The Coventry-based company says it is delivering telephone support response times of one hour or less, and response times for an engineer on site of one day for Mori products and 1.4 days for DMG products. Paul Wesley, head of service for DMG Mori UK says, "We are measuring the response time of the two product sets separately until we can reach our goal, which is to offer the same one-day or better response for all customer requests."

The spares and service department employs 45 service engineers and 'hotliners' – telephone support staff – and is recruiting more service engineers. To keep up to date, the service department undergoes 60 employee-weeks of machine-specific training in Germany and Poland each year, as well as safety courses on topics such as risk assessment and working at height.

The service process starts when a customer telephones or emails the spares and service department. Immediately the call is logged and displayed on a TV monitor in the office, which shows the queue of current service calls and their status. One of the hotliners in the office then contacts the customer to find out the nature of the call. In some cases it is just advice, while in other cases it can be a spare part or a service visit that is required.

Service engineers carry test equipment to make a diagnosis of the problem on the first visit. If spare parts are required, the part numbers are identified from the serial number of the machine. Steve Paull, spare parts manager for DMG Mori UK says, "Most parts are ex-stock from our parts stores in Geretsried in Germany. To identify the parts required, we have a database of manuals here in the UK. If we need more information we can contact the technical clarification department in Germany or Japan where we have the build details of each machine going back to the 1980s."

Once the replacement part has been identified, if it is ordered before 4 pm it can be delivered the next day. As well as the standard service using UPS or TNT, DMG Mori offers a premium service for critical components such as spindles, where the parcel can be tracked in detail. For unusual parts which have to be sent from Japan, the company can offer a two-day turnaround. Paul Wesley adds, "To minimise downtime, we schedule a return visit of one of our service engineers to coincide with the delivery of the replacement part."

Following a service visit, hotline call or the delivery of a spare part, a report is logged in DMG Mori's service software, building up a complete history of each machine. This information, saved in a comprehensive database, can be accessed months or years later and can be used in the evaluation of quality and operational matters, and in response analysis. The system is also integrated with the mobile service and commercial sides of DMG Mori's operation, allowing service engineers to see the status of tasks from any location and enabling coordination of invoicing and other commercial activities. This makes it a powerful tool for improving the quality of the products and service offered by DMG Mori.

As well as responding to service calls, the spares and service department is responsible for machine installation and health checks on new machinery. The aim of the health checks before the end of the warranty period is to ensure the customer is maximising productivity and offer advice on advanced techniques.