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VSP team

Fronius VSP How we have global customer proximity down to a fine art

Fronius is passionate about welding. To ensure the customer enjoys the finest benefits with the highest levels of satisfaction, we have always made it our mission—in the spirit of technology leadership—to meet the highest quality requirements. But in terms of customer service and support too, we have steadily evolved over decades into a first-class provider. Responsible for this is our VSP (German abbreviation for “sales and service process”), which has been a tradition at Fronius for 25 years and cannot be found anywhere else in the welding technology sector.

VSP service team

In simple terms, the phrase sales and service process can be equated with our global sales and service network. The idea behind it is quite simple: we put ourselves in our customer’s shoes and thought about what the worst-case scenario would be for our customers. The answer was clear—lengthy standstill periods or downtimes due to essential maintenance intervals or (even worse) unforeseeable defects. In the absolute worst case, the need to send in parts or entire devices and weeks spent waiting before they are ready for use again. Our goal was to guarantee tailored service and unbeatable customer focus to match our high-quality welding systems.

If you consider the benefits alone, the technological edge in welding technology is clearly leveling out today; our competitors are now also able to offer high-quality products. The competitive advantage between individual manufacturers is therefore becoming smaller and smaller. If an excellent welding system on its own is no longer sufficient to be commercially successful then we must be strategic and focus more on developing the “perfect customer relationship”. We were aware of exactly this 25 years ago, at a time when nobody could even come close to challenging us in terms of technology. Since then, we have also made major investments in order to bring our sales and service structure into its current form. Of course, nowadays it is also possible to buy good welding technology on the internet. Yet what do I do as a customer if I encounter a problem? We know that it can be a real challenge for the customer to find a respectable company which also offers a full service package, meaning that nothing is left to be desired and, above all, no problems are left unresolved.

Fully regional

Global network PW
First of all, we established international subsidiaries in all strategically important markets. These subsidiaries were then represented by the national headquarters in each country. Yet the greater the market share we acquired in each country and the more widespread the customer base became, the more we realized that we wanted to be able to guarantee perfect levels of service and customer proximity on a local scale. This essentially created a “service microcosm”—more specifically our globally distributed, close-knit network of VSP-Teams. Of course product development was by no means compromised as a result, because our thirst for technical progress remains unshakable. Today we have 24 subsidiaries, 59 representatives, and around 90 VSP-Teams on a global level. These are distributed around the globe, from the USA and Latin America to Africa, and from Europe to Asia. We have therefore established a unique sales structure that enables us to offer our customers the best possible service. Another advantage that results from this is that our customers from all over the world are able to experience Fronius in their own geographical and cultural sphere. Each team knows all about their market, local customs, and specific market requirements. A shared culture also strengthens customer proximity. The mere fact that you speak the same language can protect you from irritations and misunderstandings.

Repair before recycle

In addition to the proverbial proximity to the customer and the geographical-cultural advantage, our VSP network also has a positive effect on sustainability. At Fronius, our mantra is “repair before recycle”, which is why we can repair all our products from start to finish. This begins with the welding torch and encompasses the entire welding system. By being so close to the customer, we can also repair most things directly on site. Our technicians then drive directly to the customer and, if possible, perform repairs at the customer’s premises. If this isn’t possible, we take back the product in question and have it repaired in one of our repair centers. We deliberately develop products that can be repaired, because this ultimately also has positive effects on total cost-of-ownership calculations.

The VSP structure

VSP service
Our VSP-Teams are small teams of office and field-based sales employees, usually consisting of 8 to 10 colleagues. Field sales are often combined with application and service engineers who support our customers on site with the production task at hand. In reality this means that one person is dedicated to helping with repairs, welding technology problems, and sales. Alongside any repair and maintenance work, this means that our customer’s welding technology challenges can be resolved quickly and easily. Our declared goal is to bring maximum expertise to the customer in the shortest possible time. We want to support our customers with welding know-how, i.e., we want to help find solutions for their applications.
VSP service
Furthermore, the customer can also request welding trials, which we either carry out on site on their systems or at our own premises. In addition, we offer services such as safety inspections, calibration of welding systems, and, of course, maintenance. A spare and wear parts service, i.e., the balancing out of stock levels at the customers’ premises, is also included and replacement or lend devices are likewise ready to hand. This means that production does not have to stop if a system cannot be repaired on site. And last but not least comes the sale itself. Our colleagues are naturally also well trained on all our products and can offer expert advice. Each VSP office works like a small subsidiary.

The complete peace-of-mind package

We know that customers usually expect solutions that are not only delivered quickly, but that are also simple and straightforward. That is why our customers have just one point of contact from the individual VSP-Teams, to whom they can turn with any questions they may have. They are the customer’s exclusive contact partner and they take care of all background processes, such as coordinating with all the necessary colleagues within our sophisticated network. This further improves our response times. Any customer who opts for one of our welding systems also receives a totally unique welding technology service as standard!