Andrés Cardona
LATAM Manager
View from the Top

Product and Service Availability 24/7

By Paloma Duran | Tue, 03/23/2021 - 14:32

Q: What is ITM’s background and what solutions does it offer the mining sector?

A: ITM is a global manufacturer that sells undercarriage components for different industries. We are an Italian company that has been operating for about 60 years, with facilities in Italy, Spain, Germany, USA, Brazil, Australia, South Africa, India, China, and others. Globally, we have around 1,300 team members, about 40 of whom work in our design center, where all of our engineers are located. When it comes to mining, we have the largest product range in the industry for all types of crawled equipment such as drills, excavator, and bulldozers among others.

Q. Why should mining companies choose ITM and what differentiates it from the competition?

A. The main difference between us and other companies is that we are an Original Equipment Manufacturer supplier. Since we are manufacturers, we do not rely on anyone else. Therefore, we do not have to worry about stock or inventory and we have excellent availability.  Another difference between us and the competition is that we have a proven record of improving undercarriage cost per hour.  Our undercarriage cost per hour is the single-most important KPI for any mining company. This is the indicator that tells our end users how much they are spending per hour on their machines, and we are able to improve that indicator for our clients. To provide the best undercarriage products in the market, we first need to have competitive prices. Second, our warranty is top-notch. Third, our products are of great quality and we provide excellent availability. Perhaps most importantly is our technical support.

Q. How does the company's global distribution network allow ITM to support and have a close relationship with its customers?

A. We are a global company, meaning we have operations in all continents. The biggest benefit of having ITM as a supplier is that we offer availability and service for all our customers. In some countries, such as Australia or the US, we have warehouses that allow us to go directly to market. In other countries such as Mexico, we work with distributors. The advantage of working with distributors is that they help us reach more customers. Our own people handle technical support in most continents.

Q. What is TrackAdvice and how does it optimize mining maintenance strategies and reduce costs?

A. Trackadvice is a cloud-based solution for monitoring and managing undercarriage wear. The system monitors each undercarriage component using an ultrasonic device connected to our application. We can also show pictures of components and share comments about their condition. Once the inspection is completed, the information is sent to our servers where we can review and generate reports through our web portal, giving the end user access to this information.

We provide training to our personnel in each country, and we also train our dealers and end users to measure the machines themselves. TrackAdvice is a key part of our support. Since it can measure the wear of the components, it tracks how well you are utilizing your undercarriage components, helping you find the best cost per hour of each of those components.  In addition, we help our end users reduce their inventory because with this tool they are able to know exactly when they need to replace their undercarriage components. For people working on inventories, we help them to create a system that will improve their supply chain, as well as having available components when needed at the mine.

Q. What has ITM learned from its experience in the OEM market and the national markets in which it operates?

A. Our aftermarket division has become a big part of the company and it continues to be the sector that has experienced the most growth. We are constantly learning and improving in this division. We also work closely with the OEM side on the design of the undercarriages. We then take all the knowledge from any new and improved design we make and transfer that knowledge to the aftermarket. Everything that we manufacture at our assembly plants is made on the same production line, with the same materials, following the same process and made by the same people, so we do not differentiate between an OEM product or an aftermarket product. This allows us to offer the aftermarket great products at a great price.

Q: What are the company's plans in the Latin American market and what is Mexico's role?

A: Latin America is an area that has seen massive growth in the last three years. We are working with customers in Mexico, Panama, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, and Suriname. Those are the countries where we have ITM products running in mines. We hope to expand more products to other countries in Latin America, especially in Mexico. We also have plans to open a distribution center in Texas by the end of April, we were going to open last year but the current circumstances prevented us from doing so. Everything was delayed but now we have confirmation that it will open in Dallas. That will be the closest distribution center to Mexico. Our lead time for our Mexican customers and dealers will be drastically reduced.

In the last three years, we have increasingly been pushing our business in Mexico. Thanks to our dealer network, there are several mines that are already using ITM products, so we became the preferred brand for their undercarriage needs. With our dealers in Mexico, we are attempting to increase the number of mines in which we work. We have within our dealer network track shops in Nuevo Leon and Sonora. Those shops are key to support our mining customers, since we not only offer new components sales but also repairs as pad swap and pin and bushing turns.

Q. What opportunities are on the horizon for the company and what is ITM's business plan for the year?

A:In 2021, we are very excited to start pushing some new products that we have been working on for the last 18 months. For example, we are introducing a new rail technology that will allow them to last 35 percent longer than standard rails. This translates into better costs per hour for our clients. We are also improving our data collection through a new sensor that will allow us to provide even more efficient customer support through TrackAdvice. We are also designing a new heavy-duty line, which will be bigger and better than the standard line. We are also looking to push more of our bigger excavator products into Latin America, those over 350 Tons.

2021 will be an exciting year for us. New products are about to be introduced, we will provide better customer support and we are looking for new opportunities to continue supplying mining components in Latin America.

ITM is a global leader in the design, manufacture, and distribution of undercarriage components and solutions.

Paloma Duran Paloma Duran Journalist and Industry Analyst