Variety is the spice of life for Kalmar down under
Australia’s geographical location and export oriented economy have made it more reliant than ever on efficient material handling as the country grapples with the impact of COVID-19.
Shaun Lawlor, Solutions Sales and Dealer Manager at Kalmar Australia, has been involved in the management and administration of sales, both retail and wholesale, and after sales departments in the capital equipment, automotive and logistics industries for more than 20 years.
He observes that the crucial nature of the work done by Kalmar has been recognised by governments across the world, including Australia, where the company has been classified as an essential business and has remained open during the lockdown period.
Reducing downtime has become even more important for businesses which could face staffing issues with employees who are self-isolating. “Support mechanisms such as standby equipment and on-site technicians are available to our customers to ensure they are able to operate around the clock,” explains Lawlor.
Total solution approach
Material handling is a competitive business in Australia, where the 43 ports covered by Ports Australia had a total throughput of almost 1.5 billion tonnes in 2018-19.
Lawlor is acutely aware of the importance of service and parts, particularly in the current market environment when it is vital that customers are supported across all their container and material handling requirements.
He feels his background in both sales and after sales means he is well placed to support Kalmar Mobile Solutions across Oceania. “I would describe it as a total solution approach where we supply the equipment and maintain it with OEM parts.”
“Support mechanisms such as standby equipment and on-site technicians are available to our customers to ensure they are able to operate around the clock."
A genuine 24/7 organisation
There is no typical customer profile – users range from large terminal operators and logistics firms to companies operating in industries such as steel and forestry. Equipment hire companies are also a significant customer segment for Kalmar in Australia.
“One of the reasons companies work with us is that our global presence makes us a genuine 24/7 organisation,” says Lawlor. “There is always someone online to provide support.”
He describes finding solutions for such a diverse customer base as a constant source of motivation and references a deal he has been working on with a large metals processing facility as an example of meeting very specific customer requirements.
“The company operates in some remote locations where the machines are exposed to difficult conditions and materials that could affect their operational lifespan, so ensuring the appropriate protective coatings and covers and filtration systems are included was a crucial part of the service,” he explains.
“Every day is different and no two customers are the same, which is cool."
No two customers are alike
“Every day is different and the challenge of finding the right solution for each job is very rewarding,” says Lawlor. “On a personal level, the job has also given me the opportunity to visit parts of the world and enjoy vistas that few other people have been to – Port Otago at Dunedin being just one example.”
While he may not have much time to stop and admire the view right now, Lawlor says he’s excited by the work he and his sales team are doing to engage with end users across Australia and the wider Oceania region.
“Every day is different and no two customers are the same, which is cool,” he concludes. “It is great to see the reaction of a customer when they realise just how much we can help their business.”