Integrated Package for Sale of Heavy Equipment, ConstrumacWed, 10/21/2015 - 11:28
When a company sells heavy equipment for crushing, screening, and washing rocks for continuous mining and sludge management, it needs to find certain technoques to bring all of these applications together. Construmac, based in Chihuahua, has found three: dividing its brands into their different applications across industries, a united post-sale service, and providing resale and financing options to customers. “One of the more recent brands we have decided to distribute, Wirtgen, is from a German manufacturer which specializes in concrete and asphalt paving equipment, cold milling machines, pavers, and rolling compactors,” says Construmac’s Director General, Enrique Desentis Castellanos. He found common ground with Wirtgen as he describes its executives as similarly forward-looking. “We also distribute the Powerscreen line of crushing equipment by Terrix, which provides us with trackmounted crushing equipment and screens, as well as Terex’ materials processing system, which is a wheel-mounted crushing machine for aggregates or minerals,” he adds. Neither the Wirtgen or Terrix lines include large crushing machines so Construmac has successfully focused on medium-sized crushing projects, a focus that the executive says has allowed it to claim a larger market share. Desentis Castellanos explains that Construmac also has a complete line of concrete products, bringing together the CON-E-CO concrete plants manufactured in the US, the McNeilus truckmounted concrete mixers, and the Putzmeister concrete and sludge pumps. These latter products actually cross over directly into the mining industry, since they can also pump high solid content fluid such as tailings from mines. However, no matter how well Construmac caters to its market segments, it cannot preventively cover all eventualities. “We cater to such a wide range of potential industrial applications that flexibility is paramount. If our customers are looking for very specific machines and we do not have them, we get in touch with our suppliers or other distributors that may have them in stock,” explains Desentis Castellanos.
The second pillar of Construmac’s operations is focused on ensuring that clients receive the appropriate level of training to operate the machinery, as well as post-sale service, repair, and buyback options. The level of training required differs from industry to industry, as Desentis Castellanos explains. “Every customer needs training, but less so in the mining industry than in the construction industry, as the rotation of personnel in mining is much lower. Nevertheless, personnel changes do happen periodically in mines, entailing a loss of knowledge. The equipment used in mines is very specific and is not used on a large scale. Therefore, the number of specialists needed depends on the amount of equipment in the mine. In cases where companies have few specialists, more training is necessary,” he says.
Desentis Castellanos states that while some mines buy parts in advance and stock them, most operators do not wish to have these parts stored on their sites. “We have to stock the parts near the mines so that they may be delivered quickly. It is easier to anticipate the demand for certain equipment, such as wear parts, however, the demand for emergency parts is harder to estimate. These components are very critical and if they are not replaced in time, they could stall the entire mining operation,” he adds. Companies like Construmac therefore have to invest heavily in devising a watertight warehousing strategy so that its logistics do not fail its mining customers, which are often located in remote parts of Mexico. “The provision and maintenance of such specialized equipment is covered by our company, but the price tag of buying such machinery can be considerable. Having staff with varied training can also help steer our clients toward a number of favorable financing options.” Desentis Castellanos adds that these options vary depending on the supplier of the equipment being bought. “With German suppliers, we promote the use of the Hermes financial cover, an export credit guarantee put in place by the German government. These suppliers provide direct financing to the customers through this type of insurance, which is quick, easy, and flexible, and has a low interest rate. We also have financing deals with other local and foreign suppliers, but we largely promote these services for small mining contractors since most large mines have their own banks,” he states.
These three elements are wrapped together in the complete product package that Construmac provides to its clients, ranging from technical applications and training, to after-sales support and financing. Desentis Castellanos explains that the greatest benefits of this approach are lower operating costs, the continuity of operations, and a resulting increase in profitability for customers, yet he shies away from labeling Construmac as an overall leader in its sector. “The specialized nature of our products and their volume means that Construmac cannot be considered one of the largest distributors of mining equipment. However, we can proudly say that we are leaders in the majority of the mining niches that we participate in,” he concludes.