Germany – customer-oriented optimiser of safety and efficiency
As Europe’s largest economy and second most populous country, Germany plays a key political and economic role. It is also one of the world’s leading exporters of mechanical and industrial installations, motor vehicles and chemical and household products. It is therefore not surprising that most of Europe’s industrial trucks are sold in Germany. Some 82,600 vehicles were sold there in 2015, of which approximately 20 % were e-trucks, 15 % IC-trucks and 65 % warehouse equipment.
- The unemployment rate in April 2016 was 6.3%
- The budget deficit in 2015 was 0.7% of GDP
- The national debt in 2015 was 71.2%.
(Source: Federal Employment Office, Federal Finance Ministry, Federal Statistical Office)
For Linde, Germany is the most important market in the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) region. Its key industries include trade, logistics and the automotive sector. As the fourth industrial revolution progresses, the topic of automation is gaining in importance. This trend is being reinforced by demographic shifts and the subsequent changes in the workforce. Automation helps older workers do their jobs and makes operational processes more ergonomic. For a high-wage country like Germany, this trend offers the opportunity to improve repeated processes using intelligent automation and, as a result, compensate for the high wages of highly skilled workers.
Industry’s most extensive sales and service network
Because of its extensive network of sales representatives and service technicians, Linde is the industry leader in the German market when it comes to customer proximity. This is possible thanks to its 23 dealers and two subsidiaries, which have a total of 250 sales specialists and consultants and over 2,000 service technicians. With an average distance of only seven kilometres between company and customer, Linde ensures customer proximity in the truest sense of the word. Its sales representatives and technicians are also highly qualified, thanks to the Linde Academy and regularly scheduled training events.
Similar to its physical proximity, Linde Deutschland boasts outstanding customer focus when it comes to providing advice and meeting individual needs. Above all, this can be seen in the options for customising vehicles and for integrating assistance systems that increase safety and efficiency – not to mention Linde’s tailor-made solutions for financing and rentals.
Two customer examples
Two examples show how Linde’s varied and individually designed product and service solutions can help customers optimise work processes, efficiency and, as a result, safety.
In the automotive industry, an optimal flow of materials is required if production processes are to be efficient. A total of 90 Linde vehicles are in use at Lorel GmbH, the firm responsible for logistics at Daimler AG in Bremen. The fleet is tailored to meet requirements on the spot. For example, loads are moved to and from the racking bays by 13 electric reach trucks which are assisted by RFID sensors and a camera, allowing them to locate the desired destination very quickly. Additional safety is provided by Linde Blue Spot LED lights, which warn employees when a vehicle is approaching. Together with the customer, the local Linde partner realised an innovation based on the pit stops used in Formula One racing: a “stoplight system” has been integrated into maintenance checks to provide information about the operational status of each vehicle. If there is a problem with a truck, a service call is immediately initiated. The Linde partner also guarantees the customer that a mechanic is on call round the clock and that replacement parts are available on site or within 24 hours – services that further promote efficiency and safety on the spot.
Another way Linde contributes to operational safety can be seen in connect:, the connectivity solution used by Villeroy & Boch in Mettlach. The German ceramics maker has a fleet of 23 Linde trucks which are operated by different drivers, a situation that can lead to mix-ups. With the help of the connect: access control system, the company ensures each truck is operated only by the employees authorised to drive it. That prevents injuries and keeps vehicles and goods from being damaged.