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About SKF

SKF is a Swedish industrial supplier with just over 45,000 employees, which started in 1907. SKF is now one of the world's leading suppliers of products and services in the market for bearings and seals, however, the business also offers technical support, maintenance services, condition monitoring and training.

Quick facts

  • The change of supplier was seen as a major challenge
  • Columbus's offer was examined as part of workshops
  • Successful implementation after a strong effort

When SKF was due to renew its AMS agreement for M3 it chose to switch suppliers to Columbus. The project was successfully completed in just a third of the estimated time.

Switching AMS suppliers was a bold choice that was seen by SKF as a major challenge requiring a lot of preparation. The parts of the organisation that at that time used M3, included SKF L&AT, SKF Aero in France and SKF Lubrication in Japan.

At the time, SKF and Columbus were also part of several other collaborations. Although the workforces of both companies were already under immense pressure in April 2017, SKF chose to challenge its then supplier by sending an inquiry to Columbus.

“Columbus responded to our inquiry by presenting its AMS offer - and we found it attractive,” says Martin Pihl, who at the time was the system leader for M3 at SKF.

The offer was examined as part of workshops

The Columbus AMS offer consists of a number of components, which in turn are separated into various delivery modules. SKF arranged a set of workshops where a number of real-life cases were presented, and Columbus was tasked with describing how it would deal with them. This approach established that Columbus offered the right modules as part of its package and that these fulfilled SKF's requirements model, which included, among other things, tough requirements for SLAs.

In summary, this led to Columbus producing a quote just before summer. Due to staff holidays, the final agreement was only signed on August 31, 2017, which made the whole project rather exciting - the agreement with the former AMS supplier was due to expire on September 30. The planned implementation period of three months for the project shrank to just one month.

Successful implementation after a strong effort

Once SKF had informed its M3 users and trained them in the new processes brought in by the change of supplier, it was decided that the launch would take place on October 1. The implementation went smoothly, despite it coinciding with the end of the month and the associated financial reporting.

Columbus’s and SKF’s joint effort meant that a three-month project was implemented in just a month. Any issues that have been forthcoming have been dealt with as expected, environmental monitoring has ensured sound and safe operation, foundations and patches have been handled correctly.

“I am pleasantly surprised that we managed to get started in such a short time without any impact on the business,” says Martin. “A year has now passed and we are still incredibly happy with Columbus as our AMS supplier.”

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