With service and product support becoming increasingly critical to the efficiency and productivity of crane and equipment fleets, SuperService is taking its focus to another level.
Launching in 2017, SuperService has established itself as a dedicated heavy equipment servicing business undertaking major servicing, repairing and inspections of cranes, elevated work platforms and specialised handling equipment.
SuperService general manager, Jason Powter, leads the impressive team with passion and commitment for the industry. Having an extensive career in operations, manufacturing, quality control and heavy machinery industries, Powter believes customer service and having the right team is the key to successfully managing crane and equipment fleets.
“When I joined SuperService three years ago, my first objective was to grow a team of specialist mechanics capable of servicing a range of heavy machinery including cranes, elevated work platforms and materials handling equipment. We’ve been successful in building that team in our primary facility here in Brisbane and are now developing a similar approach to our depots in Sydney and Melbourne,” he said.
“Our strategic approach has largely been focused on delivering a niche team of mechanics and technicians who are diverse in experience to the broader market. We are prepared to expand our equipment portfolio to provide flexibility and longevity for our business so if one element of the market is quiet, we have other offerings to take to a customer. To date, we have not lost a customer, which I attribute to the capacity and commitment of our technicians to do good, quality work. Very rarely do you get a second chance in business, especially when it comes to the service and repair industry,” Powter said.
- Keeping pace with service demands
- Customer service and support: the key focus for Manitowoc
- Ben Baden Services putting the customer first
With its major focus on service, the business is attracting customers from different and unexpected industries, said Powter.
“SuperService can do everything from off-hire inspections, repairs and insurance work, through to major inspections and we can do this across our three core product ranges – cranes, ewps and materials handling. We have also branched into Ground Support Equipment (GSE) for airports and we’re currently working on our third cargo loader. Our customer is very happy with our service and we hope this opportunity could develop further along the east coast and into the other two branches,” he said.
According to Powter, the business doesn’t have a typical customer profile in mind, it caters to all sizes of business. He also confirms the experience within the team is a major point of difference for the business.
“Our customer profile consists of single crane operators right through to organisation with large fleets of equipment. These organisations know and trust our people thanks to relationships that have formed and been fostered over many years.
Powter said that their customers are very comfortable with the amount of knowledge that their team has about the equipment that they work on and trust the job will be done correctly.
“We recently appointed Tibor Nemeth as national operations manager, bringing a wealth of hands-on leadership and experience in national and international cranes and heavy equipment. Additionally, we have appointed Kerry Fullbrook as our national business development manager. He is very experienced and extremely well known through out the crane industry and if he hasn’t met someone while pre-delivering, training, selling or repairing their crane they probably haven’t been around very long. In addition, he is very well established, well-known, well-liked and respected. He travels throughout our major depot areas to let people know where he is and who he is working with and what we can deliver,” Powter said.
The SuperService team were chosen for their specific skillsets allowing them to work on equipment ranging from heavy diesel, prime movers, cranes, EWPs, heavy handling equipment and now airport ground support equipment and scrap metal equipment; hence their tagline “The heavy equipment specialists”.
“To ensure the business has longevity, we have made a commitment to employing and fostering apprentices. We want to grow and generate good skills across the business. It is really rewarding to see young people learning from seasoned professionals with decades of stories and experience to share. Every year we want to be putting on a first- or second-year apprentice to keep our succession plan strong,” Powter said.
The Brisbane facility is impressive boasting 1,000 sq m2 of undercover shed, four work bays and a fifth work bay with a 40-foot service pit and over head cranes to ensure strip downs and assemblies are relatively easy. In addition to the notable workshop facilities, Powter explained that the mobility of Superservice has been successful in attracting customers away from more traditional service providers like crane dealerships.
“Customer feedback clearly highlights our reactiveness as a major benefit. When they call, we jump to have somebody there as fast as possible. Whether it’s early morning, during the day, evening, night or weekends, we want to make sure their machines are back up and running as quickly as possible. We are aware their gear is their livelihood and machinery not in use is detrimental to their business. We are more than prepared to undertake work within customer’s facilities if needed, which provides a high level of transparency with the customer. They also get to meet the technician and form a relationship based on work ethic and trust. Quite often a customer will ask for a specific technician to work on their equipment. I’m proud of my team for being dedicated, highly skilled and most importantly, likeable,” Powter said.
He went on to explain that in this industry, where they don’t have a product alignment, they are labour critical, which means that their key revenue is having happy customers.
“Repeat work with our technicians doing what they do best is the ingredients for success. When we see a good technician become available, we will take them on board and generally find customers start calling to ask if he can come down and repair their crane. The quality of the technician is what the customer wants to see,” Powter said.
Powter and his team’s passion and professionalism have all it takes to make SuperService a national success. He explained how he plans to replicate this in the interstate facilities as the business and brand grows.
“The Brisbane operation is our piece of clay and we are developing this depot to have the right software in place to manage the customer’s fleet. We have put in service alerts, so everything is at the fingertips of both us and the customer if they request it.
“Everything we do successfully here we will slowly roll out in the other states, where we’ve got some very committed colleagues who are just as passionate about making this business successful,” he said.
“The more people we have contributing to the common goal the better the business will become. The incentive is for the established guys to work hard and possibly move into a leadership type role, or a coordinators role, and grow with the business. It’s about understanding people, what they really want to do and what contribution they want to make. We understand it’s not your standard type of work, you’ve got to be prepared to take the phone calls early or late, deal with an unhappy customer who has just had a breakdown and wants someone there two hours ago. To have the right business culture you need the right people to make it a success,” Powter said.
Powter goes on to explain how the business provides mobile service capabilities.
“The key to our mobile service is the way the vans are fitted out; they are as good as you will see anywhere. Recently, we undertook a 10-year inspection on a 50t crane on the customer’s site out of the back of one of our service vehicles. Anyone will tell you what a massive effort this took from our technician, but the vans are set out in a way that they can get onto mine sites or Tier One building sites and the technician is confident he has everything he needs at his fingertips. The technicians take a lot of pride in their tooling, they spend a lot time with them and we get a good result from them,” he said.
Powter explained the SuperService business plan is ahead of where it was expected it to be.
“We are ahead in our growth timeline allowing us to accelerate our growth sooner than expected. By the end of 2020, we see ourselves replicating this Brisbane facility in the other states. The biggest issue we see is the shortage of tradespeople across Australia. However we have strategies to address this.
“We have ambitious plans for the business, and we won’t shy away from that. If you don’t have a goal you will never get there. As we grow, we’ll expand our footprint and we want to do this in every state. We want to provide full turn-key services from start to finish and it will be a long haul to get there, but we believe we’ve got the passion and the expertise to do it,” Powter said.