ESAB has received the 2008 Global Welding Consumables Customer Service Excellence Award from Frost & Sullivan. With a focus on providing top-quality customer service, ESAB has continually strived to offer innovative and high-productivity consumables to a wide range of industry sectors.
Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Archana Chauhan notes: "The company has developed an exceptional product range in response to customer-specific needs. ESAB has one of the largest welding consumables product ranges; it has consumables for every welding application type and also consumables that cater to particular industry segments such as shipbuilding, automotive, pipelines and pipe mills."
Consumables sold by ESAB are manufactured under a strict ISO 9001 quality assurance programme. Moreover, with IS0 14001 worldwide certification, the company's high-quality consumables are preferred by industries for their ability to minimise welding defects.
A global presence and widely dispersed manufacturing facilities have facilitated an extensive reach and more effective response to customer needs. The ESAB group has 26 manufacturing plants across the globe and a presence in almost 80 countries. It also has a widespread network of sales offices and distributors to reach end-user industries in several geographic regions where competitors have limited access. This enables ESAB to provide a global experience to its customers and a consistent customer experience. Through its regionally dispersed Process Development Centres, ESAB is able to provide rapid technical support as well as customer training.
Miss Chauhan says: "ESAB is recognised for the provision of unique value-added services. The company provides training and support to its customers: comprehensive catalogues detail the entire range of welding consumables offered by the company and also the different metal make-ups of such welding consumables. ESAB also provides a health and safety guide to its customers."
ESAB undertakes continuous R&D to boost product productivity levels. The company invests up to 20 per cent of its profits into R&D to enhance the quality of its consumables while reducing their environmental impact and improving the working environment of its customers. Its R&D and product management facilities are located in the USA, Europe, China, India and Brazil. This means that ESAB uses a fully global competency base to develop products that are suited to its markets, creating a global set of products. Engineers are able to respond to regional customer needs and tailor products to suit those needs.
ESAB's local infrastructure provides its customers with a local experience. It tracks customer delivery KPIs on a global basis and constantly seeks to improve its delivery performance.
Miss Chauhan comments: "ESAB publishes a customer magazine Svetsaren that covers major welding industry-related issues. The company also deploys user-friendly e-marketing and networking strategies. For instance, the ESAB website has all the information necessary to place orders and redress grievances." For this reason, ESAB is recognised as a welding and cutting authority and has recently created a department of highly knowledgeable welding 'gurus' who are globally deployed to improve customers' welding productivity. Demand for this service already exceeds supply.
The Frost & Sullivan Global Customer Service Excellence Award is bestowed each year upon the company that has demonstrated global excellence in a given business function such as sales, marketing, customer service, product quality and supply chain management. Leveraging best practices in the company to all global units is a major metric that Frost & Sullivan utilises in its selection process. The Award recipient has distinguished itself through its proactive global integration strategies that would position the company to emerge as a global leader.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise 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.