Worldwide customer service: KHS Sales and Service

Common denominator


4 min.

From Reykjavik to Cape Town, from Rio de Janeiro to Sapporo, machines from KHS are in service to the beverage industry all over the world. It’s therefore worth taking a look at some of the customers and how KHS maintains its good relations with them.

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.

For example: PhoenixBev, Mauritius

With a portfolio of over 100 brands and an annual output of 1.5 million hectoliters PhoenixBev is the largest beverage producer in the island state in the Indian Ocean. Contract filler for Coca-Cola for 65 years, the company makes the highest demands of the quality of its mineral ­waters and soft drinks – and of the equipment on which they are produced.

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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.

Água Mineral Santa Joana, a family business: Lenilson Tôrres, president, with his daughter Romena Tôrres, administrative director, and son Lenilson Tôrres Filho, industrial director (from left to right).

»KHS can give us just the end-to-end systems we need.«

Gerard Merle

Senior manager of Non-Alcoholic Beverages and Civil Engineering for PhoenixBev

For example: Água Mineral Santa Joana, Brazil

The mineral water bottling plant in Recife sells sixty-eight million liters of water per month and is thus the second-largest bottler in Brazil. The company invests in both ecology and quality and has an ultramodern machine park. In lightweighting Água Mineral Santa Joana is now a pioneer for the whole of South America – with the help of the KHS experts from Bottles & Shapes™.

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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.

Flying high: Doppelleu master brewer Philipp Wagner (left) and his managing director Philip Bucher (right).

»It’s perfect that we have a partner who can match our pace.«

Philipp Wagner

Master brewer for Doppelleu

For example: Doppelleu, Switzerland

Founded as recently as in 2012 in Winterthur, the brewery has grown extremely rapidly since its opening. The company produces and markets craft beer for beginners and experts – to start with mostly for retail but now also for the hospitality trade. They are assisted by a kegging system from KHS, for which there was still room in the ever fuller production shop thanks to its compact design.

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Great diversity

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.«

Lenilson Tôrres Filho

Industrial director for Água Mineral Santa Joana

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.«

Tim Coopers

Managing director at Coopers Brewery

For example: Coopers Brewery, Australia

Coopers has been relying on filling and packaging technology from KHS since the 1960s. The third-largest brewery Down Under is also the only family brewery in Australia – and now in its fifth generation. Besides producing fourteen of its own beers the company also fills the Carlsberg and Sapporo brands into glass bottles, kegs and cans and trades in Mythos and Kronenbourg.

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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.