FDM Asia: IMA Schelling Group has been providing customers with high-end precision equipment. What are the highlights at interzum guangzhou this year?
Bernhard Berger (BB): Compared to last year, we have showcase products from three different brands, including IMA, Schelling and PH at this year’s exhibition.
Besides showcasing our machines, we have added the concept of comprehensive planning in the middle of the booth, which will enable flexible production of customer furniture and data switching.
On the two sides of the booth, visitors can see custom furniture manufacturing solutions designed by our marketing department in Germany.
FDM Asia: Can you tell us more about your marketing plans?
BB: The merger of IMA and Schelling was planned to create a big company in the industry. We focus more on manufacturing, production lines, and bigger machinery.
Our aim is to make more production lines and use technology to improve the quality of production lines. At the same time, we will try to take our machines higher level.
In addition, we will offer more comprehensive solutions. This means that we will give a total solution package to our customers, involving many different aspects such as design, technical support and immediate service assistance.
FDM Asia: How do you get closer to your customers?
BB: First of all, we help our customers find the right equipment and design solutions that can make the production process better.
However, this needs a lot of consultation and we need to train their staff, so we have to improve their capabilities.
Customers would usually tell us what they want to make and we will find them to talk more about the equipment, including both hardware and software.
We also provide them with solutions. That’s the our service philosophy and the reason why we have established a service station in China. We will help customers identify issues with our equipment because their needs are very important to us.
In addition, our services are based on custom solutions and can be divided into two categories. The first category is for large customers who have many production lines. For these customers, we will provide on-site services and arrange engineers to be stationed at customers’ plants for a long period of time, at least one year).
We will also store spare parts and tools that are needed by the customers and engineers at the plants. This is like butler services. At the same time, a certain amount of spare parts will be stored at IMA Schelling’s head office.
The second category is for small- and medium-sized customers. Our engineers will conduct regular maintenance and checks on their equipment and we have also set-up a mechanism for customer follow-up.
In the after-sales department, we have a customer service management system that will ask customers directly about the kind of problems that they face and whether they are satisfied with our services.
FDM Asia: What are your expansion plans in the future? How will you continue to improve your machines and services?
BB: At the moment, our main market is in Germany and Europe. However, we may expand our businesses in China and the US.
We are committed to improving the quality of our equipment and services to our customers. More than quantity, we focus on the quality of people. As a result, we will try to find more qualified people in China and enhance their capabilities.
Our main tasks for 2017 are marketing promotion and investment. We will implement and long-term marketing plan. In the past year, we have focused on building an internal service team. This year, we are ready to venture into the market.
Therefore, the first thing that we have to do is to know the market, engage in marketing and promotion and organise more marketing activities to inform customers about the solutions that we can provide.
Secondly, we will also emphasise on big projects with our major customers. These big projects have great impact on our company as they can bring more customers to us. We want to win over the market with our after-sales services.
We will continue to work with new and existing customers to understand what are the products that are suitable for the Chinese market.
We have established local technical teams and quick response project teams. The project team in Germany has also come to China to help solve issues raised by our customers.