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Atlas Copco: service sows seeds of success

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Atlas Copco has enjoyed a stellar 2004, winning more than its fair share of Australia’s mining equipment business.

Recent company figures show strong growth across all divisions, with mining faring particularly well.

Atlas Copco MD Sergio Camozzi attributes acquiring Ingersoll-Rand and Baker-Hughes as well as revamping its Wagner products for some of this success.

“Wagner has not been our flagship in the past few years, but this has now changed – they’re back and the 50t truck is probably the best truck in the market for cost,” Camozzi says

“I believe the industry now perceives Atlas Copco in Australia as a reliable and quality supplier,” he says.

However, Camozzi insists that even more than technology, the driving force of Atlas Copco’s success is service.

He says the mining industry appreciates the work the company has done over the last couple of years in delivering services, maintenance contracts and after-sales service support.

“We are convinced that when a mine buys a $1m or $2m piece of equipment, they don’t buy just the technology - they buy a guarantee that the gear will deliver what they expect. And that has more to do with quality support than price,” he says.

Among important recent wins for the company are Cadia, Olympic Dam and Cannington, and these in the face of competitors with a foot already in the door.

“Atlas Copco is more and more assuming the role of a service provider. Instead of waiting for the customer to ask for service on our equipment, we approach the customer and ask what we can do for them. If the customer says ‘we have a couple of Atlas Copco rigs, can you take care of a competitor’s rig as well?’ the answer is, yes.

“So we have employed and trained people to cater for other equipment in addition to our own. Of course, our objective is not to service all equipment on the market, but we’ll do some of that where we have the competence.

“Service is becoming the driving force for success, not selling the equipment. The customer calls because we are good at service.”

Camozzi tells Australian Mining he expects 2005 to be another good year for the mining industry and his company. But he suspects it will not be as good as 2004 because the industry is peaking and so will more likely stabilise before facing a downturn.

He says this period will give Atlas Copco time to stabilise and integrate the many new service staff it has employed recently.

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