Alan D’Arcy - Head of Global Service (current position: Head of Application Engineering & Global Service)

“For me establishing a strong service culture entails having excellent people and in Field Service never has such a statement been so closely aligned to success.”

As the Head of Global Service since March 2016, Alan D’Arcy aims to bring Sempertrans’ service competencies to the next level across all of our factories and utilising our know-how to make a difference for our customers. To do so, he counts especially on building relationships at all levels with customers in all locations around the world and making sure they get the best support wherever they are. In this interview, he explains how big a driver Field Service is to customer satisfaction.

One of Sempertrans’ strategic priorities is customer focus. How does Field Service tie in with this corporate pillar?
Service is about giving customers what they want. As a customer- and service-oriented company, what we do at Sempertrans is driven by our customers’ growing demand for enhanced productivity, improved customer experience and reduced operational costs. The mission of our Field Service department is perfectly aligned with these needs: serve customers better and in a more cost effective way. For example, some are asking for us to assist them with on-site field services, mainly splicing supervision, to ensure that their investment in conveyor belt products is profitable. And we deliver.

What are the benefits of building a strong service culture for the company and your customers?
If we can place service in the thoughts of all people in the organisation, not only do we look to always be selling customers something, we always strive to provide a solution and meet customer expectations. For me establishing a strong service culture entails having excellent people and in Field Service never has such a statement been so closely aligned to success. That’s why it is important that our Field Service experts know of the importance of delivering excellent customer service. In turn, Sempertrans customers benefit from skilled technicians who are committed to solving their problems and boost their operations.

How does the servicing job performed by your Field Service team impact the performance of a conveyor installation?
A conveyor belt is only as good as the splices that keep it together. This means the best Field Service technician with the adequate service knowledge, going on site at the proper time for installation, and using the right tools and information to perform the splicing supervision in the most cost-effective way. With the support of Sempertrans’ Field Service work, customers optimise product uptime, leading to reduced service costs and improved profitability. It’s also worth noting that Sempertrans uses tailored solutions for each and every customer project, thus ensuring more productive and efficient conveyor belt handling.

Can you tell us about a concrete example of on-site job carried out by your team?

When Sempertrans was awarded the supply of 6km-long conveyor belts for the Quebalix IV Project, located at the Buenavista del Cobre Mine in Mexico, our Field Service team assumed a few months ago responsibility for the splicing supervision of SempercordTM belts on two overland conveyors. This on-site visit was necessary as a special splicing scheme was to be used on this project due to the high stress in the conveyor belt. Sempertrans’ Global Application Engineering team was also involved in the project to provide technical consulting and define the splicing technology best adapted for the selected high tensile strength belt.

Working at around 1,700 metres above sea level and tucked up in the North-Eastern corner of Mexico, the surrounding conditions were varied and stormy. Initially the trip was only meant to cover 20 days but due to the amount of on-site work required to achieve the splicing, with rip detection sensor loops installed every 50 metres, it ended up being 45 days.

The dedication of the Field Service team to successfully completing the supervision job shows the calibre of people Sempertrans has and the desire there is to support our customers wherever they are located in the world. Such trips fully test not only the practical skills of our people but also their ability to lead and supervise under real pressure. Most pleasing was that at the end of the job our colleagues returned home healthy and ready for the next project.

Overall, what are the drivers of customer satisfaction when it comes to service?
Service is very much about saying what we can do and doing what we say. There is no room for false promises as all they lead to is customer dissatisfaction and loss of reputation on our part. Both of those have the potential to derail any client/supplier relationship. When our sales teams and distributors work so hard to win product sales it’s imperative that through a consistent and professional service approach, when it comes time to leave site, we do so with the conveyor system running at agreed performance levels. Given that the majority of owners of conveyor systems are in the production business, the most important thing to them is owning and operating a system that does what it was designed to do.

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