On September 22, Pierre Cuny’s feverish announcement took precedence over the understanding reserved for the general public. The latter simply retained that the so-called Kubota had opted for Thionville as the location, in 2021, of its spare parts center for the Europe zone. The result is the promise of more than a hundred jobs. Kuboquoi?
5% increase in turnover
Kubota is finally far from being an unknown in Metzange. The Japanese group is none other than the parent company of the Norwegian company Kverneland, a logistics colossus specializing in spare parts for agricultural machinery.
The Nordic company has been running at full speed in the Thionville business area since 2017. It even came out unscathed from the first tsunami created by Covid-19. Word of a survivor, “we have not lived even one day of inactivity, informs Franck Claudon, the general manager. No partial unemployment measure has been taken and we have not asked for rent deferral. “
Better, Kverneland expects an increase of 5% of its turnover at the end of this painful year 2020. Franck Claudon would he hold, in the greatest of secrets, a vaccine against the virus? ” No. We have simply been extremely responsive. “
“Vital for our customers”
“In February, we began to think about setting up a protocol to overcome the crisis. The mobilization was general. “Social distancing promoted by marking on the ground, taking the temperature at the entrance to the site, managing the flow of visitors (” truck drivers are still not allowed to enter the premises “), making on site … masks provided by employees, etc.
So many preventive measures which today seem legitimate and classic. But we still have to place ourselves in the context of the time. “In March, we got ahead of the upcoming recommendations. Our priority, employee safety, prompted us to react quickly, to anticipate. »Franck Claudon also felt invested with a mission of general interest. Faced with the uncertainty related to the duration of the confinement, he sensitized his troops on the need to meet the demand: “It may seem exaggerated, but the deliveries of these spare parts were vital for our customers in terms of harvests. September. At that time, no one knew if the confinement was going to extend beyond the spring… ”
Even if the leader refuses to admit it, this exemplary management in times of crisis has perhaps (undoubtedly) consolidated Kubota’s designs. He will not detail the extension project further: “I confirm that the building permit is being examined. And that Kubota’s desire is to establish a spare parts center right here. But the time to communicate on the subject has not yet come ”. Pierre Cuny was ahead of him all the same: “Yes, I know”, he concludes with a knowing smile …
But where is Charlie?
“Did you see him in the aisles?” Recently, a new kind of employee has been exercising his talents at Kverneland. Short on legs, it is in fact an autonomous robot named Charlie by one of his “colleagues”. Equipped with two 3D cameras making him master of his environment, this new team member is equipped with a load-bearing platform enabling him to ensure deliveries between the various poles of the logistics center: reception, packaging and shipping.
Strong point of the newcomer, who receives his orders from a control booth: “Limit interactions between employees. In times of health crisis, this is a significant advantage, ”observes Franck Claudon. Charlie’s trial, which began three weeks ago, could well turn into a permanent contract: “We will first take stock of his productivity and think about how to integrate him into our organization. “