Customer proximity is a fundamental wish, especially from customers in the B2B sector, and a high requirement for providers. But what is the best way to do it justice? AUCOTEC relies on user communities, among other things, to do this. Two successful examples show how customers and software developers get close to each other to provide a profitable solution:
Shared knowledge for energy suppliers
Really understanding what companies need, how to support users of AUCOTEC systems in the best possible way and how to bring together industry expertise and software know-how most effectively – all these considerations led to the founding of the EVU working group more than 30 years ago. Under the leadership of AUCOTEC, around 50 experts from the energy distribution sector now meet with the engineering software professionals twice a year to exchange views on digitization, optimal data use, process standards and the future of the industry.
Whether power users or project managers, whether primary, secondary or protection and control technology, the customer perspective is wide-ranging. But it's not just about discussions and networking, but about actual solutions. "Many EVU standards have already been developed together and many suggestions from the group have led to truly practical optimizations of our Engineering Base for energy distribution," explains the product manager and long-time facilitator responsible for the working group, Michaela Imbusch. She is already working on an international expansion of the concept beyond the German-speaking area. "Anyone who would like to get involved and appreciates the added value of shared knowledge is very welcome," emphasizes Imbusch.
User group for the process industry
In a completely different group of customers with very similar ambitions, AUCOTEC may not be the initiator, but it is already a host and in any case a participant. It concerns the EB user group, which consists of different companies in process engineering, mechanical engineering and the engineering sector*. From the cement manufacturer to the plant manufacturer for the bulk solids industry, chemical plant operators and the food industry to engineering service providers, these AUCOTEC customers meet every three to four months "to achieve continuous improvement in dealing with Engineering Base," as Dr. Oliver Bülters, Director of Engineering at OQ Chemicals and chairman of the user group, says. "The focus here is on practical experience, discussions and an exchange of information," he emphasizes.
Software excellence for everyone
At the meetings, the different ways of applying Engineering Base (EB) are presented by the various operators and discussed with the participants. In this way, everyone jointly establishes a cross-company best practice approach in this forum. The clear goal: a software excellence solution. That is why this user group is also open to experiences and suggestions from other EB users. "AUCOTEC supports us with important input and explains or comments on the various solution approaches from the point of view of the software professionals. As a result, we have already created important impetus for the further development of EB," reports Oliver Bülters. There you are, it's hardly possible to get closer to the customer!
*The companies are: Claudius-Peters, Holcim, Ineos, Infraserv Höchst, Ipro, JC-Eckardt, Nordzucker, Südzucker, Olin, OQ-Chemicals and AUCOTEC