The challenges of exporting food and dairy products across Asia are multiple: geographically wide, covering multiple countries, terrains, islands and languages, travelling times and local cultures are all part of the equation. But the onset of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions in many areas have only made such difficulties more challenging. In response, JBT’s PRoCARE preventative maintenance program is “going local” across Asia, with a new emphasis on tailored support to match customers’s needs.
For industries such as dairy, preserved fruits and seafood, unplanned stoppages of lines not only risk products needlessly being thrown away, they also carry the danger of companies inadvertently breaching contracts, risking fines and the loss of hard-won business relationships. To avoid such hazards, preventative maintenance is absolutely crucial to keeping lines running and making sure orders are fulfilled.
However, restrictions imposed as a consequence of the pandemic have made travelling even more challenging – with 14-day quarantine periods in place in some countries where vaccination is proceeding at a relatively slow rate. JBT’s new focus on “going local” across Asia will counter many of these challenges, not only with locally-based support technicians, but also in the form of locally-supplied spare parts as part of PRoCARE preventative maintenance programs.
“In Asia, JBT works with customers across the preservation, canning and dairy industries,” explains Andres Hutten, JBT’s Asia Pacific Customer Care Director for Diversified Food & Health. “In dairy especially, production of a product, very often 24/7, is critical because if a line isn’t running, products go to waste. So PRoCARE is important for many of our dairy customers in Asia because loss of production can mean the loss of contracts or fines from the large companies that many customers work with.”
Working with major food processors from Thailand to China, JBT PRoCARE supplies proactive technical expertise to prevent unplanned breakdowns, as well as spare parts and augmented remote support. This includes not just dairy, but also industries such as seafood, condensed milk and tinned fruits for export worldwide. As Hutten details, JBT focuses on providing a complete solution to customers in Asia, from the initial machinery through to FDA export certification.
But in a region where countries are often geographically-separated by considerable distances, the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has brought challenges to travel. JBT’s solution for PRoCARE customers, Hutten continues, has been to make sure parts and engineers are available in each territory – minus import or travel costs.
“We are going local in all senses,” he explains. “We have local entities that import spare parts and sell them locally, so customers don’t need to worry about import charges. The same with servicing: we charge customers local rates comparable to engineers in the region. And that is what we are doing now with PRoCARE – we adapt PRoCARE for customers in each region. It’s not only a proactive approach, it’s also providing better support to customers.”