Like Europe the region is marked by great diversity. Here in particular customers range from the smaller craft brewer through the family-owned business to huge company groups. In the last few years the worldwide trend for the consolidation of customer structures has also reached South and Central America with various takeovers and mergers.
»The newly developed bottle is convincing with its lightness, stability – and beauty.«
In the Africa/Middle East market zone reliable, long-term planning is a special challenge as many regions are plagued by drought and famine, war and epidemic disease. At the same time the growth in the population also means that new business opportunities, markets and customers are constantly appearing here. Beverage producers thus usually operate their systems six days a week around the clock. Accordingly, the supply of spare parts and engineers must be assured. Here, regionalization also means that more than 80% of the service engineers are local employees who have undergone intensive training and can perform all service work autonomously.
»We’re totally satisfied with the machines and services.«
Global customer service
Proximity to the customer isn’t just a key issue when it comes to geography. In the age of globalization and the increasingly central corporate structures favored by large concerns in the beverage industry it’s becoming more and more important that KHS adopt a global approach and offer global support to its customers. In order to ensure this, a global key account management team of experienced professionals has existed for the last twelve years. They are exclusively committed to meeting the often demanding requests of the ten most important KHS customers and largest sources of revenue worldwide – in close cooperation with the regional and local sales forces.