Cesare Ferretti meets Marco Pirola, Delia Quirico and Ettore Pelli of Siemens SpA.

April 2011

Cesare Ferretti meets Marco Pirola, Delia Quirico and Ettore Pelli of Siemens SpA.

What has changed in your relations with distributors and their customer loyalty with the use of Metel?

Marco Pirola, IT Officer:

 

Metel has been around for several years, we were among the first to participate in its development and implementation, if I recall correctly, since the early ‘90s. We were all pretty young then. It was love at first sight and we immediately began working in partnership with Metel. Siemens had already made the change to EDI for its internal use, so when Metel was developed, we immediately joined with enthusiasm. Implementing Metel has meant increasing our business’s efficiency: efficiency in the sense that data re-entry has disappeared in favor of quality data and speed. And then, of course, we now also have the advantage of standardization. In a world increasingly diverse and complex, it is absolutely necessary to ensure efficiency and find custom solutions for any situation. Metel is a platform with which we could not do without.

Delia Quirico, Logistics Officer:

In terms of logistics, Metel definitely provides the advantages of standardization, speed and accuracy of information. As for the exchange of data with distributors, the Metel platform is now absolutely essential. The complete use of the Metel standard by manufacturers will also help distributors manage warehouse space and this surely will translate into savings in handling for the distributor. EDI gives the distributor significant added value and it induces a customer loyalty process. It is hard for me to quantify Metel’s weight in creating customer loyalty, but it certainly has a major impact.

Ettore Pelli, Distributor Manager for Italy:

Metel contributes very much to building customer loyalty and has consolidated the relationship between the supplier and distributor. Standardizing processes and their dematerialization, produce substantial economic benefits, as well as a much higher level of service than when we operated without Metel. It clear that customer loyalty is stronger if the supplier and the distributor speak a unique language for sales, logistics and operating systems, hence Metel’s importance is evident.

Do you make distributor customer satisfaction surveys? If yes, what comes out? Is there something that emerges that can be traced to the Metel Standard?

Ettore Pelli, Distributor Manager for Italy:

Yes, we do them of all our customers and thus, also of distributors. From the survey results we receive information about possible areas of improvement. In the past it was logistics, speed of reply, the exchange of information with the customer during the order process and so on. We have used the results for a continuous improvement processes. I am not able to measure how much Metel has increased loyalty between suppliers and customers; I have been able to verify that it is essential to forging an intense partnership. Thanks to Metel, one obtains rationalization and certainty. Metel has become a widespread standard that cannot be given up. I have had the opportunity of making comparisons at the international level, and I can say that in Italy, thanks to Metel, with regard to dematerialization, we are far ahead of other international supply chains.

Delia Quirico, Logistics Officer:

In one of our first surveys related to customer satisfaction, we found that they were not completely satisfied with the Metel platform due to its limited handling of barcodes. Today they are fully satisfied. Rather than negative reports on Metel’s service, we receive suggestions for improving its correct use, which we have done and continue to do.

Marco Pirola, IT Officer:

The factors examined in the customer satisfaction surveys are many and it is objectively difficult to extrapolate what may be directly attributable to Metel services, since it is an integral part of our organization and of how we work. What emerges overall is that customer satisfaction is influenced directly or indirectly by how suppliers and distributors use Metel. It is needless to repeat that we are satisfied with our relationship with our customers and I believe the reverse is also true.

 

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