Manufacturing a human element

By Neil Parton, managing director of Elumatec.

In a year that’s had us reeling, it’s a timely moment to reflect on how we got here and understand whether we can rely solely on what we produce, or is there more to it?

It doesn’t take much soul-searching to realise we wouldn’t be where we are without wrapping our service in multiple human layers; layers that add value, technical expertise and a friendly voice when things go wrong.

At Elumatec we want the end-to-end service experience to be compared to the efficient, seamless service customers receive at Rolls-Royce, or the joy of buying a new Mercedes knowing you’re in safe hands. It’s about being proud of the name on the product and wanting to stand by it, even after the sales and installation are complete.

Like most manufacturers, we put a high level of craftmanship into our machines and adopt engineering solutions to create machines that are built to last. So, we don’t just want to sell our creations, we want our customers to understand them inside and out and use them to their full capacity.

If we had a red carpet, we’d roll it out every time we made a sale.

A great example of this is a Wales-based client who has been with us for over 20 years. The client is an international specialist in the design and manufacture of bus shelters, wayfinding and street furniture, and with over 30 years’ experience they need products that won’t let them down.

A workshop full of Elumatec machinery is testament to their appreciation of our products, including three SBZ 130 profile machining centres, one of which is over 19 years old and still going strong. This client recently purchased our flagship SBZ 151 machine, a great piece of machinery that will give them more flexibility to manufacture the wide range of products they deliver.

It’s easy to celebrate a purchase and think that’s the end of it, but that’s not how we do things at Elumatec. And it’s not how we keep satisfied customers and functioning machinery, for nearly two decades.

We believe it’s our multi-layered service that makes us stand head and shoulders above other manufacturers. For our Wales-based client, our team of Elumatec engineers spent two weeks on site. One week was spent installing the machine and a further week was dedicated to delivering bespoke training to the operatives.

It’s this face-to-face contact that makes all the difference. And with years of experience installing and delivering our machines, we’re quick to adapt to our customers’ needs and the environment we’re working in, and 2020 has certainly provided a few challenges.

At one point, in Wales there were eight members of staff on site who needed to be trained. That’s no mean feat in the time of the coronavirus, so we worked closely with our customer to make sure social distancing was adhered to at all times. The result was a new training classroom on the shop floor, and what a great space to be: sandwiched between the new SBZ 151 CNC and new DG 244 double mitre saw. A perfect location for training and all completely COVID-safe.

The standard of training we offer never falters. We sent one of Elumatec’s dedicated applications engineers to Wales to hand over the SBZ 151 and explain the features and software in detail. And now that the installation and training is complete, the same engineer will remain on-call for any future needs. We even provide remote assistance by dialling directly into the machines and fixing issues from a distance. A great initiative, which has become so much more significant in the wake of Covid-19, and the social distancing measures that have now become the norm.

At Elumatec we believe the human element is a key part of our manufacturing process. We stand out from the playing field because we don’t just sell our machinery, we share it. We want to see it work, we design it to last and we’re proud to keep working with it after installation.

From beginning to end, our service is geared towards quality, trust and longevity. Even in an era of social distancing, while the machines take the starring role, it’s the people who make it.

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