Marel is constantly looking for ways to strengthen its partnerships with customers around the world. Our vision of a world where food is produced sustainably and affordably can only be realized through close collaboration with customers. Through our extensive global network, which stretches over 30 countries and all continents, our sales and service specialists are in close contact with our customers every single day.
To further strengthen its local reach and come closer to new and existing customers Marel has embarked on a journey aimed at reinforcing its local sales teams and strengthening its links as a service and maintenance partner to customers.
The first steps were taken in 2018. In June, Marel announced an organizational change, splitting the former Commercial function into two sections: Global Markets and Service. The move added two new Vice-Presidents to Marel’s Executive Team. Ulrika Lindberg joined Marel and became Executive Vice-President of Service, while Einar Einarsson moved to the position of Executive Vice-President of Global Markets.
Ulrika Lindberg has over 20 years of experience in global services, having held senior positions at large international organizations such as Alfa Laval and Tetra Pak.
Einar Einarsson has over 15 years of experience in managing Marel's sales and service operations in North America. Einar became President of Marel US in 2003 and prior to that held several positions within Marel as a Sales Engineer, Area Sales Manager and Product Manager.
Marel’s global network of dedicated sales representatives is one of the company's strongest and most visible assets. Our sales operation consists of local representatives in over 30 countries, plus a global network of more than 100 agents and distributors.
With such a large global presence, Marel can serve large and small food processors and food retailers on location, wherever they are. Each of our industry-specific segments – fish, meat and poultry – has specialized sales people, working in partnership with customers around the world. We are dedicated to bringing top-of-the-line services, consistency and excellence to each project we undertake and to providing our customers around the world with local proximity and intimacy, yet with the support and knowledge of a global leader. Our committed sales force has been and will always be the cornerstone of our operations around the globe.
Each year Marel participates in some 45 trade exhibitions around the globe where the latest innovative systems and technologies for the fish, meat, poultry and further processing industries are presented. Trade exhibitions are an excellent venue for customers to get to know at first hand Marel’s state-of-the-art food processing systems and solutions. Marel exploits these opportunities to premier its latest technology, strengthen relationships with existing customers, and create new ventures with new customers.
In addition, Marel also hosts its own trade shows in Progress Point in Copenhagen, holding ShowHows annually for the meat and fish industries and biannually for the poultry industry.
All of Marel’s equipment is on display at Marel.com. Customers can browse through online product catalogues, watch videos and read customer testimonies. Our dedicated staff is available for live chat on request to answer questions and enquiries. Marel is constantly improving the online customer experience and in January 2019 a new website was launched with many new features to better serve our customers online. The new Marel.com improves the online user experience, benefits existing and potential customers, as well as future employees and other stakeholders.
A vital factor in maintaining outstanding service is acquiring feedback on how Marel is performing. Net Promoter Score (NPS) is a simple survey method of obtaining data on customers’ experience and loyalty that has gained popularity with companies in major global industries. Marel launched NPS in April 2018 as a tool to measure recent transactions or services rendered and take active steps to improve service delivery based on customer feedback.
The survey is now a standard part of Marel’s after-service processes. Customer complete the simple survey after a service job has been performed. Our initial score revealed a positive view of the service organization, above the industry average. Marel will continue to use the findings of the survey to continue to improve all aspects of service provision, including on-site service, remote service, preventative service, and spare parts delivery.
To improve its service even further, Marel has since 2016 been using ServiceMax, a global field service management platform, on a company-wide basis. Equipping all our field service engineers with iPads and dedicated software enables them to co-ordinate schedules and projects and deliver regular service reports. We plan on expanding the ServiceMax platform by introducing new features for our service engineers around the world. Because they are in constant contact with customers, our service personnel are crucial to customer satisfaction. Providing them with the best tools available bolsters our position as a preferred employer and means we can continue to deliver superior customer service.
Implementing ServiceMax has increased efficiency, as field data is shared with the office more quickly. The positive effects are evident in improved service delivery and sustained growth. Response times have shortened, on-time performance has improved, and productivity in the field has shown steady improvement.
Service will continue to be a key source of revenue and growth for Marel in the coming years. Major investments have been made in business improvements in the last few years, including IT and employee development. This has created a solid foundation for future growth and profitability from the company’s service operations.
In the Oceania region, Marel has been strengthening and expanding its service team to deliver top quality installations and service to customers in the poultry, meat and fish industries across Australia and New Zealand. In 2018, the team completed a number of projects, ranging from complete greenfield installations to regular repair and maintenance jobs. A major installation for a poultry processing customer located in New South Wales in Australia started in September and is expected to conclude in mid-2019. SensorX Accuro has been gaining popularity amongst meat processors in the region with multiple systems installed during the year for large and smaller processors and more to come in 2019. The Oceania team also includes several Innova service specialists who support customers on the data-driven software side of their operations.
In February 2018, April Warman was appointed Territory General Manager for Oceania and took over the leadership in the region. April started her career as a field service engineer and brings valuable experience in business leadership including project management and customer service.
“At Marel, we are listening to our customers and responding to their feedback. To improve our service even further and ensure our customers can operate smoothly at all times, we are working on implementing a new customer contact system,” says April. “The system will cover New Zealand and Australia and improve our readiness in responding to our customers 24/7, taking into account the various time zones our customers operate in. The system is part of our drive to increase our service capability and deliver dedicated local support.”
Marel is also strengthening its service team in the region with training and development to further enhance the customer experience for food processors in Oceania. In 2018, service technicians and engineers attended local and international training seminars, with a focus on specialization and on the quality of customer service. The team is made up of 28 service engineers who work across Australia and New Zealand in partnership with our customers to optimize their production.