Marel’s sales and service network is spread across the globe with offices in more than 30 countries on all continents. Marel’s extensive sales and service network is one of its key competitive advantages, and has enabled the company to penetrate new markets and expand the customer base, as well as strengthen partnerships with new and existing customers. The global sales and service network is Marel’s first line of contact for customers at local level, and brings first-rate service, consistency, and continuity to its partnership with clients.
Building on their knowledge of the market and customer needs, the company’s local teams sell, market, distribute, install and service Marel’s standard products. In 2015, Marel will be adopting a new structure that will further support and strengthen the company’s sales and service activities. Under the new structure, Marel’s sales activities will be among four main industry lines; poultry, fish, meat and further processing, supported by a commercial department. The aim is to reduce time to market, penetrate markets faster and more efficiently, and increase service and support to customers worldwide.
After sales service is the backbone of Marel’s businesses. Marel’s aim is to constantly improve customer service and fulfil customer needs and expectations in the best possible way. The importance of the maintenance business is increasing, with almost 40% of the company’s revenue coming from service and spare parts.
In 2015 and onwards, Marel will continue to improve in the area of service. Increased focus will be on proactive rather than reactive services and service level agreements will be rolled out in a systematic way through the products portfolio. The customer wants to secure limited downtime of factories and with service agreements in place, Marel can better organize tailor-made services for each customer. Marel is investing in the service business with investments in advanced business tools and IT systems to make the whole organization more efficient in serving the customers’ needs.
“The key to Marel’s approach is to think global and act local. Our customers are located around the world and they all face local market conditions and challenges that we as a global company need to be aware of. Therefore, we have built up local teams around the globe. They have extensive market knowledge and are open to establishing partnerships on a solid foundation. This strong local presence is a critical success factor for Marel and will continue to be a cornerstone of our operations.”
Petur Gudjonsson, Managing Director of Marel's Global Sales and Service
At the end of 2014, there were 4,053 full-time employees at Marel. There were approximately 3,800 employees with long-term contracts, compared with approximately 4,000 at the beginning of the year.
To manage fluctuations in demand, Marel uses temporary manufacturing resources, of which there were 210 resources at year end, compared with 140 at the beginning of the year, reflecting the increased business activity and positive changes to the order book.
The largest number of employees is located in the Netherlands, followed by the U.S., Iceland, Denmark and the U.K. Just over 70% of Marel’s employees are located in Europe
“Marel employees are a diverse group of people who are spread around the globe. The role of Human Resources is to provide value-added services to our employees so they can support our customers. We offer our employees an abundance of learning opportunities, workshops and development programs so they can get better at what they do best and are prepared for future competence and success.”
David Freyr Oddsson, Corporate Director of Human Resources
Innovation is the heart of the Marel organization. Marel’s primary goal is to deliver market-driven innovation that serves its customers and helps them to create further value in a sustainable way, whether they are small family-owned businesses or leading global producers of poultry, meat, and fish. Marel’s annual investment of 5-7% of revenue in research and development has led to breakthrough innovations that have transformed the way food is processed around the world. Marel operates in a dynamic and competitive market and to maintain the company’s leadership in the industry it is essential to nurture the company’s innovative spirit and strengths. In 2014, many important milestones were reached in strengthening and streamlining Marel’s innovation activities.
During the year, Vidar Erlingsson was appointed the company’s first Head of Global Innovation. The creation of this position demonstrates Marel’s ongoing commitment to innovation. The Head of Global innovation is responsible for driving and implementing Marel’s global innovation vision and strategy across the organization, prioritizing further innovation activities and shortening the time to market. Marel´s operations in innovation have also been streamlined during the year in order to increase efficiency and synergies. Global Innovation operates across the company, serving the business units by developing unique solutions and products that create value for Marel’s customers and support the company’s long-term strategy.
“Marel is an innovative company and innovation has played a key role in the making of Marel as global leader in its field. It is clear that innovation is key to Marel’s future growth. We believe that our new model will enable us to serve customers’ needs better and provide the solutions that the market demands.”
Vidar Erlingsson, Head of Global Innovation
The Global Supply Chain organization at Marel is responsible for manufacturing and procurement within the company. The function creates solid foundation for increased efficiency, the sharing of best practices and optimization of the use of resources throughout the company. Marel is moving away from a diverse manufacturing base of 18 manufacturing centers in the beginning of the year 2014 to a few multi-industry sites. This will make Marel better equipped to take on growth and fluctuations in utilization.
During the year several steps were taken to optimize and streamline Marel’s manufacturing footprint in line with Marel’s ongoing Simpler, Smarter, Faster refocusing program. During 2014 manufacturing activities were streamlined and consolidated in Denmark and the Netherlands and a decision was taken to cease manufacturing in Singapore and Beijing. In 2015 the manufacturing optimization will continue and, as was announced in January 2015, Marel is merging its Des Moines, Iowa manufacturing operation to an existing facility in Gainesville, Georgia.
“The new Global Supply Chain organization at Marel will help us to improve our support to innovation. By strategically planning purchasing on a global level we are gaining a higher level of expertise and are harmonizing processes and procedures. We will get faster by doing things in a smarter way.”
Paul van Warmerdam, Head of Global Supply Chain