When you ask successful companies about their recipe for success, the answer often is: “customer focus”. But what does customer focus mean for the companies? Do they make themselves to servants who read every wish from their customer lips? Jens Averbeck, Global Account Manager at Meurer, denies this prejudice. But how does Meurer understand customer focus?
Projects with long lead times are often very diffuse. For Meurer these projects are a great chance, Jens Averbeck explains. Customers have short-term needs and need quick implementation. Often the customers do not have an exact idea how the packaging solution should look like and certainly not how the corresponding machine has to be designed. “This is the moment when we start to share our expertise and support decision making”, he says. The mission of Meurer is to find the best packaging solution for customer requests and to align them with their own system. And that's exactly where meurer's many years of expertise stand out. The joint development of cardboard blanks and the creation of complete packaging samples is the best way to start into a new project and the interesting part of a unique business. Technical Solutions are found together with the customer. Jens Averbeck makes it clear: “At a project we consider ourselves not only as supplier. We are partners of our customers and it is important for us that we are seen as Trusted-Advisor. The Customers should trust in us because we share the responsibility for a significant part of a new product launch. Like a partnership.”
The way to a perfect solution is usually not as easy as customers would like it to be. Especially in the area of liquid carton (flexible packaging), customers often want not just a machine, but a complete line. The basic data (space, type of packaging, speed of the machines, pack formats) are fixed, the details are taken care of more carefully. The customer focus in this area lies in the various possibilities offered by the modular design of the machines. "Our job is to follow the demands of our customers and to build our machines in such a way that they match the demands," explains Alois Wilde, active in sales and project planning at meurer.
A benefit of this teamwork is that Meurer knows in an early project phase about product specific properties to integrate these into their concept. But communication does not always work and there are problems. “The advantage with us is that we are very flexible thanks to our modular system. Every company has its own design specifications and demands and we are very responsive to the resulting demands. Our design and engineering approach is designed for changes throughout the life time of a machine and we have a broad know-how for different control systems in the automation area”, Jens Averbeck explains.
Of course you have to win your own team for new ideas, but you grow with the requirements. When we start a new project the timeline often is very tough; that is why a lot of questions have to be answered quickly. “But we grow with our customers”, Jens Averbeck adds. “What we learn from customer A is what we can use at customer B. Customers take on our standardization which we have introduced at our production. In this way, we develop proven technologies for several applications.”
The fact that there is more to this process is also shown by many certifications that meurer has passed. “Customers appreciate our many years of experience, which we were able to build up together with our customers. We were able to benefit from each other. Our knowledge of machines and aggregates and our customers' knowledge of packaging have helped us to constantly grow above ourselves”, describes Alois Wilde. With every new project or new certification the employees at Meurer learn something new and outgrow themselves. The service technicians need trainings and instructions to be up to date. It is important for Meurer that they already have certifications before being asked to avoid possible problems. In addition, customers can be sure that they have a real expert at their side.
“A new project always means a lot of work. It is a long way with many obstacles. You have to inspire and convince both customers and colleagues. At the beginning everyone is in a certain comfort-zone with specific demands but in the end both grow on the project. And that is exactly what is important when it comes to customer orientation”, Jens Averbeck sums up.
Also in the future Meurer is going to kick off and deal with new projects together with customers. Together with all parties Meurer looks back at a successful year 2019 and is looking forward to the projects in 2020!