HOOE – this abbreviation stands for "Harmonized Offer Order Entry" and new processes in sales. At Vallourec, the necessary operations and inputs in this highly specialized SAP-based system are usually done by the local sales staff. In China, they are undergoing initial experience with the orders for the local seamless tube mill in Changzhou. This is one of the preconditions for a direct communication between the customer and the producing plant.
It hasn't always been like this. In the past, all the threads converged at the European sales departments. Now these tasks are increasingly assigned to the employees at the locations involved.
To ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities, training courses are held regarding the order system, and the establishment of contacts between the Vallourec team in China and the colleagues in the European works are proactively supported.
For this purpose, two experts from Europe have been sent to the Vallourec sales office in Beijing for a period of four months: Sabiha Jallouli, a Steam Tubes & Pipes (STP) employee in the commercial team of the sales department in Düsseldorf, and Aude Vivier, Technical Sales Manager STP. Sabiha is thoroughly familiar with the new order entry program, and Aude knows the relevant colleagues in the European works and their responsibilities. "Our task goes frequently well beyond the purely technical training. We also act as intermediaries between the European and Chinese cultures. This is by no means limited to linguistic communication problems and time differences," is how Sabiha describes her task.
Aude Vivier (above in discussion with the Chinese coleagues) sees herself less as a teacher of special knowledge, for the colleagues from the technical departments are very versed indeed, and most of them are trained metallurgists. Indeed, it is their vast experience in the special features of the Chinese market to which we owe our close contacts with our customers. And in addition to this expertise, we have to point out the special features of the individual plants and raise the colleagues' sensitivity to operational needs and requirements."
"The organizational change is important in reaching out to the customer. It helps us to maintain our leading position in the extremely efficient ultra-supercritical power plants, and to align our R&D activities to the most recent of such plants, which operate at temperatures of up to 650 °C and achieve efficiencies of over 49 %. Even power plants with operating temperatures of 700 °C and an efficiency of over 50 %, coupled with correspondingly low CO2 emissions are under development in China, and Vallourec is part of it all," says Stephane Jeanneteau, Managing Director Power China & Valinox Nucléaire.