Finding Opportunities During the Exploration DownturnMon, 10/21/2013 - 21:06
At a time when exploration activities have significantly reduced in Mexico, companies are asking the same question: ‘How can we make a more attractive value proposition to clients and potential clients than our competitors?’ One company that has continued to have the majority of its drills in operation while drills around the country have stopped turning is Globexplore Drilling, based in Hermosillo. Fully aware of the need to remain competitive in today’s industry, Globexplore has focused on strengthening the key areas of its business in order to make the very best value proposition. A big part of this strategy comes down to customer service, and working hard to exceed clients’ expectations at every opportunity. “We operate every aspect of our business with good old-fashioned customer service; we apply the ‘customer comes first’ attitude,” says Marc Kieler, Director General of Globexplore Drilling. “Nothing can substitute for clear communication and planning ahead. We make sure we meet with the client as much as possible to make sure we clearly understand their goals, and we plan our services accordingly,” he adds.
Kieler’s view is that each new client should be approached with the aim of creating a lifetime partnership; you have to help the client succeed even if that means losing money in the near term, but keeping your customer happy in the long-run will eventually reap rewards. “We believe the fact that we are still operating at 85% during this downturn validates our positive reputation. Our entire company operates with a deep understanding that the client is the priority to focus on every hour of every day. We have had some contracts where we lost money over a long period of time, but we never walked away from the commitment we made to that client. We finished the job as promised, and in doing so we earned a client for life, for as long as we continue to perform,” says Kieler. Part of gaining lifelong customers comes down to a drilling company’s willingness to keep working with its client to continually reduce expenditure while improving results. Keenly aware of this fact, Globexplore offers a simplified invoicing system, rather than charging its clients extra for solutions to the challenges that commonly arise during drilling. This allows the mining company to focus on the geology, rather than be keeping track of consumption.
In Kieler’s experience mining companies are usually aware that a cheaper initial cost can often come to represent a false economy in the long-run. “The experienced client knows that the drilling company with the cheapest contract price per meter is not always the least expensive option by the time the drilling is finished. Many factors such as mechanical downtime, low productivity, missing
targets or poor sample recovery can end up costing the client much more in the end,” he says. “Should the program go on longer as a result of low production or poor sample recovery, the client’s overheads will easily outweigh the initial savings. When there is so much at stake our clients want quality and performance balanced with fair value, and we deliver that,” he says. For this reason, the performance of the equipment and having experienced personnel are absolutely essential. “Primarily, our goals are to produce the most accurate samples as safely and quickly as we can, while maintaining our environmental and social responsibility at an economically competitive value. We achieve each of these goals with the most modern fleet of drill rigs available, operated by the most professional people in the industry,” says Kieler. “Exploration drilling can make or break a project and we take our responsibility as an integral part of our clients’ success very seriously. Results last forever.”
The final point Kieler makes relates to the importance of community. This has to do not just with the company’s relationships with the local communities where they drill, but also with the mining community more generally. Globexplore has become involved in several state and national mining associations and has established strong relationships with all levels of the industry. “This is a huge industry by way of dollars, but a small industry by way of people involved, so this has been a great way for us to network with many important decision makers within the private and public sectors. In addition, we have sponsored several events, such as earth science courses at university level. These students are the next generation, and they will influence and run important parts of our industry; we want to help and be a part of their future” says Kieler.