There is an old adage among machine tool manufacturers and suppliers that acknowledges that while it is their sales operations that are largely responsible for the first machine tool sold to any customer, it is the strength of their after-sales services and the way they meet customers’ needs that determine any and every subsequent sale.
This might be a generalisation but it is true to say that for many years this has been the mantra at Mills CNC
, the exclusive distributor of Doosan machine tools in the UK and Ireland.
The company has designed and developed after-sales services that are comprehensive, well-resourced and integrated. According to Mills CNC, out of the 115 people it currently employs - virtually 100% are directly or indirectly involved in this area.
All these services are coordinated at the firm’s after-sales service and support ‘hub’ located at its Campus facility in Leamington.
The comprehensive range of services include everything from CNC operator, programmer, specialist and maintenance courses; sophisticated, and seamlessly integrated, machine tool PDI, delivery, commissioning and installation services; technical and applications support including a technical services help desk facility; UK and Irish machine tool service operations; and an extensive spares, parts, accessories and logistics operation.
They also include a well-oiled machine tool servicing operation headed up by servicing manager, Arek Cichy, and his team of seven dedicated servicing engineers.Machine tool servicing
As part of its integrated range of services Mills provides its customers with best-in-class and competitively-priced servicing for its Doosan machine tools delivered by highly-qualified servicing engineers who can be trusted to provide a professional and courteous service, arrive in good time to undertake the planned work on their machines and on completion of the work, provide immediate feedback on the status of their machines — highlighting, to the customer, any future issues that could affect their performance.
Arek Cichy, Mills CNC servicing manager, said: “We provide customers with two different machine tool servicing options. The first of these is via planned and scheduled annual servicing agreements, and the second through fixed price servicing. Both provide customers with tried, tested and trusted machine tool servicing and genuine peace of mind.”
Annual servicing agreements can be a popular option for customers with Doosan CNC machines that are out of warranty because, in addition to delivering first-class servicing, they provide the added incentive of discounts on approved parts and labour call-out charges on any subsequent or follow-up visits.
However, servicing agreements are not exclusively the preserve of customers with out-of-warranty machines - as many customers with new machines run an agreement alongside a machine’s warranty.
Mr Cichy explained: “If a customer is using its new Doosan machine 24/7 machining high precision parts for the aerospace or medical sector for example, it makes good sense to have a scheduled servicing visit arranged to ensure their machine continues to deliver the high-performance and outstanding results expected of it.
“When you are serving performance-critical sectors you simply cannot rely on a machine tool’s warranty to keep you going.”
With an annual servicing agreement customers decide how many service visits they need during a 12-month period. Mills servicing engineers can advise customers on the optimum number of visits based on how the machine is being used and how many hours it is operating.
Once a customer has decided on the number of visits required Mills Servicing Department does the rest – sorting the paperwork and scheduling the visits in with its engineers.
For some customers the annual servicing agreement option may not be the preferred route.
Mr Cichy added: “Some customers, for a whole host of reasons, do not want or need an annual service agreement preferring, instead, something less prescribed. This is catered for by the fixed price servicing option.”
A customer can contact the servicing department providing details of the machine. With this information a standalone fixed price for the routine servicing of the machine can be provided.
This is ideal for customers with machines that are still in warranty or for those customers who have accidental damage and breakdown cover in place that includes parts and labour costs.
Mr Cichy continued: “Over the last few years and months there has been a noticeable uptake in the number of Doosan customers taking out new servicing agreements and renewing/upgrading existing ones.
“Customers know they are getting a comprehensive and value-added service from engineers that know Doosan machine tools inside out. The fact that are also able to take advantage of reduced labour call-out costs and discounted costs on OE spare and replacement parts makes the agreements even more appealing.”
Whichever servicing route best meets a customer’s requirements, Mills CNC Servicing engineers will complete a detailed check on the condition of their machine and provide a report which identifies machine-specific issues that may affect its future performance.
Issues identified as ‘requiring immediate attention’ are highlighted and explained to the customer as well as being recorded and alerted to Mills’ service department.
Mr Cichy continued: “Mills CNC Servicing and Mills CNC Service work hand in hand. If, during an engineer’s visit, we identify a potential issue that could affect the machine’s performance in the future we notify the Service Department as well as the customer.
“In this way a potential machine problem is not allowed to ‘fall between the cracks’ but is acted upon professionally and in real time through the scheduling of a service visit and/or the ordering of required replacement parts etc.”
He concluded: “Ask any Mills customer why they continue to invest in Doosan machine tools, and they will invariably mention the ‘best-in-class’ after-sales services and support provided by us as being an important factor in their decision making.”