A note on Interroll’s prospects, creating added value for the customer and partnerships.
Generating added value with new technologies, e.g. the DC RollerDrive, an extra-low voltage motor roller
Interroll is now operating in relatively new customer segments, like the tire industry, for instance. Here, especially new technologies create added value:
Our DC RollerDrive in combination with our new smart controls is a good example. Together they are capable of significantly reducing energy consumption, particularly in that industry. In addition, tire manufacturers can boost their flexibility enormously by using one of our modular conveyor solutions. That means: users can recoup the cost of their investment much more quickly, quite often in less than two years, and we also offer users the solutions they need to greatly enhance their material flows in order to achieve greater productivity and shorter lead times. The fashion industry is another perfect example of this. There, we offer solutions capable of transporting an extremely diverse range of goods and coping with highly fluctuating quantities. We recognized the growth trend in returns management years ago. There, the goal is to implement conveyor technology to efficiently manage the wide variety of goods returned.
Customers’ added value has already risen significantly in the past. Going forward, there is still much upward potential left.
We still have enormous potential, in terms of speed, for instance, that we can exploit to help our customers solve problems. The “time” element offers great added value. In addition, requirements regarding workplace safety and good working environments are on the rise. Noise levels need to be reduced even further. We need to simplify, to reduce complexity. We aim to improve our customers’ lives and make them as easy as possible while also striving to boost the performance, availability and throughput times of the systems.
Digitization is not an end in itself, but an added value for the customer
“Industry 4.0” pops up frequently as a catchphrase in this context. Interroll wanst to succeed in transforming it into a viable business model:
We’ve been promoting the key elements of digitalization, with respect to the “Internet of Things”, for instance, since even before the “Industry 4.0” trend was identified. In that sense, we were the ones to set the trend in motion in our industry. For us, however, digitalization isn’t an end in itself, rather we want to use it to help our customers achieve specific strategic objectives, with one example being the use of decentralized control units in conveyors. The new generation of the MultiControl is an excellent example of how state-of-the-art technology can be implemented to boost customer value. This unit now lets customers eliminate the PLC in certain applications and considerably simplifies the control architecture in the process. We can now leverage this technology to expand our business model by offering data analytics services to interested customers; these services would use a set of algorithms to analyze data collected to gain insights into the flow of goods. In other words, there are many different ways of leveraging data profitably. Internally, we are on our way to having a paperless factory and administration. That gives us an edge over the competition. Over the past seven years, we have been busy implementing a global ERP system which is now supplying us with useful data.
This has impact on the service business:
Over the long term, predictive maintenance and other services will allow us to boost the already high availability level of customers’ systems even further. At present, Interroll generates nearly 10 percent of its total sales through its service business. We want to expand this share to 20 percent. After all: our global presence is growing stronger. On the other hand, the installed base of our products at our customers’ facilities is rising steadily as well. Our clear goal is to greatly expand our service offering over the course of the next three years.
With global presence, Interroll is there for its customers
In 2017, further steps were taken to hone the global focus of the Group’s activities. This trend continues.
One thing is clear: there is currently no comparable rival on the market with the same systematic global focus. And that global focus offers enormous advantages for customers with global operations. Even local customers receive solutions that have been tested the world over and are at the cutting edge. We invest much more than our competitors because our global presence allows us to achieve advantageous economies of scale. We currently have 28,000 customers around the world who see the huge impact that Interroll’s solutions have on the value added of their material flows. In 2017, we built up a sales and service company in Mexico and also decided to expand our capacities in a new factory in Thailand. There are still white spots on our map, however, that we could cover in the medium to long term. For example India, Vietnam, Russia and Chile.
2017 brought the launch of a large number of new solutions on the market. The pace on innovations is high.
It hasn’t just picked up the pace, it has overhauled the entire discipline. We have made systematic improvements to the quality of our innovation process, and also improved the fine-tuning of our solutions’ launches. At Interroll, top management spends more time in the market and with customers than in the office. That allows us to identify key trends and needs with our own eyes, through personal observations and detailed discussions. The result is an entirely different level of quality as well as a greater awareness of innovation-related matters. It allows us to not only talk to customers as equals, but also to actively promote technological developments in the area of material flows and speed them up. We get to the heart of our customers’ needs, especially in terms of what they will need going forward.
"Culture for Growth" program strengthens employees and the company
Successfully bringing new employees on board:
Our successful “Culture for Growth” program will be continued. As a medium-sized group, we can offer opportunities and a working environment otherwise only found in large corporations. At Interroll, the difference is that talented employees have a much greater impact on our day-to-day business and they can participate in important decision-making processes. That is a big motivator. The strength of our corporate culture was also evident in our employee survey. The results confirm our concerted efforts.
And partners and medium-sized customers as well!
With our partner program Rolling On Interroll we have created a platform, the first of its kind in our industry, that allows smaller, local market leaders to contact comparable companies in other markets around the world. They can engage in in-depth discussions about technical advances and, in doing so, strengthen their individual market positions. Over the long term, we expect this to culminate in a strong network and a pooling of expertise which we also want to make accessible. We work with our customers and partners to take advantage of extremely interesting new opportunities. Together.