Minebea was The UK’s First Inline inspection manufacturer to offer 24-hour on-site service seven days a week. it explains how.
How did you come to offer this level of service?
We have known for some time that in order to maintain our high level of service we would need to offer 24-hour cover to our customers. The food industry has had to meet ever greater demands year on year, with most running at full capacity and 24 hours a day. The one machine that is guaranteed to stop a production line if it fails is foreign contamination inspection equipment. Back in 2015 we introduced the Premier Plus level of service which offered customers guaranteed response times and a dedicated number that provided technical support from 8am until 8pm. We offered this following a survey when we asked what mattered to them most. A service contract and the 24-hour service was a natural progression from this.
Is this service not a drain on your resources?
We are lucky that we have more engineers than most inspection manufacturers because we also maintain industrial weighing equipment, tank, hopper and vessel weighing systems. This means we have developed our engineers to be multi-trained engineers and not just a few that can work on Inline Inspection Equipment.
How does it work if I needed a callout?
The engineers are on a weekly rota and our customers have a dedicated number. If they call between the hours of 8.30 and 17.30 they will be put through to the engineers’ dispatchers. It is displayed on their screens that the call coming in is from a Premium Plus 24-hour customer so they then know that it is a priority before they even answer the telephone. After 17.00 and up until 8.30 the following day, this dedicated number will be automatically diverted to the on call engineer. Also displayed on the engineer’s telephone, it is identified as a callout customer that is calling.
Are there any other benefits?
We appreciate that our customers are busy people so we make it even easier and quicker to get an engineer to site with our dedicated SMS text message service. For both our Premium Plus and Premium Plus 24, our customer sends a text message saying they have a problem and then they will receive a telephone call back within two minutes of sending the text.
Do you offer guaranteed response times?
We do offer guaranteed response times and these are from as little as six hours 24 hours a day seven days a week. Of course not everyone needs this quick response and we have four levels of contract to suit all requirements.
Isn’t it expensive?
As part of our move from Sartorius Intec to Minebea Intec we had the opportunity to bring sales and service closer together. One of the benefits of this was that we could offer guaranteed discounts on new equipment to our service contract customers. The level of discount depends on the level of service contract. For example, if a Premium Plus customer buys a new combination checkweigher or x-ray they’ll save thousands which can offset the cost of the service contract. The nice thing for us is that this also rewards our customers for their loyalty. In addition to this we have guaranteed discounts on labour and spare parts, the level again dependent on the level of contract.
What if an engineer arrives and he does not have a part to fix the equipment?
As part of the 24-hour service contact, we will have critical spare parts on site and the customers’ engineers on site must be classroom trained to at least level 4 of our training curriculum. Training is something that is very important to us and sometimes overlooked, all our training is a pass or fail scenario and comes with certification based on the Minebea Intec global academy. As good as our equipment is, a poorly trained operator will more likely blame the equipment than their own skill level so any individual who fails to pass will not be certified by us to operate or work on that equipment.
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