Japanese JEOL employees in JEOL Germany supporting market expansion in Europe
JEOL’s products are highly reputed in the overseas markets and the sales expand year after year. The support engineers supporting each product work for each of JEOL group companies and Japanese employees are playing important roles of their management in JEOL Germany. They are stationed in Munich as the base and supporting not only German territory but also all of Europe. We heard stories of Noriyuki Fujita, in charge of the spot type electron beam lithography system and Daisuke Nagashima, in charge of the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer about their pains and sense of satisfactions.
Technical support from JEOL Germany for all of Europe
The multi-beam mask writer is mainly used for industrial scene, focusing on production efficiency. On the other hand, the spot type electron beam lithography system (EBL), enabling finer processing, is used not only by business enterprise, but also by universities and research institutes for research purposes.
The person in charge of support of EBL in the entire Europe area is a technical support engineer, Noriyuki Fujita, working in JEOL Germany.
“My mission is handling periodical maintenance and trouble-shooting, repairing, of installed EBL as well as installation works to new customers. As for trouble, since JEOL’s instruments are stable, the frequency of trouble-shooting is not much.”
However, since occasional parts replacement naturally occurs, a certain number of parts are stocked and the system to supply parts is well-prepared.
Same as EBL, the nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometer (NMR) is mainly used in universities and the research institutes of business enterprise. Daisuke Nagashima, a technical support engineer, working in JEOL Germany, handles installation, the establishments of instrument as well as trouble-shooting like Fujita, in cooperation with support engineers in each country.
“NMR is a complicated system. I also respond to inquiries from sales representative or to direct inquiries from users through phones and e-mails. Since the system includes an SCM (superconducting magnet), which requires liquid nitrogen and liquid helium, I pay decent attention to delivery of the liquid nitrogen and liquid helium during installation work”. Nagashima says.
Customers dwell on design and beauty of appearance
The reason that JEOL’s EBL is highly reputed is the “stability.” Fujita says.
“Our strength is not only the higher specification than our competitors such as positional accuracy, but also lithography capability by stably maintaining the accuracy. Customers value not only high specification but also productivity, efficiency, and ease of use, on which we are focusing in development now”. (Fujita)
On the other hand, according to Nagashima, in Europe, customers tend to dwell on the beauty of appearance and the design, besides performance and stability.
“It is the European market that expects the appearance and sophistication. Some customers even dwell on the quality of each cable”. (Nagashima)
As far as NMR is related, Europe is the region in which the advanced research of NMR has progressed historically and it remains as a challenging market for JEOL even now. However, since the recent development of a new probe (detector) and one kind of probe is only required for measurement, in which two kinds of probes used to be required, JEOL’s NMR has been well accepted. In addition, the NMR system for measuring a solid sample seems to be one of JEOL’s advantages.
Moreover, there used to be not as many support engineers or enough tools for delivery and installations of NMR. The support system has been improved by preparing tools and allocating more engineers in each of Europe’s regions, improving customer satisfaction.
Quick response to customer
Also as for EBL, the life of electron gun, an essential part, became largely longer from about two years ago, which has realized a great amount of cost reduction with the customers.
“Personally, I think it is a great find. A JEOL engineer figured out the root cause for the deterioration of the electron gun and made a simple improvement to make the electron gun last for a couple of years at least, instead of one year. Thanks to the improvement, our customers can reduce the cost, and each JEOL group company can reduce the replacement frequency by purchasing parts, which is a win-win case. I believe that this success is an outcome of addressing the issue by production engineering, sales, and service of headquarters as one team”. Fujita says.
Nagashima’s motto towards his customers is “to quickly offer service ahead of time”.
As I often say to support engineers in each country, I make it a rule to immediately react first. Also, when visiting our customers, I proactively talk about various topics with our customers. Since service engineers are in a position to bring out the customer, I try purposely to have such an opportunity.
Fujita also says “quick response first of all”.
“Even if you don’t have time, you should send a reply email to the inquirer, regardless of customers or JEOL employees. Also, since most of our customers are professors and researchers, I try to make a logical explanation intentionally, by recalling what kind of answer was required by the professor when I was a university student. In addition, when it is difficult to fully explain in English, I try to do so by using figures and photos. My language capability is not sufficient yet”.
Engineering power should be appealed much more
Fujita, who began his first oversea assignment in Germany in 2016, says, “Basically, you can do whatever you want to do with JEOL Europe”.
“I can do my job with more sense of responsibility, so the sense of satisfaction I feel is strong. In addition, in Germany, I feel that the relationship between a customer and a service provider is equal. It is not like that the service provider has to do anything just because they are getting paid. When something is impossible, I can say it is impossible. When I visit a customer, I am welcomed by the customer saying “thank you for coming”. Thus, it is easy to establish a good relationship with the customer and I can concentrate on the work easily”.
Nagashima, who started his assignment in Germany in 2017, knows a lot about Europe as he used to be in JEOL U.K. He says, “I am happiest when my work has pleased the customer.”
“I had a compliment from a customer that their service activity has improved thanks to my work. When I reported that to my boss, I was told, “I would like you to aim to establish an organization in which everyone can experience and realize that experience, and to enlighten service policy”. This means, I should build up service, which is not dependent on individual skills, but systematic. Building up a systematic service with a human touch. I would like to manage to get it into shape before my return to Japan”.
In Europe, the image of a company of electron microscope remains stronger as JEOL’s. Fujita says, “I would like the name of JEOL Ltd. to be widespread in the world by appealing more the excellent technologies that JEOL has to offer”. For that purpose, “It is better to implement contracted analysis and remote sharing services in Europe, too. A demonstration room with an actual model is also necessary”. Nagashima says.
It seems that there remains a lot of room to carry out JEOL’s service in Europe.