Great place for replacement parts

In his role as Business Development Manager for the semiconductor industry, Keith Allen is based at the hub of the industry, namely in Singapore, far from his home in California.

“It was a fantastic experience. I took away far more than I invested.” Keith Allen takes stock. He has been with Plansee for four years now. He started as a product manager at the Vista factory in California. But it soon became clear that, as far as the semiconductor industry was concerned, Asia was the place to be.

Communicating the added value Plansee
has built up a worldwide sales and production network for its replacement parts business for implanter components and offers hundreds of different components. The plant in Vista, California specializes in graphite replacement parts. The plant in Esashi, Japan, is specialist for replacement parts made from the refractory metals molybdenum and tungsten. And Plansee is currently investing in a plant in Mysore, India for finishing replacement parts made from refractory metals.
But Plansee is aware that the replacement parts business in the semiconductor industry depends on fast, extremely flexible suppliers. The sales and production network must always be finely tuned to respond to the requirements of the customers. And this is what Keith Allen has been responsible for over the past year. He has just completed his first overseas deployment for Plansee. In a replacement parts market in which price appears to be the dominant factor, his mission was to show customers the benefits of the Plansee offering, calculate lifecycle costs, and convince customers of the advantages of improved, sustainably cost-efficient replacement parts solutions. After all, Plansee is not just about supplying replacement parts. “Taking the equipment manufacturer’s original spare parts as our starting point, we optimize the geometries and material compositions. The customer benefits from easier installation and removal of the components, longer service life, lower cleaning costs, reduced maintenance outlay and less downtime.”

Overcoming barriers
When asked about his move from Vista to Esashi, Keith Allen described it at first as a real culture shock: “My stay opened my eyes to the magnitude of the communication barriers between the different cultures, but also that these barriers can be managed if you are aware of the issues and know how to conduct yourself appropriately.” Allen: “We joined forces to work on our processes, our R&D strategies, quality issues and on how to help our sales teams be a force to be reckoned with.” Amid all these activities, Keith Allen’s first year’s deployment overseas simply flew by. And it won’t be his last. Since june this year, he has been living in Singapore. Singapore is regarded as the secret capital of the semiconductor industry. All the major players from the West have a presence here. And it is the gateway to the manufacturers in Asia. And it is exactly the right place for Keith Allen: “As a Business Development Manager, this is a great place for me.” Within his own company, he has already established strong networks across all the different time zones and cultures. “Now it is time to focus on networking even more intensively with our customers, on being in at the inception of new trends and challenges and on convincing our customers of the long-term benefits of our improved replacement parts.