MMT Observation: Localizing Customer Service

Just when I thought good customer service had gone the way of the dodo bird, some of the more major supplier companies within our industry are proving me wrong.

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Just when I thought good customer service had gone the way of the dodo bird, some of the more major supplier companies within our industry are proving me wrong. As a magazine editor, my in-box is regularly flooded with press announcements about new products, company appointments, trade show news, upcoming open houses and conferences, and more. As I was posting a news item the other day, it occurred to me that I’d been in receipt of several business news releases announcing localized customer service centers and showrooms that will boost customer service and support. This one was from Renishaw Inc. Based in the UK, the company has announced that it’s preparing to open its new North American headquarters in West Dundee, Illinois, and plans to set up regional technical and sales offices throughout the U.S., to accelerate the adoption of its additive manufacturing technologies by customers and provide support to optimize their use of it.

Last year, DMG MORI announced the opening of several new regional service centers—doubling its count to 27, to be exact, throughout the U.S. to be able to react even more quickly to customer needs and improve value and outcomes by working directly with them. Software company Tebis America announced that, in addition to beefing up its team at its Troy, Michigan, headquarters, it also added personnel and support in the Southeastern U.S. and Canada, plus the company added a new distributor in Mexico. Germany-based Zeiss Industrial Metrology also opened a new facility in Wixom, Michigan, dedicated to the latest developments for the process chain in car body metrology and automated inspection. These companies are global, but it’s clear they see the value in bringing their products and services closer to the customers they serve.

Could it be these companies and others anticipate a healthy resurgence of the United States’ manufacturing base this year and beyond? Why else would they invest so much time and money to put company “boots on the ground” and provide more personalized services for their customers? Something to think about.

Even moldmakers are getting into the act. We’ve encountered several in North America who have either established second or third plants in locations other than where they are based, or they plan to do so. Some examples are companies like Fairway Injection Molding Systems in Walnut, California; Concours Mold in Lakeshore, Ontario, Canada; and Integrity Tool and Mold Inc. in Oldcastle, Ontario, Canada. Each of these companies (and others) are or have expanded their moldmaking services into Mexico where, typically, injection molding and assembly is the primary business concentration.

I would like to hear from companies – mold manufacturers and suppliers to moldmakers alike – about whether they have or plan to expand into new parts of the world and why. Email me, please!

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