Sandvik invests in safety, customer service and competence development
Sandvik’s selection and technology are on the cutting edge of the underground contracting and mining industry. We are a leading supplier of equipment and services, but that is not enough in the current market and economic situation. Business forecasting and resourcing require a more future-oriented approach than before. Our focus areas include better productivity, better customer service, safety, effective co-operation as a team, strategic agility and enhancing organisational efficiency.
Today, business crosses geographical and political borders, so a company like Sandvik can take advantage of its global resources to support its regional activities. Good relationships and well-maintained contacts are vital for that. Many customers require their partners to be prepared for long-term co-operation so that each company’s experience and resources can be utilised to improve the customer’s productivity. Services for mines and large contractors may cover everything from employee recruitment to training operating personnel and specialists, and from equipment maintenance to managing hardware use in accordance with the highest standards. We ensure that the business enterprises of our customers operate more productively and safely.
Knowledge of the business and process is vital
In order to know the customer’s needs and improve productivity, we need in-depth knowledge of their business operations and operational process. General process knowledge on the production of an ore deposit into metal is no longer enough – we need to know the customer’s process. The shift from a vendor of products to a supplier of solutions requires knowledge as well as seamless co-operation and team spirit.
Balance, diversity and creativity are key elements in our operations in addition to international first-rate product and service range and safe technology. Sandvik still sells products and has not completely turned into a solutions supplier. The diversity of customers and their different needs are taken into account. Not everyone wants to be a key customer or to have a close partnership.
Our operations are continuously fine-tuned. A vital factor is observing the environment with an open mind so as to retain strategic flexibility. We also invest in flexible use of organisational resources, safety and teamwork skills. The opportunity to improve the productivity of both the customer and Sandvik is built on Sandvik personnel’s understanding of what customers want from products, services and supplier relationships. Product development also plays a key role, and customers’ requests and comments are taken into consideration in the design of new equipment.
In recent years, machines have become safer and more user-friendly, and automation and digitalisation have increased. The fields of mining and contracting industry continuously invest in safety, product development, research and data collection because history has shown that continuous product development co-operation with international customers plays a significant role in the success of the company. In addition to automation, digitalisation and IoT-based applications are also common.
The developers of Sandvik’s mining automation system were awarded the Finnish Engineering Award in 2013. The panel of judges especially appreciated the fact that the automation system combines knowledge of many different fields of technology, mechatronics, control engineering, safety technology and various information and communications technologies. The creation of the automation system also involved pioneering work in customer-orientation and teamwork across different units and companies.
Challenges spark interest
In the current economic downturn, multi-faceted co-operation and product development work is extremely important. Growth used to be rapid, but development in the field has slowed down. Now we must develop new solutions for new customers. Indeed, a large number of next-generation machines and equipment have been introduced.
Overall, the business environment offers Sandvik interesting opportunities and challenges. We focus on developing the supply, products and services in order to enhance the smoothness and cost-efficiency of our customers’ quarrying and to improve our own assembly operations and material flows. All these factors pose additional challenges and require business to be forecast and resourced with better future orientation, but it is good to have plenty of challenges. They make life interesting.
Sandvik has the pleasure of being the partner company for the Subcontracting Fair 2016. This year’s main themes of digitalisation and management also touch our own operations. At the Subcontracting Fair, the importance of partnerships and multi-faceted co-operation is emphasised. It is extremely important to have this kind of an event in Tampere – it brings together industry and allows the upper management of main suppliers to meet the key personnel of subcontractors and maintain good relationships. Encounters engender trust, and they help handle the challenging situations of today, such as rapid acquisition of additional capacity or complaint incidents, together with the network. A significant part of our global product development is done here in Finland, so we are looking forward to interesting encounters with subcontractors. See you in Tampere!
Sandvik Mining and Construction Oy
This year, the partner company of the Subcontracting Fair is the global high-tech industrial group Sandvik Mining and Construction Corp. The columnist, Jussi Maksimainen, is the Director of Sandvik’s Lahti production unit. The company operates in over 130 countries and offers the widest product range of equipment for rock drilling, quarrying, crushing, breaking and materials processing. In Finland, Sandvik has operations in Tampere, Turku, Lahti, Hollola and Vantaa.
More information: www.sandvik.com.