On the job: Energetic entrepreneurial approach

Tony Girodo, FLSmidth Manager of Site Services in Africa

Tony Girodo, FLSmidth Manager of Site Services in Africa

On the job interview with Tony Girodo, FLSmidth Manager Site Services

They don’t call me ‘Mr. Fix-It’ for nothing, My long-term vision is to position our team as the go-to trouble-shooters for the entire organization.
— Tony Girodo FLSmidth Manager Site Services

Since taking over the role of Manager of Site Services in Africa in 2002, Tony Girodo has increased the unit’s turnover by nearly 500%.

“I run Site Services with an entrepreneurial mindset, using every means possible to grow the business. They don’t call me ‘Mr. Fix-It’ for nothing,” Girodo said. “My long-term vision is to position our team as the go-to trouble-shooters for the entire organization. We’ve already been called upon to support the global team in places as far afield as Armenia and the United Arab Emirates.”

The team’s broad-ranging technical knowledge runs the gamut of FLSmidth® equipment, and its members are proficient in conducting installations, commissioning, maintenance, audits, servicing, repairs and upgrades. The team also carries out full installation of all propriety plant equipment.

“We do a whole lot more than conduct inspections and generate reports,” he says. “These seasoned engineers actually determine what has gone wrong or what is about to fail and do the repairs right there and then, if the spare parts and time are available. On larger installations and repairs, we assist plant personnel with planning to ensure that the necessary parts are ordered in good time and that the work program is detailed and realistic. We have a large installed base of equipment at many of these sites and this makes it easy to inspect the entire process flow and observe upstream and downstream effects.”

Site Services is backed up by the full weight of FLSmidth’s global pool of technical expertise, as well as access to global R&D and the latest innovations. Girodo is a firm believer in the “phone a friend” approach, encouraging his team to contact other group engineers around the globe for their input and advice whenever necessary.

“In an organization as big as FLSmidth, there’s always someone to call on, day or night, if any of us encounters atypical equipment or process-related issues,” he said. “This rapid resolution of technical issues is part of the value-add we offer our customers.”

Another key to Site Services’ success has been Girodo's introduction of service managers who oversee specific product lines, releasing him to take on a more consultative role, overseeing the team’s activities and building customer relationships.

Operating from headquarters in Roodepoort, Johannesburg, Site Services has two satellite offices in South Africa and has just opened a third office in Zambia. More satellite offices are being evaluated for mining industry hotspots such as Mozambique, Ghana and Tanzania.

“Site Services is all about limiting plant downtime and optimizing processes,” Girodo said. “More and more clients, particularly those in remote areas of Africa, are recognizing the value of maintaining their plants running at peak levels, rather than having to respond to breakdowns after the fact.”

When he’s not travelling around Africa with a keen eye on boosting business, Girodo can be found cycling around the hills of Johannesburg to keep fit for the tasks at hand. He enjoyed sports during his youth, and today he is an avid follower of rugby, soccer, cricket and even hockey when there’s spare time to watch television.

“Any time off is invariably spent as close to nature as possible,” he added. “My wife and I love going to the Kruger National Park where I can also pursue my interest in bird watching. We also head out to Cape Town whenever possible, where we enjoy taking part in wine tasting and visiting Hermanus to view the whales.”

CONTACT: Tony Girodo