COVID-19 has been a torrid time for producers and suppliers alike. However, professional engineers for a conveyor solutions supplier have held their heads high and maintained important communications channels with their long-term clients to ensure that the extractive industry does not miss out.
The past 20 months of the COVID-19 pandemic have presented challenges for Kinder Australia’s Victorian Field Applications team but the company’s “dynamic duo” of Tim Storer and Peter Laskey have stepped up to provide solutions for their bulk handling customers.
For Storer and Laskey, perfecting delegation skills and getting used to virtual and physical meetings with restrictions has been crucial to keep communication lines open with customers.
“My travel within Victoria has not been as impacted as other states with border closures,” Storer said. “There have been a few that have been abiding to a ‘No Visitor’ policy, and that has been difficult. Email campaigns and online follow-ups have been key to avoid being out of sight, out of mind.”
Storer has a flair for creativity and a knack of keeping engagement and morale levels high with his exuberant personality and delivery. He enjoys hosting demonstration webinars for customers and as staff training, keeping them technically informative, but stressing the key points with ease. He always prompts for questions people may have and encourages two-way communication.
“It is vital that we stay connected with staff and customers,” Storer said. “It ensures we can progress, support and learn.”
Storer has an eye for design, problem-solving and detail. He is skilled in photography and videography – snapping photos of Kinder’s products in action on site, and providing marketing material and a look into Kinder solutions in motion.
Kinder’s YouTube channel (youtube.com/user/kinderandco) is populated with many of Storer’s compilations that he has meticulously created with his video-making ability. A recent one featured the K-Superline engineered polyurethane where he showcased Kinder’s custom water-cutting capabilities with clever use of macro, fast motion and stop motion videography.
For Peter Laskey, who is the most recent recipient of the IQA’s Supplier of the Year Award, the pandemic has meant a little more sedentary work than he would like. However, he has been thankful for the site visits he has performed with Kinder’s authorised “to work” status during the 2020 and 2021 lockdowns.
“Challenges for my customers have varied,” he said. “Kinder’s Victorian customers have continued to work in a very smart, safe way. There have been subtle changes in work practices to keep sites operating, and safe.”
Like Storer, Laskey believes that communication has been key to keep the wheels turning in these unprecedented times.
“We have communicated to our customers to reassure them that we are operating at full capacity, even at our home base,” Laskey said. “There is always the ability for us to solve issues with the assistance of video call platforms, phone and email.”
Customers are drawn to Laskey’s genuine and personable demeanour and trust his expertise when it comes to solutions for their site. With a background in construction work, Laskey has the experience and product knowledge. Being solutions-driven, his role focuses on improving site equipment utilising Kinder’s wide range of technology.
“We’re mainly looking at situations at the transfer sites with skirting issues – if there’s spillage. We also help with belt tracking as well,” he explained. “I started at Kinder in 2011 as a warehouse supervisor and that’s where I gained a lot of product knowledge.”
For Tim Storer, Peter Laskey, and the rest of Kinder’s sales and eEngineering team, it is about communication. Open, honest communication is paramount for people to trust a business – “trusted quality” has been part of Kinder’s vision and values for 35 years.
CEO Neil Kinder agrees that building trust with customers allows the true site productivity issues to rise to the surface. It becomes a “win-win” for both the supplier and the customer to develop the products that the industry needs.
“When learning your industry, you need to understand the main issues that are being faced by your customers. What problems are they wanting to solve? This will enable you to focus on the right products – tackling dust and noise are a prime example of this.” •
To learn more about Kinder Australia’s inventory,
This article appears in the November issue of Quarry Magazine.