Name: Pia Erdsiek
Title: Responsible for E-Business & Supply Chain Solutions
Time is money for our MRO customers. Too often it takes them too much time to find spare parts and the relevant documentation that should accompany these components. What if they could have instant, onsite and personal support from the experts?
“We created a win-win logistics solution for our customers”, says Pia Erdsiek, member of the innovation team at ERIKS Germany. “It pays off to listen carefully to what customers want. After meticulous collection of suggestionsand feedback, we came up with an innovative solution that the customers really appreciate.This is only the start. They are calling for more.”
Inefficient parts management processes and lacking documentation are common challenges for most industrial companies. A lack of parts could potentially result in downtime, but finding them can be like looking for a needle in a haystack. It is often unknown which part is really needed, taking days for it to be found and even longer to source it. To optimise production lines following the ‘just-in-time’ principle, our customers asked for quicker and easier access to spare parts, that are always accompanied with the right documentation.
The specialists at ERIKS Germany joined forces, assessing the issue at hand, considering the most urgent customer questions. They thought ‘outside of the box’ and came up with a…box. To support customers in finding parts, an ERIKS branded RFID box was installed in the customers’ warehouse or facility. The box allows the customer to recognise and order parts instantly via RFID labels, as well as accessing product information or other relevant documentation. A communication feature was also added to the box so that the customer can connect to ERIKS’ product manager directly by a video call if needed. Skype was implemented as the video channel, which is proven technology that allows all ERIKS countries and customers to use it.
The RFID box solution dramatically saves our customers time. To limit failure or malfunctioning of the box, only proven technology was used. It eliminates the need of an onsite engineer, facilitates clear understanding, prevents mistakes in identifying parts and supplies all the necessary documentation promptly. If there are still doubts or questions, the box allows for direct communication with a relevant product manager who can also help to find alternatives. This strengthens the relationship with the customer.
The project quickly became a big success. ERIKS started with one box and soon new orders followed. After initial feedback was given, the box was further improved and new features were added. The demand is now high, and all the warehouses of the customers involved in the initial project are being equipped with the boxes.