Saturday 24th Jul, 2021

Premier Tech’s digital approach to find the new normal

Kockum Bulk Systems’ customer support business has been bolstered by joining with Premier Tech Chronos.

Premier Tech Systems and Automation (trading as Kockums Bulk Systems) has updated its processes as part of its adaptation to the ‘new normal’.

The company saw an immediate freeze on capital in March as business owners and corporates reduced spending during the initial period of instability.

However, Premier Tech Managing Director Francois Steyn said it did not take long for a sense of confidence to return in many of the company’s key industries (cement, garden organics, dairy) and they resumed project activity.

“From the end of April, our engineering and project teams gradually spooled up to full capacity and are now working hard to deliver on the deadlines we promised our customers,” Steyn said.

“Our Customer Support team relies heavily on being able to travel to sites to service and optimise equipment and this is where we felt the impact of border closures and travel restrictions the most. Our promise has always been to be available for our customers and we managed to maintain a level of support by thinking outside our usual box.”

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This has seen the company’s service engineers in New South Wales and Queensland fill in on jobs where the Victorian team were not allowed to go and an increase in sales of spares- and consumable kits to keep customers going in sectors with increased demand.

Steyn says that on three occasions, the company could not send the right expert to attend a site for a breakdown or to commissioning a new piece of equipment due to COVID-19 restrictions.

“With patience and understanding from the customer, we managed to pull all three jobs off by using less experienced engineers supported remotely by experts using Facetime, WhatsApp and Zoom to guide our engineers on site,” he said.

“We also made good use of the remote access facilities installed on the equipment we supply to gain access for trouble shooting or changing a setting where needed. No need to send someone to site to make a small change or get a line back up or running better than before.”

According to Steyn, the company has found better ways of doing business, with less travel and more virtual meetings, check-ins, online training sessions and virtual Factory Acceptance Tests.

“Overall, the business has done better than expected this year and we remain thankful for having enough work and being able to keep our team fully employed,” he said.

“We know many other businesses have done it tough and will take many years to recover.”