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Operators endorse OEM aftermarket service

Findings from market research firm Timetric indicate that maintenance and aftermarket service is becoming increasingly important to Australian miners.

According to its Maintenance and Aftermarket Preference in Australian Mining 2014 report, miners are increasingly looking to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to provide this kind of support. The report found that 67 per cent of miners prefer to work with their OEM in some capacity while only 22 per cent of respondents wish to be left alone after a product purchase.

The report found that OEMs were used to source strategic parts – such as engines and ground-engaging tools – by 97 per cent of respondents, and to source non-strategic parts by 78 per cent, despite the fact that third parties could potentially offer lower prices.

Findings also indicated a strong preference for miners to work with OEMs under a lifecycle management contract as opposed to an operations and maintenance or maintenance-only contract.

“They favour this not just for aftermarket support but also for the sense of shared investment that miners feel a lifecycle management contract provides,” Timetric explained in a press release.

Local manufacturers increase service focus
According to Timetric, a number of OEMs have already realised the benefits of providing better servicing, adopting lifecycle management as standard practice and opening aftermarket service centres.

An example of this is Sandvik’s opening of a new repair and remanufacturing centre in Orange, New South Wales, in May this year. Last week, the international mining and quarry equipment supplier also upgraded its Mackay service centre in central Queensland to match the capabilities of its Orange Productivity Centre; the Mackay facility is now able to carry out major machine rebuilds and repairs to full original condition.

Tony McDonald, Sandvik’s area service manager for the north, said the aim of these productivity centres was to align with customer goals and to boost their productivity.

“We are now bringing to our aftermarket business the management techniques and methodologies that have enabled 70 to 80 per cent productivity gains in our manufacturing operations around the world,” McDonald explained. “We recognise that the longer a customer’s asset sits in a supplier’s premises, the longer they don’t have access to it. Our ambition is to reduce this to a minimum, and to set a new standard in aftermarket service and efficiency.”

Timetric’s research was based on a survey undertaken in February and March this year of more than 110 mine managers, maintenance managers, procurement managers and other key decision-makers working across more than 90 operating Australian mines.

The full report can be downloaded via www.industryreportstore.com


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