Service in the fast lane

Ahmedabad, western India, 4.00  p.m. Deepak Dubey shakes his head as he looks at the congested traffic.

“Nothing’s moving at all,” says the Rittal service engineer. He then carefully weaves his motorbike through the tightly packed tuk tuks, buses and cars. He ignores the other drivers’ honking and cursing – after all, he needs to get to the other side of town as quickly as possible.

“Several cooling units are failing to deliver the necessary cooling output at a textile manufacturer,” explains Dubey. The fall-out is as dramatic as you might expect at over 40 degrees in the shade – overheated control units, outages and production stoppages. “Every minute counts because the customer is losing real money.” Twenty minutes later, the motorbike comes to a screeching halt at the factory door. “Regular maintenance would easily prevent something like this from happening,” says Dubey, before stepping out onto the factory floor. The reason for this is the tightly focused local competition in this country that spans more than 3 million square kilometres. There are hardly any specialist service providers. Instead, in most cases, it’s all-round handy men who fix the air conditioning in factories, offices and people’s homes. “The local businesses’ major advantage is their very close proximity to the customer – along with their unbeatably low prices, of course,” explains Sandeep Ayyappa, Senior Manager India Service. But this isn’t the be all and end all, even on an extremely cost-sensitive market like India.

“Companies that have actually experienced a worst-case scenario look for alternatives,” says Ayyappa. “This is where we come into play.” And that’s also why Rittal has built a comprehensive service network – the first ever supplier to do so. “Our aim was to be present wherever our end customers are,” explains Ayyappa. “We achieved this by extending our service network last year.” Since then, Rittal India, working together with more than 20 partners, has been able to offer a fast and reliable service that stretches from Bangalore to New Delhi. “Customers rely on us having the necessary expertise as a system supplier of control and switchgear engineering,” says Ayyappa. To ensure this also applies to the external service partners, they were first brought up to speed in the training centre Rittal runs in India. “After all, our customers rightly expect the highest standards of quality not only from our products, but also in the service we provide.”

Within 20 days, in Bangalore the cooling technicians learned the essential aspects of installing and servicing climate control solutions. “We built upon and expanded their existing knowledge to enable them to provide customised services for dealing with all kinds of problems and faults,” explains Ayyappa.

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