The philosophy of strong local support as the foundation for building customer trust is paving Multotec’s steady expansion into Africa.
The industry-leading mineral processing solutions provider has grown its Africa footprint over almost two decades, and counts its success down to developing local capacity – including skills and infrastructure – as close to the customer as possible, to allow quick and effective response.
“We prioritise skills transfer and capacity-building in our African facilities, and also train our customers’ staff in the maintenance of our equipment,” says Multotec CEO, Thomas Holtz. “It is becoming increasingly important – both to us as suppliers and to our customers, the mines – to invest in local skill development as a key sustainability practice.”
Multotec has for many years provided training in process-related topics in South Africa, and in recent years has rolled this out in a more formal and structured manner in other regions; the group’s equipment can today be found in almost 50 countries on six continents, with a portfolio in all commodities.
Holtz says the focus of the training is to bridge the gap between the theory that mine staff will have learnt in tertiary studies, and the practical day-to-day mechanics of working with equipment in a plant environment.
“The culture of a fly-in-fly-out consultant is expensive and generally does not empower local professionals and operators,” he says. “Where we can build local capacity to support our products, the customers appreciate that – and we’ve seen growing interest in this training over the past two to three years.”
According to Multotec Africa managing director, Jaco du Toit, the cradle-to-grave concept ensures compliance with the Mines ISO 14000 environmental management standards – where the group provides the equipment, technical expertise and maintenance, as well as the removal and recycling of the product at the end of its life.
With Multotec’s growing support network and range of products, customers are now engaging the company increasingly on contracts to take over the maintenance of its equipment on site, aligned to service level agreements.