Kilic and Kinder grow together

Kilic Engineering has saved money, time and stress thanks to Kinder Australia’s complete conveyor solutions.

When delivering machinery to the agricultural industry, manufacturers have a clear deadline – harvest.

Kilic Engineering (KE), a South Australian-based manufacturer, understands how vital it is for grain handling companies to have the equipment they need at this critical time. Its mission is to build strong relationships with its customers to deliver on their expectations.

To do that, KE depends on its own suppliers’ transparency and expertise. The business specialises in creating bespoke solutions for its customers and as a result, often has highly specific engineering challenges.

Susan Collier, Operations Manager at KE, says finding a supplier that can go the extra mile and support the KE team with complex questions is vital.

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“It’s a hard quality to find,” she says. “Some companies will have one or two workers that go above and beyond, but when an entire business operates with a passion about what they do – that is what helps them stand out.”

In 2012, KE changed the design of its bunker stacker from a tube to an open belt conveyor. It began searching for suppliers that could provide suspended trough idlers that could do the job.

According to Collier, Kinder Australia has the perfect solution. The two businesses had worked with each other before and have since collaborated closely on finding new applications for components and equipment.

“We challenged them to supply our complete roller and pulley system,” she says. “Sean Kinder worked with our draftsmen to get the technical aspects right and further increase our efficiencies.

“We’ve been very fortunate, as it’s not just the products that Kinder provides, it’s the complete company and service offering,” she says.

Kinder’s quoting process includes an estimated delivery time for all components. For certain items, lead times can potentially take up to 12 weeks to supply, which is why the company offers to hold a certain amount of stock in Melbourne to improve supply times.

The support and transparency have been critical for KE, as it reduces the build times on its machines.

Charles Pratt, Operations Manager at Kinder Australia, says understanding the needs of the other business partner is how Kinder can provide its support.

“Understanding what makes the other company tick and what they’re looking for leads to a mutually beneficial path forward,” he says.

“What has helped Kilic Engineering grow with us is our commitment to stocking the majority of the parts we supply them, even though they’re special items. This streamlines the supply chain and means we can provide a ‘just in time’ source of all the accessories they need, even though they are bespoke.”

Kinder offers a similar service to other organisations that require it, such as power stations, large scale mining operations and ports.

It uses a System Applications Products (SAP) system to handle the inventory management reporting. Both parties agree to a certain level of minimum and maximum stock holdings, which helps the system to create a list of suggested quantities and items to include in the warehouse.

Pratt says that this system helps Kinder manage its warehouse in a professional and economic way.

“If you don’t have something on hand when you say you do, you might as well not have had an agreement. We don’t want to let the team down and can’t afford to do so, which is why we carefully manage our stock levels.”

In addition, Kinder has a comprehensive engineering team, with more than seven qualified engineers trained in conveyor design and bulk materials handling. The team can supply drawings and help design the overall equipment to help optimise the final product.

Kinder can also travel to meet with prospective clients to further discuss the details of a project. Meeting face to face, or virtually, helps Kinder understand exactly what its customers’ needs and how best to deliver it.

Pratt says Kinder has created a customer service culture that focuses around asking the right questions.

“Providing customer service at a high level isn’t about telling, it’s about asking and finding out. You’re never going to sell someone something if you don’t know what their actual problem is, and to find that out you have to ask questions,” he says.

Kinder also aims to provide a one stop shop experience for its customers like KE.

“If you were doing renovations and went to a paint shop, only to find out they don’t sell the brush or the paper, you’re not providing a service that a customer will find attractive.”

“When a company like KE is looking to building their equipment, they want a single point of contact for all the components. Whether it’s a pulley, roller, electrical safety device, tracking accessories, belt cleaner, the belt itself or the chute liners, they can buy everything they need from us.”

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