Quality spares, repairs and service in demand

Quality spares, repairs and service in demand

While the current challenging economic climate and decline in commodities prices are prompting mines and quarries to cut capital expenditure, there is an increased focus on securing quality spare parts, repairs and service, according to Brian Frost, national parts manager at Osborn.

He reveals that by tailoring its structure and strategy to meet the changing needs of customers, equipment supplier Osborn is not only weathering the current tough times, but growing some areas of its business.

Introducing Osborn’s parts sales team: (from left) Brian Frost,
Sharon Deczy, Annelize Moore, Christina Pais, Ashley Rajcoomar,
Angela Dobson, Debbie Roux and Luqman Ebrahim

Frost reports that while many customers have put new capital equipment on the back burner, the number of spare parts quotations that Osborn is responding to is on the rise. The restructuring of the company’s product sales division has contributed to this growth, he believes, with product sales staff given more responsibility for parts, sales, service and repairs, as part of Osborn’s strategy to focus on the more buoyant areas of its business.

Cost competitiveness

The company has also responded to customers’ increasing scrutiny of their budgets with reviews of its own prices, and is committed to being as cost competitive as possible, he says. To this end, Osborn is supplying OEM spares as well as alternate parts. “These are mainly supplied for older machines, which may be out of warranty, or no longer well supported. When our representatives visit sites for our machines, they are asked about alternate parts for other machines, and Osborn has responded accordingly,” Frost explains. “We are able to support a large number of non-Osborn machines, and our spares customers in this area can be assured that they are reaping the benefits of Osborn’s long-standing experience and expertise, which translates into an unmatched understanding of technology and wear patterns on machine parts.”

Added value - site & machine evaluations

Osborn’s service division has responded to customers’ need for added value from suppliers in these testing times with the addition of a new dimension to its field service offering.  A dedicated engineer has been added to the team, to offer site and machine evaluations to customers, explains service and repairs manager Andre van Tonder. “With mines and quarries downsizing, they have fewer in-house resources, so Osborn is able to assist with assessments of equipment and sites. This is in addition to our after-sales service and service contracts, as well as the installations, commissioning, complete erection, on-site repairs, maintenance and training that we undertake.”

On-site training

With a technical trainer on board, Osborn offers on-site training for customers’ staff, he expands. “We have found that it is ideal for operators and maintenance employees to receive training on the specific machine that they will be working on.”

Osborn’s hydraulics division builds and makes up hydraulic power units, and Van Tonder says that business in this area is also picking up.

Nine field service teams

Osborn currently has nine field service teams. Each team comprises a qualified technician with a field assistant, and they have recently travelled as far afield as Russia, China, Argentina, Indonesia and Turkey to meet customers’ service requirements.

“The Osborn differentiators that our customers recognise and value are our quick response, outstanding service and competitive prices. We also stand behind the Osborn name and the quality of our equipment, spares and service, giving our customers what they need, when they need it. This is the only way for any business to ensure its longevity in these tough times,” Van Tonder concludes.