As companies mature, declining growth becomes a real risk as innovation gives away to inertia. For Jebsen Industrial, maintaining sustainable growth levels means paying equal attention to existing businesses while exploring other potential opportunities. Three years ago, it established a dedicated Technical Services Division as a natural extension of its core business. Envisioned as a one-stop service provider to businesses throughout Greater China’s industrial sector, the division has made significant strides towards success. Ms Rachel Cheung, General Manager of the Technical Services Division, shares her thoughts on the future of service solutions.  


Ms Rachel Cheung, General Manager of the Technical Services Division, shares her thoughts on the future of service solutions.


When it was first established, what challenges did the division face and how did it overcome them?

Service is a people business, so I would say our greatest challenge was people. Since the division was essentially spun-off from a sales team, the topmost item on our agenda was change management – to help our people shift from a sales-driven mindset to a service-oriented attitude. Communication was the key to overcoming this. At the same time, to ensure that the division was structurally sound, we needed to recruit a skilled engineering team but the talent crunch in the market made this rather difficult. That is why we decided to maintain our own talent pipeline by establishing an apprenticeship programme in 2013 with schools and universities in Dalian to nurture young graduates into outstanding engineers.  


‘After challenges comes success’. How true is that for the Technical Services Division?

Well, once we had the right people with the right mindset, we were able to develop a competent Technical Services team. With our collective knowledge and expertise, we begin offering end-to-end service solutions to the market. Like all Jebsen Industrial divisions, we pride ourselves on being a complete service provider with professional end-to-end services at every stage of a project lifecycle – from pre-sales service, project management and engineering services to after-sales and customer service. Further, to ensure that we are able to respond promptly to customer requests no matter where they are located, we expanded the team across China and Hong Kong for quicker deployment. I believe that a good foundation is our greatest success to-date because without which, sustainable growth would not be possible.  


In what ways do you think the division has grown?

We have definitely evolved. We started out providing technical services for existing Jebsen Industrial principals but with time, we built reputation in the wider marketplace. Industry recognition has helped us broaden our service scope to include full plant maintenance services and partnership agreements with third-party principals. These are exciting developments for us in a number of ways.


Can you tell us more about a full plant maintenance service project?

A full plant maintenance service contract, like the one we have with Mitec-Jebsen for its production facility in Dalian, essentially means that the customer entrusts the entire plant to us. Our duty is to ensure that it runs smoothly and efficiently through preventive and corrective maintenance services. The Mitec-Jebsen project is a leap forward for us because it gives us the opportunity to handle machinery outside Jebsen Industrial’s brand portfolio. We are committed to doing our best and have even stationed a team in Dalian for this project. Such projects really allow us to take our service value to the next level so we are very keen on pursuing similar business opportunities. That said, the service industry is quite different from products in that it takes time to prove our worth. Because we recognise this point, we believe in investing the time and effort needed to demonstrate the value we can deliver.


How about partnership agreements with third-party principals?

This is another business area that we are excited about. Generally speaking, it means that we will provide technical services to any company that requires engineering services for their machinery and equipment. On the back of the Mitec-Jebsen project, which was implemented in June  2013, we have since entered into a partnership agreement with SKF, which is a Swedish brand that supplies bearings, seals, lubrication and lubrication systems as well as maintenance, mechatronics and power transmission products globally. SKF has appointed us to provide onsite maintenance services mainly for motorized spindles. While it has its own spindle repair team in China, the company has recognised the value of a partner like us. Our role is to ensure the safe and prompt dismounting and delivery of spindles from the customer site to SKF’s team, and also to conduct installation, commissioning and testing after the spindles are returned.


There seem to be many ongoing projects! What’s next for the Technical Services Division?

In the near future, business development will continue to be a priority for us. We are keen on working with more third-party principals especially in the Computer Numeric Control (CNC) machine tool sector. This is a huge market in China with the fastest growth rate in the machine tool industry. The market is rather mature but we find that it is still quite fragmented in the technical services arena, so for us, growth potential is high. Our goal is actually to gain a foothold in the CNC machine tool sector for both services and component sales. We aim to secure service cooperation agreements with third-party CNC machine tool suppliers as a first step and eventually broaden our product portfolio to include related equipment.


Overall, I believe that we are well positioned to seize growth opportunities that will lead us, and Jebsen Industrial, into the future.