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At the Fourth Danieli Innovaction Meeting, Danieli Service outlines a new approach
The audience of steel and nonferrous metals executives at the Fourth Danieli Innovaction Meeting learned many perspectives on the New Normal period for metals consumption, but perhaps the most encouraging insights were offered by Keith Shillam, vice president of Danieli Service, and Lisa Grosso, senior manager of Danieli Service. Together, they presented to the 600 listeners how a new “common business ecosystem” may be developed to deliver customer services and support more effectively, and thus to achieve more efficient performances by the team and the clients.
Mr. Shillam also acknowledged that the competitive pressures presented by the New Normal circumstances are unlikely to lessen in the foreseeable future, and so “the tools, the techniques, the practices, and the traditional services that we’ve relied upon to deliver on our goals in the past may not necessarily suit us - and may not necessarily guarantee our future success.”
As a preface to addressing this important point, Mr. Shillam noted the “best-ever” performance by Danieli Service in the past year, with improvements in many areas of service that require a high-level interaction between the company and its clients. “In overall terms, we exceeded the previous year’s order intake by more than 20%,” he reported, offering thanks and admiration to the Service team as well as the customers. “A huge amount of energy goes into delivering such a performance,” he said.
Ms. Grosso detailed the various aspects of the Danieli Service portfolio. “Our aim is to support you through the life-cycle of your plant and equipment, providing a wide range of products and services, such as original spare parts, technological products, technical assistance, and revamps, and may other value-added services, including training for operational and maintenance personnel,” she explained. “We also provide Danieli’s own branded equipment, which of course carries our OEM guarantee, and advisory services.”
Then, she began to describe the team’s efforts to understand better what types of services and support Danieli Service clients need, now and in the future, as well as what the clients’ customers need. “We know that to be reliable partner, you need to be able to rely on us,” Ms. Grosso explained.
The team undertook an extensive survey of its customers evaluation of Danieli Service’s performance for 1) risk reduction, 2) reliability, 3) efficiency, and 4) proximity.
She explained the survey revealed that, “To reduce risk, we need to provide solutions with a high level of consistency, … to ensure that the equipment performs.”
Continuing, she reported that “reliability means how capable we are at handling questions, giving accurate progress reports and, importantly, meeting our delivery promises.
“Our price competitiveness, the benefits we provide, speed, and value for money, can dramatically affect our operating effectiveness,” Ms. Grosso explained.
“Finally, in many cases our proximity through our worldwide facilities is a great help. In some cases, perhaps, we need to be closer. And certainly, we have to increase our presence at some customer sites,” she said.
The survey also gave Danieli Service the insight that customers are focused on three areas of improvement — environmental sustainability, product traceability, and service flexibility — and that these are the qualities that will shape the future of customer service and support.
“Our belief is that we need to synchronize our efforts to meet these challenges,” Mrs. Grosso stated, referring to the efforts of Danieli Service as well as the efforts of its clients.
Thus, Mr. Shillam outlined the meaning and value of synchronization for customer service. “The time has never been better for us to synchronize our activities – our activities and your activities,” he said. “We’ve started to develop some very different, very new solutions – some of which have already been proven to be successful.”
Among the examples, he listed Smart maintenance and online condition monitoring, which may include 24-hour assistance, remote support, and diagnostics, as well as a range of other customized technological packages.
Then, Mr. Shillam presented a video showing five metronomes, each one initiated at a different time but soon achieving a coordinated rhythm, reliably ticking together.
“I know you’re thinking this is some kind of trick,” he joked with the audience, but assured them that the consistent meter of the instruments is a natural phenomenon.
“It’s only by introducing a common working platform that we are able to share the energies between the different elements,” he explained, noting the comparison between the activities of Danieli Service with its customers.
“Another important point to note with this natural phenomenon is that the energy that’s used by the whole system is in fact reduced by virtue of working on a common platform,” Mr. Shillam elaborated. “A supply chain is in fact a very complex network, and perhaps we can consider the forms of energy that we share to bring about the synchronization of our performance to be data, information, knowledge, and so on.”
“Our belief within Danieli Service, our vision in fact, is to create this common working platform. We describe it as a new business ecosystem, and we believe that this is the way we can move our business forward to meet the challenge of the New Normal, exchanging energy between us in a much more synchronized fashion than we’ve done in the past.”
Thus, by creating a new ecosystem in which efforts are synchronized and energy is shared by Danieli Service and its clients, Mr. Shillam predicted that the performance of each will be improved and enhanced.