Siplace Convention - so much value
Sep 27, 2006
Why would it be anything other than a really good idea to bring together your key customers from all over the world, show them your equipment and services, your facilities and of course a good time?
At the Siemens headquarters in Munich, more than three hundred customers joined the Siplace team to take a look at what the company offers now, what it has developed and what it plans to do next.
This kind of event provides an essential conduit between customer and supplier and furthers the concept of partnership rather than just the normal buyer and seller relationship. A company like Siemens has a lot to offer, and as production solutions get ever more complex these sides of the supply and demand equation need to get together to understand each other's needs.
So, it is a two way thing - Siemens gets to show its products to a broad audience of existing accounts and also get some feedback from its end users on the merits of its technology and product roadmaps. It is a meeting of minds that whilst relaxed and fun provides real value to both parties.
This morning started with an introduction from Tilo Brandis, where after greeting his audience and thanking them for travelling so far, he eluded to the holistic approach that Siplace was promoting. An approach which brings together equipment and software to produce a fully integrated manufacturing solution. This whole line solution is one that seems to be more and more in demand in the market place and one that would be well explained over the coming sessions.
The first day of the convention has a number of presentations for which customers have had the opportunity to select which they consider most pertinent to them. So, small informal groups find themselves moving around the Siemens facility having the details of the equipment, software and services explained to them in as much detail as they might require.
As well as learning so much about the products, the visitors are able to meet the engineers and staff involved in the development and implementation and I am sure many will be in contact further to discuss and develop specific issues that have come up as a result of this networking opportunity.
The sessions available offer diverse and detailed information as well as an opportunity to ask questions. Topics covered include: cost effective production scheduling; flexibility with floating set up; zero defect production; 010005 capability; placement line performance; faster NPI; performance improvements; reducing costs; optical solutions; and strategic approach to reliable forecasting.
The get together is not all about the product. This is the time of the Oktoberfest in Munich, a huge celebration of beer, which attracts millions of visitors from all over the world. This evening at 4pm the whole group will be transported from Siemens' HQ to the Oktoberfest, where they will have the opportunity to meet and network in a unique and relaxed environment. OK, so they will mostly be drinking beer and singing Bavarian songs, but perhaps some business discussion will take place before the beer begins to take hold.
Day two began with an excellent keynote from Mike McNamara, CEO of Flextronics. It is testament to the significance of this event that the company is able to attract such an important speaker, and Mike did not disappoint, sharing some fascinating insights into the development of the EMS industry and particularly that of Flextronics. Mike alluded to the importance of people in the building of Flextronics and how they planned to grow substantially this coming year, quoting double digit growth with more the $600M of capex. You can read more about what Mike had to say at http://www.emsnow.com/npps/story.cfm?ID=22088.
A lively podium discussion followed in which many issues, including some raised in Mike's presentation, were discussed. An excellent panel had been assembled and by opening to questions from the audience the discussion was both topical and relevant.
After a good lunch - Siemens never fail to take excellent care of their guests - there were two further presentations, the first from Jurgen Jaworski of 3M, entitled 'Innovations Culture - an integrated approach'. This presentation seemed to underline the importance of the individual and their skills and creativity within any large organisation, magnifying points made earlier in the day by Mike McNamara.
The final presentation of the day was a lively and entertaining business presentation entitled 'Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a different result'. This presentation was just what was needed at the end of two busy days - it was creative and interesting - long on thought provocation and short on detail.
After the event had been wrapped up and most of the guests had been sent on their way, I chatted with the staff at Siemens and considered what had taken place over the last 48 hours. Siemens had delivered excellent value to their guests. They had entertained and informed them and given them the opportunity to share ideas and initiatives with their peers as well as the Siplace team.
All in all, it was an excellent event with so much value for both visitor and host...