The operational interface between the customer and Anthogyr
As Director of Operations and a former rugby player, François Ravet has kept his athlete’s mind-set. He encourages his teams to work together and score points with the customers. The result? Anthogyr’s satisfaction rating puts them on top. Meeting on the field, where he reveals the winning tactics.
The Operations Department was created recently. What is its purpose?
In essence, it was “born” 4 years ago when Anthogyr wanted to cultivate and improve its customer service. It is structured in a growth and internationalisation phase from strong sales as well as a drive for innovative products. For the last ten years, the company has posted double-digit annual growth in implantology. It has been used commercially in around 50 countries via a distributor network and has created six subsidiaries in Europe. Recently, Anthogyr has entered into an unprecedented partnership with the Straumann Group to expand its presence on the Chinese and Russian markets. In this context, the role of the Operations Department consists of implementing optimal solutions to ensure the distribution of Anthogyr products throughout the world, according to the demands of our practitioners and in compliance with local standards and regulations. A successful challenge since the satisfaction rate among our direct customers in France and in Europe is now at more than 99%!
What departments does it include?
It comprises three departments: Supply Chain Management, responsible for forecasts, inventory and production and supply planning; Customer Service, responsible for the relationship with the practitioners, the subsidiaries and distributors of orders and price management; Logistics Management, responsible for shipping and the management of carriers. Our efficiency systems from all three of these complementary departments that have a common and unique purpose: service to the customer.
Success is based on teamwork, how do you do it?
As a former rugby player, I expect my teams to act as they would on the field; showing commitment, team spirit, initiative and a readiness to win. Everyone contributes to the success of the supply chain and logistics: the product is passed from hand to hand; the goal is to deliver it to the customer flawlessly and on time. In rugby words, get the pass right and score the try! Performance results are based on a group of about thirty employees, the last link in a long chain dedicated to customer satisfaction. In this case, I salute their commitment and professionalism.
How do you ensure optimal delivery time for your customers?
Supply Chain Management is responsible for consolidating customer demand and sales estimates established by the sales and marketing departments regardingnew products. These forecasts are then broken downto be translated into production or purchasing requirements.Supply Chain Management provides its expertise in forecasting and flow management. Our goal is to plan for and thus trigger the production and purchase of products that our customers will order in the coming weeks. The production and purchasing departments then ensure product production and supply so that they are in stock when the customer orders them. The challenge for us all is to find the balance between regular flow, inventory management and the responsiveness necessary to respond to unforeseen events.
Is the customer the focus of our attention?
Maintaining the customer relationship is totally part of Anthogyr's philosophy! Our customers are practitioners as well as CEOs and distributors and don’t forget our six subsidiaries: they are all demanding when it comes to their patients and their practice and in the management of their office. When an order is placed, the product must be adapted to the pathology of their patient and conform to their practice. This is why our customer service assistants are responsible for recording the orders but they are especially able to provide advice about the many lines in our product catalogue. They also benefit regularly from in-depth product training.
Is this relationship personalised?
Our customer service assistants are keenly familiar with the habits of each surgeon-dentist and prosthetist. They are concerned about more than just a timely order, they look to establish long-term relationships. They also provide assistance and support for their practice on a daily basis, for example, monitoring the Serenity® warranty agreement. Thus, proximity, expertise and availability are the primary characteristics that I expect from my teams. This individualised contact is ensured abroad by our subsidiaries as well as by our international customer service that is responsible for our exports to our foreign distributors. And several hundred orders are processed every day!
Logistics Management: Our “zero error” policy!
Logistics Management then takes over and prepares the orders within half an hour of their receipt by Customer Services for France and abroad. Combining speed and precision, our order packers have access to automated and wireless equipment such as the “Put to Light” designed to avoid errors during preparation. Orders are shipped in the late afternoon from our central inventory in Sallanches, a true European hub. Most deliveries are made the next day and each night our carriers transport orders all over Europe that were processed the day before. This is quite a feat that is carried out each day “just in time”: tens of thousands of Anthogyr products are shipped from Sallanches all around the world!
Is the operations department at the heart of the group's planning?
Yes, because it focuses on our internal and external customers. We collaborate closely, on a daily basis with all of the departments and more specifically with the sales and marketing departments and with the production and sales departments, without forgetting the strong ties to our direct customers, our subsidiaries and our partners abroad. This proximity makes the solutions we offer more relevant to our customers. Concretely, we support commercial development and product launch projects and we implement them. Hence, by entering into a partnership with Straumann in 2016 for China, then for Russia in 2017, my teams acted to modify the distribution channels in these two countries where we have been present for almost ten years. Another example is the recent launch of our Axiom® Multi-Level® Solution, which necessitated a review of our supply flow with our CAD-CAM personalized prosthetics production site in Luxembourg and our distribution subsidiaries in Europe. The Operations Department is in charge of the implementation of our E.R.P (Enterprise Resource Planning) software that is used by all the companies in the group. Thus, we are trying to integrate our supply and distribution chains as well as share information with our teams. It is a crucial tool for achieving and maintaining a high level of service.