Since the acquisition of Ludowici® and MIE™ in 2012, FLSmidth has been working to integrate its spare parts business with its technical advisory capability and specialized field service offerings.
Doing business in a post-boom market has its challenges. FLSmidth’s newly-established Site Services team is allowing the company to get closer to its clients and in doing so is helping those clients to rise above some of the issues they face to obtain cost savings.
Since the acquisition of Ludowici® and MIE™ in 2012, FLSmidth has been working to integrate its spare parts business with its technical advisory capability and specialized field service offerings. The end result is Site Services—a team of specialists who aid in offering FLSmidth clients complete lifecycle support for equipment, including turnkey installation, shutdown maintenance, breakdown maintenance and service-based product support in the field.
“The market has proven to be quite creative in its ability to rein in the boom, making adjustments and working with OEMs to obtain cost savings,” said Paul Clifton, FLSmidth’s Australian Site Services Manager.
“With capital and construction on the decline and maintenance and shutdown on the rise, FLSmidth is in an ideal position to achieve further cost savings for clients and add value to their business through our Site Services offerings. Our parts people, technical advisors and field specialists now work as one team.”
He gave the example of a client who had unusually high turnover of a particular spare part. Upon identifying this, Site Services’ spare parts people called in the company’s technical experts. FLSmidth was able to recommend a solution that was delivered by its field personnel, and the solution not only saw a reduction in spare parts turnover, it saved the client downtime and a considerable amount of money.
“As you can see, Site Services is very focused on getting to the root cause of a problem and finding a solution that works now and in the long term,” Clifton said.
FLSmidth’s Site Services team is comprised of 11 base staff working an 8/6 roster. However, they can quickly mobilize as many as 140 staff for a major shutdown. On a recent occasion the team put 6,500 personnel hours into a client’s major shutdown. The team follows a critical path process that sees jobs completed on deadline.
They also use job satisfaction as their motivator for getting on site and getting things done quickly and cost effectively.
“As a service organization, we’re in daily contact with our customers, so we have a full appreciation of the problems they face,” Clifton said. “We take great satisfaction from solving their problems, assisting in emergency breakdowns, saving them money and downtime, and getting things up and running as they should be as quick as we can. For us, it’s very much about giving our clients what they want, not what we think they want. We recognize the forces that drive the market and the customer, and we respect these.”
Site Services is an initiative in Australia, but its good work isn’t just paying dividends for FLSmidth’s clients in that area—it’s also opening up opportunities for FLSmidth offshore.
“We’re branching into global projects in Kenya, Ghana, Mongolia and Vietnam,” Clifton said. “The work we are doing in these countries isn’t just about lifecycle support—we’re also sharing our skills with the local workforce, and in doing so we’re improving the local skill base.”
The skill sharing extends to ensuring that everyone is looking after each other while working toward a common goal. In this post-boom market, FLSmidth Site Services will continue to take a holistic view to all aspects of maintenance, including preventative maintenance.
“It’s about providing a complete service, reliable service information, savings and increased value,” Clifton said. “Of course, we need to help clients to understand what value represents. It’s not just about the cost of product—it’s about the cost of service as well.”
CONTACT: David Williams