Velosio Case Study: SHI Cryogenics Manufacturer
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About the Company
Sumitomo Heavy Industries, Ltd. (SHI) has a tradition of excellence and innovation that spans over 400 years. From its very beginning as a small shop selling medicines and books in Kyoto, Japan in the early 17th century, to its current status as a diverse, $8 billion corporation, SHI has continued to grow and flourish in an ever-changing
SHI’s acquisition of IGC-APD Cryogenics, Inc. in 2002 brought together two of the world’s leading cryogenic companies to form the SHI Cryogenics Group, with an unsurpassed tradition of design, development and success in the manufacture of cryogenic equipment.
The Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) Cryogenics Group designs and manufactures cryogenics equipment. To remain a globally recognized leader in the research and development of innovative products, the company wanted to build a centralized customer service platform. Working with partner Velosio, SHI Cryogenics implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 to enhance service and repair processes and better support and value for customers.
The company reduced product repair turnaround times from two months to two weeks, and has aided in sales support and played a part in a significant sales and service increase in profits in the United Kingdom.
A tradition of innovation
Sumitomo Heavy Industries (SHI) has operated at the cutting edge for more than 300 years. What started out as a copper refining, trading, and mining company in the late seventeenth century has evolved into an USD8 billion global manufacturer. The company’s precision cryogenics division, SHI Cryogenics Group, is a leading supplier of mechanical cryocoolers and other innovative products. For half a century, SHI Cryogenics has served customers all around the world, providing essential equipment to businesses in the medical, semiconductor, telecommunications, electronics, biochemical, and other industries.
“We’re involved in some great projects,” says Anthony Pothecary, Operations and Quality Manager at SHI Cryogenics Group. “Our products are used to manufacture everything from wafer chips to smartphones. We’ve also been involved with cooling down wind turbines and equipping delivery vans with hydrogen fuel cells.”
SHI continuously pushes the boundaries of what’s possible, and to remain at the forefront of manufacturing, the company continually deploys state of-the-art technology. To help achieve this goal, SHI Cryogenics Group implemented Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service. Timothy Preis, IT Manager for Network Security at SHI Cryogenics Group, led the process of building the right customer engagement platform.
“We wanted to build a cloud-based engagement platform that was powerful, flexible, and scalable enough to meet the needs of our global customer base,” he says. “Dynamics 365 Customer Service was a perfect fit.”
Continuing at the cutting edge
A major customer of SHI Cryogenics was eager to learn more about the cryogenics products it uses, including how well the products were performing, how often they were being serviced, and what that service involved. It also needed to make sure that it was meeting ISO 9001 quality standards.
Previously, SHI Cryogenics provided this information using spreadsheets and other tools that relied too heavily on inefficient, time-consuming manual processes. The customer request for increased insight provided SHI Cryogenics with an opportunity to not only satisfy a major customer with better visibility and reporting, but also to reimagine its entire service and repair operations.
Working with Microsoft and longtime partner Velosio, SHI Cryogenics first implemented a free trial version of Dynamics 365 to get a better idea of the different functionalities and customizations it might need going forward. “We’re extremely fortunate to have such great business relationships,” says Preis. “Velosio came in, asked us questions to find out what we were looking for, and then helped us build a platform we could easily upgrade in the future. And Microsoft gave us the flexibility to continue testing and figuring out the best fit for our business.”
SHI Cryogenics quickly recognized the value of the new intelligent business applications. Soon after implementing the trial version of Dynamics 365, SHI Cryogenics took the next step, adopting Dynamics 365 Customer Service and expanding it to include more users, products, and customers, such as its conglomerate MRI partners.
The power of real-time insight
SHI Cryogenics uses Dynamics 365 Customer Service to harness information from its products. The company can access real-time product data and share that with its customers, providing them with insight into performance issues and service needs. SHI Cryogenics also equips its internal engineers with critical information, enabling them to better analyze problem trends, conduct preventative maintenance, repair existing equipment, and develop superior products in the future.
“With Dynamics 365 Customer Service, we’ve harmonized our operations at a global level,” says Pothecary. “We can streamline the service of products from all around the world in one centralized location. We can even use the system to quickly communicate with our customers in Europe, Asia, and North America.”
Knowledge is power for customer service employees. To make sure its staff is as knowledgeable as possible, SHI Cryogenics is using Dynamics 365 Customer Service to curate and manage product specific knowledge base articles. With these materials readily accessible, global service agents are better positioned to share their expertise and speed up resolutions by relying on a single source of truth.
“When it comes to service, it’s vital that everybody is in agreement,” says Laura Enderes, Quality Assurance at SHI Cryogenics Group. “By reading the knowledge base articles in Dynamics 365 Customer Service, our staff is empowered to support customers in a stronger, more consistent manner.”
SHI Cryogenics also adapted the case management functionality in Dynamics 365 Customer Service to handle return material authorizations and returns to vendors. This helps simplify the process of exchanging faulty pieces of equipment with new replacement products by putting service history, incident reports, and other essential information at the fingertips of staff.
Additionally, SHI Cryogenics is using the product catalog functionality in Dynamics 365 Sales to promote product line growth. With greater insight, the company can create tailor-made products to meet its customers’ needs. In just a few years, it introduced two new product lines and currently has a third in development.
In the coming years, SHI Cryogenics plans to extend its use of Dynamics 365 Customer Service. The organization will also tap into even more Dynamics 365 Sales features to give sales teams around the globe the tools to engage customers, build relationships, monitor buyer behavior, and accelerate purchasing decisions. In addition, SHI Cryogenics plans to implement Dynamics 365 Field Service to further provide field technicians with the information they need to perform preventative maintenance and repair damaged equipment.
Harmonized global operations, increased data accuracy, and enhanced products are just a few of the benefits SHI Cryogenics has experienced since implementing Dynamics 365 Customer Service. But the company might have realized its biggest improvements in time savings and revenue growth. The company has managed to reduce product repair turnaround times from two months to two weeks, and has aided in sales support and played a part in a significant sales and service increase in profits in the United Kingdom over a five-year span.
SHI Cryogenics customers have also benefited from the transformation. Customers now have more visibility into their products, experience fewer equipment failures, and get their issues resolved faster. Most importantly, they’ve gained confidence that SHI Cryogenics can support them under any circumstance.
Thanks to improved processes at SHI Cryogenics, its key customer can now trace any volume of work from production into the field. So, when that manufacturer increases production from 700 to 1,500 units a year—as it recently did—it can rest assured that the products will always be well made and taken care of.