Siemens' 'Think Customer' puts executives into new roles | Automation.com

Siemens' 'Think Customer' puts executives into new roles

Siemens' 'Think Customer' puts executives into new roles
Today, there’s a new emphasis on the customer – and it is showing in a few unique ways.

“Think Customer” at Siemens Energy & Automation involves many of the top executives in the company taking new temporary roles in the operation so that they get an eyeful, or earful, from working directly with customers for a day. For example, one senior manager spends a day answering phones in the customer service department. Another goes on field service calls to fix equipment. The idea is to interact with customers in a normal day-to-day experience — and use the experience to shape how Siemens betters itself for the customer.

Recently, the general manager of the Machine Tool Business, Wolfgang Rubrecht, got a taste of this experience when he became a “trainer in training” during one of the regular machine shop operator seminars, held on February 12, 2008 at the Siemens facility in Elk Grove Village, Illinois, near Chicago. Although Rubrecht has an engineering background, he hadn’t been a trainer. And, he hadn’t been able to go to one of the business unit’s seminars. So, he gave himself an assignment – learn to teach the end user seminar and spend a day with the customers who work directly with his unit’s equipment.

This particular seminar focused on the operating and programming techniques used on the company’s flagship CNC, the SINUMERIK 840D. Siemens hold these free seminars on a regular basis, along with a parallel track of CNC maintenance seminars, for its machine shop customers.

Rubrecht says the preparation for the seminar was a lot of work, but worth the effort. “Our customers are doing so many amazing things with the latest CNC technology. I was able to work with them first-hand to see what they liked and didn’t like about working with our products. I got a few good ideas I’m ready to implement to make it even easier to work with Siemens. And yes, it was a very different experience than the many regular management meetings which normally govern my workday.”

Large and small businesses alike were represented at this particular seminar, where Rubrecht detailed the frames and tool offset possibilities of the CNC in milling and turning applications. He gave his presentation and answered many questions from the attendees, most of whom were unaware of his official position with the company.

“The seminar is all about making our customers aware of the many unique and powerful programming features of our SINUMERIK CNC products which will make their job of operating a machine so much easier and productive. Customer benefit does not become more immediate and tangible than this,” Rubrecht said, in summarizing the purpose of the event.

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