With end users becoming more aware of their welding requirements and also demanding a higher standard of service, Castolin Eutectic has raced ahead of competitors by providing improved services and paying more attention to critical issues like technical assistance, training courses, subcontracting facilities, etc.
The repair and maintenance welding consumables market has been one of the least affected markets during recession, mainly because end users prefer repair and maintenance to investing in asset replacement or newer technologies. Demand for repair and maintenance welding consumables is mainly from the heavy machinery user sectors, including power generating plants and the oil and gas extraction industries. Furthermore, the increasing prices of raw materials, competition from low-cost low-quality Asian goods and the availability of alternative processes such as mechanical fasteners and adhesives offer challenges to the welding consumables market.
"Castolin Eutectic provides a wide array of alloy consumables, specifically for repair and maintenance in numerous end-user industries like heavy machinery, cement, automotive, power and offshore," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Archana Chauhan. "All these quality services are selected to respond to the needs of the customers effectively, thereby demonstrating Castolin Eutectic's experience and insight into the diverse requirements of the customers."
The repair and maintenance welding industry needs an arsenal of diverse alloyed consumables for different repair and maintenance applications for which traditional welding products are not designed. Castolin Eutectic's proprietary alloys have helped it maintain a very strong historical relationship with the cement, oil & gas, waste and recycling, glass industry, pulp and paper and other industries. For the end users to achieve highest productivity gains through its special products, processes and services, Castolin Eutectic believes in providing them with technical know-how and training about how different alloy choices could best reduce their production downtime.
The company's international team of experts conduct production site surveys to identify "weak links" and thus can show clients the potential cost savings to be made by using Castolin Eutectic's specialised alloyed consumables. Its service processes are highly interdependent and hence, help to increase customer satisfaction and loyalty because the overall service experience is more effectively coordinated.
Significantly, while its competitors sell through distributors, who also stock consumables of other companies, Castolin Eutectic alloys are primarily sold direct through its own associated companies who can identify new repair subcontract opportunities. Such services are also responsible to develop application-specific procedures, processes and products to provide necessary customer technical support.
In addition, since the company has its own operations in several regions of Europe like the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Benelux, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, it can provide a rapid response service to customers.
"Although the overhead expenses of maintaining service is higher than distributor based supply chains, it is the company ethic to provide sufficient technical support to all its customers personally, which is more successful in the former case," says Chauhan. "The company has set appropriate standards for the timeliness of response for all forms of customer contact including phone calls, e-communications and grievance redressal cells."
Castolin Eutectic's success lies in its innate focus on customer satisfaction in its development and commercial activities. Besides studying client needs and providing innovative solutions and services, the company also monitors the outcome of its services. The company identifies individual customer needs at the first point of contact by an appropriate technical expert. When additional services appear to be likely, the company discusses with the customer the next step and indicates the probable overall time required to satisfy the needs successfully.
The Castolin Eutectic service organise workshops regularly wherein the dedicated team of technical experts with full access to its unrivalled applications data base, provides welding services to the end users. Its customers can now also subcontract all the welding operations to the CastoLab® Services teams in the absence of welders. In this way, the customers can have their work done safely by qualified technicians and remain satisfied, especially if insufficient welding skills or equipment exist in-house.
Furthermore, detailed brochures and initial technical visits by its technical experts are provided free of charge. Though the customers have to pay for any ensuing subcontracting services, it is still very cost effective compared with hiring welding experts at their plants to do the repair and maintenance work. The combination of innovative, application specific products and service with high value to customers make Castolin Eutectic the worthy recipient of the 2010 European Frost & Sullivan Award for Customer Service Leadership in the repair and maintenance welding consumables market.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this award to a company that has demonstrated excellence in the timeliness of offering a novel service. The award recognizes efforts towards innovation, quality and cost effectiveness as well as the impact on customer satisfaction.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognize companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
About Castolin Eutectic
With more than 2000 people worldwide, Castolin Eutectic is the leading company in fighting wear and providing specialist coating, repair & joining solutions in harsh operating conditions. We provide products with application know-how to customers and are increasingly moving to becoming a service based business. More than 100 years of experience in welding, brazing and thermal spraying technologies stands for professional and innovative solutions. Castolin Eutectic is your partner with industrial expertise in surface protection, repair and joining solutions. To find out more about us, please visit castolin.com or eutectic.com.
About Frost & Sullivan
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