Sukut Makes the Grade in California

Equipment Dealers, Customers Converge on New Sennebogen Headquarters

Wed August 18, 2010 - National Edition
CEG


Just some of the racks in the new Sennebogen offices, warehouse and training facility.
Just some of the racks in the new Sennebogen offices, warehouse and training facility.
Just some of the racks in the new Sennebogen offices, warehouse and training facility. Jim Westlake (L), service manager points out to Rob Tavenner from ASC the teaching aspects of the “pit” built into the new training area. An 840 M fits with room to spare in the training facility. Constantino Lannes (L) and Erich Sennebogen speak to the guests attending the double celebration. (L-R): Kurt Waldthausen, Walter Sennebogen, Erich Sennebogen and Constantino Lannes at the open house/anniversary celebration.

In spite of overcast skies and a continual downpour, the mood was bright and sunny as hundreds of equipment dealers, customers and suppliers came together on recently at the new head office of Sennebogen LLC. The celebration attracted many of the country’s best known names in the scrap and material handling industry, all sharing in the great success Sennebogen has achieved since landing in America just ten years, and all welcoming the major investment in their future success.

As they turned up the drive, visitors were treated to a new building with a green and white façade that pays homage to the green line machines. Even the address was new, 1957 Sennebogen Trail, as the town of Stanley recently re-christened the former road to recognize the newest major corporate citizen in the area.

The Thought That Counts

“We are very excited to see this building,” said Lee Gibson of Gibson Machinery, one of Sennebogen’s longest serving dealers. Gibson had brought down a number of his team from Cleveland, Ohio to witness this event.

“It is amazing. There is no mistaking the level of commitment that Sennebogen has made to serve their customers and their dealers. I have been on many facility tours and, from a parts distributor’s perspective, I am proud to be a part of this organization.”

Jean Trottier from Hydromec in Northern Quebec echoed the same sentiment. Trottier traveled almost 1,300 miles to attend and is one of Sennebogen’s newest dealers.

“I have been to a lot of companies and this is the best facility I have ever seen. It is very professional and perfectly planned for growth. Our team is very excited to become part of the Sennebogen family.”

Arriving guests were greeted by Sennebogen President Constantino Lannes along with brothers Erich and Walter Sennebogen, managing directors of Sennebogen GmbH, the parent company and manufacturer behind Sennebogen equipment worldwide. Staff of the new facility then conducted small groups of visitors on a personal guided tour of the facility.

Sennebogen regional sales managers who led the tours, including Len Lawrence, Andreas Ernst, Joel Paikin, Mike Worth and Anthony Laslavic, were unanimous in the assessment of visitors’ reactions.

Focused On Training

Customers and dealers were all quick to notice how this facility will make the job of training service and sales staff easier. The large, well-lit classroom is equipped with the modern networking and projection technology to take advantage of the latest interactive training methods. The room also features a moveable wall to convert it into two complete classrooms.

Lannes added, “When our distributors and customers send us their employees for training, we respect the investment they are making in us and their people. We take that very seriously. We need to make sure that we provide them with the best learning opportunity available.”

To keep the center focused on training, that section of the facility is fully self-contained. Separated from the adjacent parts warehousing operation, the training center has its own parking area, its own entrance, plus a private kitchen facility and dining areas.

“We created a distraction-free classroom environment in order to keep everyone focused on the training they came for.”

The Pit

Jim Westlake Jr., the service manager at Sennebogen LLC, especially appreciates the practical features built into the training center for service technicians.

“We know that people in the service departments like to actually put their hands on the equipment,” he said. “That’s why we built an indoor training bay large enough to handle an 870 M material handler [175,000 lb.]. But then we added a pit where a whole class of technicians can walk down and look up right under the machine — that was a brilliant idea from Constantino.”

Brad Stimmel of ASC, the new Sennebogen distributor of North and South Carolina, also brought members of his team with him to see the training facility. He declared that, “This is the only teaching pit I know of in this industry.”

Parts as Far as the Eye Can See

Dealers and customers appeared equally impressed with the new warehouse and the parts inventory that Sennebogen keeps in stock. Prior to moving into this facility, Sennebogen maintained the same inventory levels, but it was less visible as well as less accessible to visitors. The vast array of service parts, sub-assemblies and engines were previously warehoused in various locations around Charlotte. Zack Jordan, the Sennebogen parts manager, had the initial responsibility of pulling together the new warehouse and consolidating the parts under one roof. He was asked about three conspicuously large crates in the building.

“Those are cabs,” he replied. “In the 8 years I have been with Sennebogen, we have needed three. That means I have an 8-year supply of cabs in stock, but you never know when the next one is going to be needed. Our customers wouldn’t want to wait for something this large to be freighted over from Germany. We’re ready to ship these next-day. And now we have two styles, the “C” cab and the “D” Series cab, to keep on hand.”

The Path to Sennebogen’s Success

Later on in the evening, Lannes expressed what he felt was the secret to Sennebogen’s success in North America.

“It’s complicated yet simple,” Lannes said. “It’s complicated because you have to make a decision regarding your commitment to the marketplace. In other words, what kind of company do you want to be.” After that, he said, the path is simple: it’s all about parts and service. “If you don’t have what we have here, as well as the No. 1 dealer network, with all of their efforts to serve their customers, we would not be here today.”

Erich Sennebogen reiterated the company’s philosophy as he had shared it earlier in the week in Chicago, where he turned over the keys to the largest mobile material handler in America to Midwest Generation.

“As a global company, we rely on our regional partners to be the arm of Sennebogen reaching into the local area for the customer. As the manufacturer, we are committed to supporting our partners so they can complete that mission.”

Dealer Praise

Guests included principals from more of North America’s top-ranked equipment dealers, many accompanied by their senior sales and service staff as well as a large group of customers. All took time to praise both Lannes and the Sennebogen family for their efforts and commitment. Customers from the nation’s leading scrap and recycling operations, port terminals, waste facilities and forestry yards also made the trip, and were equally pleased to be part of the celebration.

The event concluded with speeches and presentations by both of the day’s hosts. Erich Sennebogen made a promise to the group, “I will continue to uphold our family’s philosophy and keep reinvesting in our American growth strategies combining product development and safety for our collective futures.”

Lannes underscored the promise, saying that, “…as today’s market leader, we are committed to hold on to the position that we have earned together. We will continue to support our dealers and their customers as they expect to be supported by the market leader.”

The last words of the event also came from Lannes, with appreciation for the attendees’ support for Sennebogen.

“Thank you to our customers, partners and friends. Thank you for your trust, as we go forward on this long term journey of partnership and friendship.”

For more information, call 704/347-4910 or visit www.sennebogen-na.com.