Blastman Robotics Ltd: Abrasive blast-cleaning systems and aftersales services around the world
Blastman Robotics Ltd from Oulu, Finland, is an international success story in robotics. The company designs, programs and markets robotic abrasive blast-cleaning systems. Its customers include manufacturers of rail rolling stock and steel structures, engineering workshops and foundries. The company has annual turnover of around 11 million euros, and 95 percent of its customers are outside of Finland.
Blastman Robotics’ aftersales team is responsible for managing customer relations following the delivery of the company’s automation systems. In practice, customer support involves ordering spare parts, coordinating maintenance and repair work, and handling training and support requests, for example. How does the company organise all these services for its international customer base in practice?
“We have our own subsidiaries in China and Russia. The Asian markets are handled form China. In the USA we have a partnership agreement with a local representative. From Finland we look after contacts with these offices and our broad network of partners, plus we provide direct customer service for our customers in Europe, India and South America. In practice, this means around 1500 contacts a year,” says Aftersales Manager Juha Koskela.
Additional sales, more precise estimates and improved prioritising
Just over a year ago, Blastman Robotics began using the Requeste customer service system for managing work orders for aftersales services. Previously, contacts were managed using the company’s e-mail system. “Now, around 80 percent of contacts are managed using Requeste and just 20 percent by e-mail,” Juha Koskela estimates.
Sales Engineer Ville Korhonen appreciates how the Requeste system provides a clear overview of what the team is working on at any given moment. “The number of contacts is probably just about manageable by e-mail, but the new system makes it much easier for us to estimate the amount of work, anticipate customer needs and prioritise jobs,” Ville tells us.
“Requeste has proven to be an effective tool for monitoring and processing sales orders. The ready message templates facilitate our work significantly,” says Kristian Pietiläinen, who is in charge of North American sales. Generating additional sales plays a key role in the work of the aftersales team. “I would estimate that 65 percent of my own work is sales-related, 25 percent involves customer satisfaction and 10 percent in developing operations,” Ville Korhonen adds.
“In longer message chains, in which discussion partners outside our organisation exchange numerous messages with lots of attachments, we have found that e-mail is still at times a more convenient means of exchanging information. Together with our system supplier, Sysart, we are now considering what development steps are needed to manage those kinds of message chains better using Requeste. As our own internal development project, our next goal is to consider how we can better utilise the data compiled by the system in our reporting, for example to monitor claims,” Koskela says, describing their development wishes.Find out more about Blastman Robotics Find out more about Requeste