The '2009 Global Best Partners Welding & Cutting Systems for Energy Generation Award,' is presented to ESAB, which has emerged as the leading manufacturer of welding and cutting systems for energy generation industries including power, LNG tanks, offshore and pipelines industries, in Europe and rising strongly to be a leader in the global market as well. In 2009, it accounted for nearly 18 per cent of the global welding and cutting market for energy generation.
"Key performance drivers for ESAB have been its unique product range in response to the energy specific needs of various industries, being a one-stop shop and having globally dispersed manufacturing facilities," notes Frost & Sullivan Senior Research Analyst Archana Chauhan "Providing a comprehensive service portfolio at competitive prices, minimising machine downtime and ensuring customer focused growth has also been central to its success."
ESAB has one of the largest product ranges. Over the past year, it has further expanded its portfolio by introducing dozens of new consumable, equipment and automation products to suit various energy industries' needs.
ESAB's equipment and consumables are manufactured under a strict ISO 9001 quality assurance programme which supports their use in industries with high corrosion rates. With ESAB obtaining the IS0 14001 worldwide certification, its equipment and consumables are preferred by energy industries as they are likely to have the least welding defects, be of the highest quality and be best suited for highly corrosive applications. Many energy customers surveyed indicated that they preferred to partner with ESAB despite being offered cheaper products by other welding suppliers.
"The company is a one-stop shop which provides all the necessary equipment and software for varied applications in the energy industries," comments Chauhan. "Hence, EPC's (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Companies) do not have to locate multiple suppliers and, instead, can select ESAB as a single partner for all their welding needs. ESAB's service and complete solutions as well as its increased penetration in Eastern European and African regions are expected to provide higher growth in the future. ESAB is one of the few welding companies that are expected to record a growth in all the regions in the world, even in North America where the dominant players are projected to be stable. Whilst competitors have focused on its APAC and Chinese market growth through acquisitions and partnerships, ESAB's acquisitions enhanced its product portfolio offering whilst penetrating the market with strong customer service programs and value additions."
The company has 29 manufacturing plants across the globe and has established itself in nearly 80 countries. Each major region has a specific R&D facility that supports the provision of equipment, automation and consumables customised to suit local requirements. The company thus has the ability to offer high quality goods at competitive prices based on local expectations. ESAB is uniquely positioned to combine its advanced market technologies with the needs of developing markets and create customer focused products.
Along with introducing an array of equipment and technology for energy industries, ESAB also provides services to EPCs and fabrication houses, distinguishing it from its competitors. It has an extensive network of sales and service engineers, backed by complete, efficient and cost-effective customer and technical support services. Frost & Sullivan global research identified that one of the key challenges facing welding companies is the increasingly stringent customer service requirements and need for higher technology. ESAB anticipated this challenge in early 2008 and made 'Customer Focus' its main strategic thrust. This has led to extensive review of its marketing, sales and supply chain functions. In 2009, it restructured its European region and the regional supply chain with the intention to dramatically reduce lead times and improve its 'delivered-in-full-on-time' KPI. The Frost & Sullivan research shows that customers have observed the positive change. ESAB demonstrated its ability to meet customers' needs for higher technology by the recent launch of its telescopic boom (TELBO) which is a first of its kind in the industry.
The company's Project Management system is designed to ensure that each customer is dealt with maximum efficiency from the point of initial enquiry to after-sales service. On site support, including repair and maintenance, is provided to EPCs.
"ESAB has its own spare parts division that helps customers rapidly buy and order parts, minimising machine downtime," states Chauhan. "Reduced machine downtime is a key element of ESAB's after-sales service and includes the provision of planned machine maintenance and service programmes for all cutting systems." The Frost & Sullivan survey highlighted that the energy related welding market in North America will experience pedestrian growth, EMEA will have medium growth and Asia will have high growth. This indicates and supports that ESAB's footprint in the higher growth areas makes it well placed to benefit from this growth owing to its increasing focus on customer requirements and additional services that have helped it in winning higher orders.
About the Frost & Sullivan Awards
The Frost & Sullivan Award for Best Partners Award is presented each year to the company that has demonstrated unparalleled excellence within its industry and has been a partner who has been nominated by the supply chain participants for their undisputed products and services. The Award is based on numerous factors including the company's business development, competitive strategy, customer service satisfaction, and leadership within a particular Frost & Sullivan Industry Research Group (IRG). This company is perceived to exhibit outstanding management and consistent growth.
The company must offer high quality products and/or services, technical assistance, and have positive social and economic impact on local and national communities. The company's customer service offerings and performance are expected to be of very high calibre. The company should have taken necessary steps to penetrate into high growth markets through additional services and expert guidance in these markets. They should have proven expertise in taking advantage of market changes by capturing and solidifying market presence, or through execution of innovative strategies within the existing competitive landscape. It is a testament of the quality of products and services that the company provides.
Frost & Sullivan Best Practices Awards recognise companies in a variety of regional and global markets for demonstrating outstanding achievement and superior performance in areas such as leadership, technological innovation, customer service, and strategic product development. Industry analysts compare market participants and measure performance through in-depth interviews, analysis, and extensive secondary research in order to identify best practices in the industry.
ESAB is a leading manufacturer and supplier of welding and cutting products operating in almost all parts of the world. The company has grown substantially over the last five years and is on the verge of becoming the largest welding and cutting company globally. ESAB started in Sweden over 100 years ago and, despite becoming a global company, continues to cherish and build on its Swedish heritage of innovation, environmental concern, safety, trust, quality and community, the latter being a key enabler to build trusting partnerships with customers of various nationalities and cultures around the world.
"ESAB recognised that the welding and cutting world of the future will become increasingly competitive as low cost producers move up the value chain. We have to stay ahead by creating real value that customers will be willing to pay for and that competitors will find difficult to copy. We are building on our strength in innovation, strength in partnerships, strength in the ESAB people, strength in our community approach and the strengths in our product range and global footprint to continuously set new benchmarks in customer service and applications solutions development.", Nazmi Adams, Group Marketing Director, ESAB Holdings.
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