- THE MAGAZINE
"With stricter health and safety regulations, the need for higher productivity and a shrinking labor pool, high quality, efficient products like ours are in great demand. That's why we decided to implement our new marketing strategy at this time," Cournelius-Knudsen said. "Product is certainly one of the very very important things of our industry," Cournelius-Knudsen said at the Orlando press conference. "We want to refocus on the Advance brand. The Advance brand has been very unique in its innovation. This brand, this tradition, this offering deserves 100 percent total commitment from our people."
He explained that Nilfisk-Advance is aiming to "separate (the Advance brand) from all other product lines, and dedicate a sales force and marketing team" to the brand. The 90-year-old company has taken steps to boost its Advance dealer and customer satisfaction levels through an update of its Minneapolis, Minn. manufacturing operation and its order fulfillment logistics.
The new "flow line manufacturing system," Jack Barrett, director of systems support and director of aftermarket support, told Commercial Floor Care is designed to allow a manufacturing team to dedicate a product line's construction. He said that similarities between models would allow the company to complete the manufacture of one machine in the family line and then immediately retool for the full manufacture of a larger or smaller model in that same family line.
"All of the parts to build a machine are there," Barrett told Commercial Floor Care. "The idea is to build a product. The flow line is dedicated to similar products. If there are five stations, in two and a half hours we have a finished product coming off the line. The flow line really allows much greater flexibility."
Cornelius-Knudsen said the company's dealer warehouse is stocked with 7500 parts dedicated to its dealer network. These commonly ordered repair and replacement parts, he said, can be shipped the same day. He said the company has a 90% same-day ship rate, which they want to improve to 95%.
He also said that Nilfisk-Advance has merged its Kent product line with Euroclean USA. Called Kent/Euroclean, the products will enjoy their own dedicated sales, management and support teams, much like their Advance brand counterparts. Similarly, they will be differentiated by research and development as part of Kent's merger with the Euroclean USA line.
The firm also announced the creation of a National Dealer Service Network, an extension of its Dealer Service Council, which was created in 1998 to implement best practices criteria with evaluation benchmarks.
"We don't believe you can get complete customer satisfaction without a strong dealer network," Cornelius-Knudsen said. "Standardized service products will now be available nationwide. It's the final and very critical component of our overall strategy to set new standards in customer service, sales and support.
"We're very committed to it," he added. "We have the best dealer network in the industry and that's how we'll pull this through--with our dealers."
Nilfisk-Advance is a designer and manufacturer of high quality floor maintenance equipment including scrubbers, sweepers, vacuums, burnishers, and carpet extractors. Headquartered in Minneapolis, they can be reached at (800) 850-5559 or via e-mail at email@example.com.