Collaboration Culture Keeps Essential Industries Moving
April 14, 2021
Teamwork. It’s a value that is deeply rooted in the Timken community. And it’s demonstrated each day by employees collaborating across regions and areas of expertise to solve customer problems. Here’s just one example of how our people flawlessly worked together to rapidly restore productivity for a customer serving the essential energy industry.
Libby Gordon is used to emergencies. As a senior customer service representative at Timken’s bearing manufacturing facility in Asheboro, N.C., the 22-year company veteran gets frequent requests from around the world to expedite product orders.
“I just put myself in the customer’s shoes,” Gordon said. “I order things too—and understand that people want good service and expect to get what they need quickly. It’s this mindset across Timken that makes our team very customer-oriented and willing to go above and beyond, especially under trying circumstances.”
Gordon and her teammates employed that mindset when they collaborated with Timken colleagues in Mexico to solve a problem for a leading energy equipment supplier. A precision machine critical to production in the customer’s Mexico-based facility went offline due to a non-Timken bearing failure, and its distributor located a potential “Timken” replacement within its network. Due to the rarity of the part number and ongoing global challenges with counterfeit bearings in the market, the distributor called in Timken to verify the bearing’s authenticity.
“We have sophisticated global systems in place that show our sales team exactly what Timken has manufactured, sold and delivered, and when,” said Gerardo Angulo, managing director of Timken operations in Mexico. Angulo joined Timken in 1997 as a sales engineer. “Based on our data, our local sales team immediately identified the part as suspicious and asked our service engineering team to inspect the bearing onsite.”
Principal Service Engineer Luis Valdez was the one to confirm that the bearing was counterfeit. “Installing it would have traded one problem for a more serious one: risking the safety of the customer’s machine operators. And that is unacceptable. It’s our job to solve complex challenges like this, and that takes everyone working together in their own areas of expertise—service engineering, manufacturing, customer service, logistics—to make it happen.”
Valdez immediately engaged Timken sales and customer service teams in Mexico to begin a globally-coordinated effort to produce an authentic Timken replacement bearing.
Ultimately, additional Timken employees in Mexico, Romania and the U.S. serving in roles ranging from replenishment and logistics to scheduling and manufacturing helped expedite the order—reducing delivery to the customer from an initially estimated 16 weeks to just three weeks to get their equipment back on line.
It’s one of many examples where Timken’s global team, inspired by engineering and systems thinking, works in synch to quickly fix customer problems.
“Globally, much of our team is working from home,” Angulo noted. “Travel can be challenging for service engineers who must visit customer sites. Our manufacturing facilities have adjusted production schedules to accommodate local health requirements, which can temporarily reduce output. Despite those challenges—or perhaps because of them—our team has demonstrated a resiliency that our distributors and customers can count on.”
Globally, Timken teamwork solves problems in every arena, from customer challenges to environmental issues. Join a team that’s making a difference.