ABB has amalgamated its UK variable-speed drives and electric motors networks into a single brand identity, to create a new benchmark for technical advice, delivery, life cycle services and overall customer satisfaction.
The former ABB Drives Alliance and ABB Motor Service Partner networks are now part of the Authorised Value Provider programme, a global initiative that over time will encompass more third party companies selling other products from the ABB portfolio.
The Authorised Value Provider network raises the bar in sales, support and services for drives and motors across the UK, providing technical expertise, product and service availability all under one recognisable, local branch structure. It extends across the entire life cycle of both products by providing services such as energy & productivity appraisals, installation, start-up and preventive maintenance.
“Industry is evolving at a fast pace and the demands of customers are changing quicker than ever,” says Neil Ritchie, Local Business Unit Manager for ABB’s drives and controls business. “The Authorised Value Provider programme marks the growth of the already successful ABB channel network into a bigger, better, stronger one; a network that is designed to meet the rapidly changing requirements of global business by providing consistent access to ABB products and services.”
ABB has identified several reasons why its network needs to evolve including greater customer demand for outsourcing, increased interest in packaged solutions, widening legislations, regulations and directives, expanding array of engineering tools, advanced product technology and a broader range of life cycle services.
A distinctive logo symbolises the public face of the Authorised Value Provider network. Third party companies, authorised to display the logo, have signed an agreement with ABB to stock, distribute and provide local value-added support.
“The network is a new brand policy, streamlining the use of the ABB logo for our channels to market, creating value for them and for our customers. Wherever customers see the symbol, they have the confidence in the ABB brand that sets clear standards for quality and service,” says Ian Allan, Local Business Unit Manager for ABB’s low voltage electric motors. “For drives and motors this delivers an assurance that a local supplier is capable of providing the products and services competently, consistently and professionally.”
Tough entrance exams
Companies joining the network need to have a viable business that has been involved with motor driven systems for several years. The company then needs to invest in dedicated internal engineers, sales personnel and service engineers; have suitable premises with a training facility and workshop; and agree stock levels and a joint business plan.
They then complete a series of rigorous training courses and exams and are given direct access to ABB engineers with expert knowledge in different areas. This training ensures that the high quality of technical support and product back-up, required by ABB customers, is consistent throughout Authorised Value Provider operations.
Growth through packages
The network takes ABB one step closer to growing its business around the “packages” concept. The idea is that customers can benefit from all the components used throughout a drive train or automation system.
As such, the Authorised Value Providers act as the eyes and ears for customers in need of other products from ABB’s diverse portfolio and can facilitate contact to the relevant product division. They have in-depth knowledge of local markets and are conversant with the defined ABB products and processes.
Each of them brings its own set of skills and services and collectively they can tackle the entire diverse ABB product portfolio and service customer needs.
The drives and motors networks are joined by the robotic automation business, making a total of 23 individual companies initially forming the Authorised Value Provider network in the UK.
Global and local reach
Ian Allan adds: “The launch of the Authorised Value Provider brand signifies the evolution of the existing partner networks into a single standardised network that is altogether stronger; giving customers a consistent level of support and service regardless of where in the world they deal with a provider.
"This will particularly benefit original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and exporters who will have access to a recognised network for sales, support and services delivered in a professional and consistent manner.”
Faster, efficient and seamless
Neil Ritchie continues: “The Authorised Value Provider brand demonstrates the way business has changed over the years to meet the new challenges of the global and technology driven economy.
"An Authorised Value Provider has access to a huge array of engineering and business software tools, comprehensive training programmes and the most advanced logistics networks for getting products and support to customers on time; most of which were not available when the original networks were created.
"It is now time to harness these tools to harmonise and streamline our business to ensure we operate faster, more efficiently and seamlessly.”