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Analysis

The Value of Understanding Industry Needs

Mon, 10/21/2013 - 13:46

Understanding and meeting the customer’s needs is the point of departure for any good business. “Most of our resources and efforts are focused on strengthening our product support, both before and after sales,” says Enrique Desentis, Director General of Construmac. “We work together with our suppliers to fully understand the customers’ processes and problems. We bring experience from similar applications in other parts of the world, adapt existing products to new applications, or even have the suppliers design unique systems for the applications.”

The company started out providing heavy equipment for large mines, but today it focuses more on equipment for specific processes within mining operations, such as shotcreting and backfilling high density solids, representing brands such as Putzmeister, Wirtgen, and Terex. The company takes a considered approach to its portfolio, with a careful strategy guiding its decisions to stock each of the products that it does. “Our machines have lower fuel consumption and emissions than the competition, and in part that is thanks to computerized system controls that supply only the required power, making it more efficient. Our different ranges of products complement each other, making it easy for the clients to find one complete, yet specific solution. Incorporating new products into our portfolio requires complying with the highest industry standards, in terms of both the product itself and the support behind it,” says Desentis. “Construmac constantly has people from the brands themselves present in its offices, and together with them we go to the mines to train the clients’ operators and service technicians.” For each brand that it sells the company has one specialist with an in-depth understanding of the products and the industry’s  need for them. “We select, together with our clients, the range of equipment that will provide our clients with the best performance and productivity rate, according to the technical requirements of their operations. After the product is selected we provide advice on its operation and maintenance. We set up each and every piece of equipment that we sell, and revisit it until we are sure that everything is in perfect shape, also making sure that the operator is ready to use it correctly,” says Desentis.

The company has generally found that mining companies prefer to conduct maintenance on the machinery  themselves, but for this to be possible Construmac must provide training. “We must make frequent visits in order to perform this sort of training. We also do a lot of training on the use of the machines, so that our salespeople become consultants for the client,” says Desentis. “Given the company’s swift growth in the last two years, from 100 to 200 members of staff, providing training to our own staff has become even more important.”

The company has 11 branches throughout Mexico, allowing it to make client visits as frequently as possible, which brings advantages to both parties. Inventory is also kept at each of the different branches, according to the needs of local customers, which means that the company can respond to demand more quickly. “Our strategy is to have national coverage. We make sure that the really important parts are available at all times for our clients. We manage special equipment, the parts for which are not easy to get hold of, so we must ensure availability at all times. Reliability, availability and productivity are in the end the most important concepts for our mining customers,” explains Desentis.

Technology plays an important role in Construmac’s products, and through its brands the company tries to remain ahead of the constantly developing market. “We represent specialized equipment, an area in which technology moves very fast, and we rely on our suppliers’ commitment to innovation. They keep pushing to introduce new equipment and solutions for our customers,” says Desentis. “We are moving forwards by training ourselves, the industry and our clients in the use of new technologies.” Construmac is also always on the lookout for new ways to improve the service that it provides, and thus the productivity of its customers’ operations. “We combine different services, such as finance and logistics, in order to provide a genuine and complete solution to the customer. For example, we are investigating the possibility of providing a full maintenance service, with parts and servicing included,” says Desentis. “We are looking to introduce new products into our portfolio, and we have the human capital needed to understand difficult applications and complicated machines. This demonstrates Construmac’s interest in seizing business opportunities in both the mining industry and elsewhere.”