We're always on call

When a customer in Austria has a problem with a Komptech machine, he puts in a call to Frohnleiten. This romantic little town in southeastern Austria is the home of Komptech Headquarters.

August 23, 2021

The opportunity to add capacity to the Frohnleiten location, which has been in use since 1997, was a stroke of good fortune for Komptech. Due to a bankruptcy, an adjacent one-hectare site with a 3000 square meter manufacturing hall and office building became available. We bought it, cleaned it up and modernized it. This enabled us to expand Customer Service and the Used and Rental Machine department, and also move our Research and Development Centre there.
 
Service and rental centre for all of Austria
The Service Centre is led by Wolfgang Prietl, who prior to working there gained extensive experience in Field Service. His team is responsible for the maintenance and repair of customer machines, refurbishing used Komptech machines and maintaining the rental fleet. “We refurbish our used machines to strict standards so that they can bear the ‘Komptech Certified Used’ warranty. Every step is logged,” explains Prietl. Maintenance and care of the rental machines likewise follows a defined “Check-in Protocol.”

For example, if a machine comes back from rental use, the technicians in Prietl’s team inspect the wear parts and check whether repairs are necessary. The machine’s outward appearance is also brought up to par in the 200 square meter washing hall at the Frohnleiten site. Once everything is completed, the machine is checked in digitally in Komptech’s RENT! app. That means it is once again available for rental. Prietl: “Our rental fleet comprises over 60 machines.” And demand is rising. Komptech’s rental offerings are used more and more frequently by customers who know that they will need a certain machine only for a limited period of time. “It would be difficult for us to achieve this quality and speed without digital tools,” says Prietl.

Digital tools for customer service
Joachim Reitbauer confirms the importance of Komptech’s apps for improved internal and external processes. As Head of Product Support, with his 19-person team he’s responsible for supporting Komptech Service staff and partners the world over. This includes the Field Service technicians as well as the Service Centre in Frohnleiten. Reitbauer: “With the Connect! app we – and the operator – see every detail of the machine without having to be on site. In real time. If there’s a problem, the initial trouble-shooting can take place online, and the technician can prepare for the service call in advance.” He contributed his experience in Customer Service to the development of the Connect! app.

For him and his team this digital tool is a real boon for helping service engineers on the other side of the globe do their job well. For some time now field technicians have also had another digital tool, the Assist! service information system. It runs on a smartphone and lets the user enter terms, just like in a search engine, anytime and anywhere. An algorithm returns the appropriate information for possible problem solutions, including explanations of error codes and repair instructions. Spare parts lists, operating instructions and circuit diagrams can also be accessed with it. “To create Assist! we digitalized many different sources and formats, like circuit diagrams and training materials, and entered them into an intelligent system. It was a lot of work, but it was worth it,” says Reitbauer with pride.

"If there’s a problem, the initial trouble-shooting can take place online, and the technician can prepare for the service call in advance."

Komptech service international
Wherever a customer or service partner might be, if there’s a problem they can call International Product Support in Frohnleiten and get help. “We want our customers to be able to focus on their business. We take care of problems with the machines,” says Customer Assistant Claudia Hofbauer. Like her colleagues, she fields calls from around the world. By mouseclick she accesses data about the specific machine in Connect! and contacts a service technician where necessary. “In my job you need to be able to handle calls by people who are under a lot of pressure. Often they’re having an issue with a machine that is urgently needed,” she explains. In Product Support old hands work side by side with young colleagues. And according to Hofbauer, they’re always looking for new team members.

Research and development
The expansion of the Frohnleiten facility let Komptech move its Research and Development Centre from St. Michael in Upper Styria back to headquarters. This helps the findings from projects and testing flow into the organization faster, accelerating the development of products and solutions. And when prototypes are being developed it makes a lot of sense to let Service colleagues take a look at the machines. That way the development team gets instant feedback on things that might be too complicated or too involved for practical use. The Komptech Research Centre is tasked with creating the optimum conditions for “green” innovations.