Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you started your career in the automotive field?
I finished my 3 years education and hands on experience in Heavy Commercial Vehicles – Maintenance and Repair in 1988 in Amman, Jordan. Since then I never looked back and started working in medium size to multi-national companies such as SAF Holland, Exporient ME, Jordanian Military Department, and now Schaeffler.
Schaeffler in the Automotive Aftermarket is advertising its robust service strategy. What are these services?
We offer our partners, distributors and garages far more than just high-quality and innovative products:
Does Schaeffler offer technical training for the Automotive Aftermarket and why?
Yes, Schaeffler offers technical training. As products become more complex, the challenges facing garages go up as well. This demands ever new ways to communicate knowledge, especially concerning failure diagnosis and repair. Schaeffler sees itself as responsible for supplying its garage and distribution customers with the necessary technical know-how. This makes an important contribution to those conducting professional repairs.
What exactly makes the technical training seminars from Schaeffler so special?
Our training program comes from practical experience and is meant for practical use. Our training team is made up of experienced master mechanics and technicians. Our training seminars are modular and organized for specific target groups, and always with a focus on new product developments. The extensive amount of practical, hands on training included in our seminars is always highly appreciated.
This systematic approach allows participants to implement the latest technologies that they learn about in their everyday work. Our Director of Products and Technical, Damianos Zongos, always see to it that the training conducted is done in a professional yet entertaining environment.
Where can I access daily-updated information about Schaeffler´s product portfolio for the Automotive Aftermarket?
Daily-updated product information about all four Schaeffler brands – LuK, INA, FAG and Ruville – is available in our online catalogue. This can be accessed at our REPXPERT online portal at www.repxpert.com or on our webpage www.schaeffler.ae
What vehicle segments are covered by the online catalogue?
The online catalogue offers users access to a wide spectrum of product and repair-specific service information, directions about how to use the special tools needed, for the passenger car segment for the LuK, INA, FAG and Ruville brands. Integrated as well are the light commercial vehicle, heavy commercial vehicle and transmission segments.
What will I find when I visit the new REPXPERT?
REPXPERT is Schaeffler’s service brand for garages. With just a few clicks, garage professionals can find everything they need for their daily work. The new REPXPERT offers for the first time the entire product portfolios of all four brands – LuK, INA, FAG and Ruville. The core element of the online platform is the TecDoc-based online catalog with all vehicle manufacturers. Schaeffler is the only company in the Automotive Aftermarket to offer an electronic version. REPXPERT users can find the right replacement part fast and easily, and get optimal assistance for conducting professional repair. In addition, users have access to all materials available for each Schaeffler product like installation videos, technical brochures and service information. A further plus is the link to the TecRMI information system, which means REPXPERT offers a wide spectrum of vehicle-specific repair and maintenance information, setting data, filling capacities and labor values. These are now available, effective immediately, to our customers for products from the Schaeffler portfolio at no cost.
What are some of the most recent Schaeffler products that have been launched here in the Middle East market?
We have launched the FAG SmartSET bearing which reduces repair-related downtime to a minimum. In the older days, we spend time in cleaning and greasing wheel bearings when repairing it. With FAG SmartSET, it is no longer necessary to do it. Thanks to optimized product properties, the set saves one wheel bearing repair during the service life of trucks and reduces the time needed for each subsequent brake repair. The FAG SmartSET offers advantages for dealers, garages, and fleet operators.
What are the main challenges when it comes to automotive repair in the Middle East?
The rapid development of the vehicle industry and the availability of few technicians qualified for the work of repairs.
In general, what is your opinion about the skill levels and expertise of staff employed here at vehicle service centers?
The staff here are in urgent need of continuous training with regard to the development and repair of motor vehicles.
What steps do you think vehicle dealers and parts suppliers here can take to minimize the widespread use of fake parts and grey market parts? Has Schaeffler taken any measures to ensure that customers are getting genuine Schaeffler components?
The Schaeffler OriginCheck app enables you to check data matrix codes directly on bearings or their packaging. The scan checks the code in real time and the user immediately receives a confirmation of the authenticity of the Schaeffler Data Matrix Code. More information can be found on the web page: https://www.one-identity-plus.com/en/place-of-excellence-2018/ .
What are the biggest challenges that you face in this market?
Customers are more mature and price sensitive. They do not have enough time and want more satisfaction with products and services. They are less concerned with the brand of manufacturers and are more receptive to vendor brands and general products. They have high expectations about the service.
How are you using web-based channels to engage with your customers in this digital age?
We use Content Marketing to push our existing, valuable and relevant content into a defined audience with the help of marketing tools, such as targeting, media budget, advertising, analytics, and campaigning.
We promote Schaeffler as a leading expert in the fields of innovation and technology with systems and production expertise . We draw attention to the quality of Schaeffler products and benefits they provide to customers in an interactive manner.
What do you enjoy most about your career at Schaeffler?
We at Schaeffler are all ambassadors. I like the dedication and the core values that each of us embodies inside and outside Schaeffler’s world. I enjoy the multi cultural environment, the respect regardless of your religion, the integrity and the family atmosphere that makes me come to work with a smile on my face. The free flowing coffee in the morning and the jokes that no one takes seriously.
If there is one thing that you would like to share with our readers, what would that be?
To live with integrity and to be a role model for everyone, especially to your children and to give them time.
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