C&L, Technology

Customer service and support: the key focus for Manitowoc

With a new Service Manager and Smartphone App, Manitowoc is ramping up its service and support for Grove and Potain. Cranes and Lifting finds out more.

With a new Service Manager and Smartphone App, Manitowoc is ramping up its service and support for Grove and Potain. Cranes and Lifting finds out more.

Todd Carney recently joined Manitowoc as the Service Manager for the New South Wales operations. His appointment brings an increased focus on customer service and support.

“The role includes the day to day running of our service technicians, booking in service work and ensuring the right parts and equipment are available when required. I’m also responsible for the general maintenance that goes through the workshop here in Blacktown, Sydney,” said Carney.

“I also liaise with our customers to ensure we are providing the best quality service and to the levels they expect. I’m a diesel mechanic by trade and worked for other crane companies few years ago, then left the industry. When the opportunity came up to work with Manitowoc, I grabbed it with both hands. It’s a great company to work for,” he said.

Customer support and service is the key focus for Carney. His role covers New South Wales, which involves looking after their technicians in Sydney and across the state. Their focus is to ensure that their customers are able to keep their cranes operating.

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“If we are providing the right levels of service and support, their cranes are operating, and their businesses continue to thrive with our products. Downtime on cranes can cost our customers a lot of money,” Carney said.

The Blacktown facility includes a large warehouse from which most of the parts are shipped. Other parts will be sent from the overseas factories in France, Germany and the US depending on the part needed.

Manitowoc keeps a large amount of stock in Blacktown – something that provides them with the ability to ensure that repairs are done quickly. They carry parts for both the Potain and Grove brands, as well as parts for their crawler products.

“Historically, we know what parts are in demand, and our inventory and stock holdings reflect this,” said Carney.

“In the case of a problem with ‘big ticket’ items, which we don’t have in stock, depending on the urgency of the part we will have it shipped via sea-freight, it can be air-freighted if it’s urgent,” he said.

“If there’s a crane down, we go into emergency mode and get the part as soon as possible.

“In terms of trouble shooting problems on our cranes, an error code is displayed on the instrument panel if there is an issue. We now provide our customers with a phone app which enables them to understand what the error code means. This enables them to determine if they are able to manage the issue to get the crane operational,” he said.

The “Manitowoc Diagnostic Code App” helps users diagnose technical issues with their cranes right on their phones. In the past, when cranes had technical issues, Manitowoc customers would struggle to interpret the diagnostic codes that would appear on the main display of the crane’s cab. Specialised technicians would have to be called to the job site with proprietary equipment, and any time spent waiting affected the project schedule.

Now, with this freely available smartphone app that instantly tells users what codes mean, crane owners can begin working on solutions immediately, boosting their uptime.

“We also have our service technicians on the phone talking to the customer to get the crane operational. If the issue can’t be fixed this way, we get our technical person out to site to fix the issue as soon as possible,” said Carney.

“There can be late nights and early mornings with our technicians on the phone to customers, we are all on call to ensure the customers gets the best possible service and support,” he said.

“Borger Cranes recently bought their second new GMK 6400 which is here in our workshop, it’s been ‘PDI’ed’ and its ready to go,” said Carney.

“As part of the new crane, they’ve opted to have a new hand rail system put on the boom. The system provides the riggers and the operators greater mobility when they are rigging up without the constraints of a harness and tether but still providing that same safety required when working at heights,” said Carney.

“These hand rails are bonded on with a product we have sourced from Sika, so we don’t have to make any structural changes to the boom. It’s a bonding and curing process we go through to actually mount the hand rails onto the boom and the glue provides a permanent fixture,” he said.

“It’s a product Sika has spent a lot of time researching and developing and it has a vast array of different applications and it’s a product that suits this application down to a tee,” said Carney.

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