Customer Care Planning is key to optimum operations at Dulux Merrifield
Our client is Dulux, a well-established decorative paint manufacturer. For the purposes of this case study, we are referring to their Merrifield site in Victoria which is their largest Australian site. Products manufactured here are water-based paints, differentiating them from their other sites that manufacture oil-based paints and powders. These products are manufactured for national distribution through their wholesale network for commercial sale to trade and the general public.
In establishing Dulux Merrifield in 2017, the company was looking for a compressed air turnkey solution that included the supply and installation of compressors, along with a maintenance package to cover the solution, in a 24-month contract. Merrifield is a high-volume site, so they wanted security and peace of mind around knowing they had the right solutions, and equipment that was being appropriately and efficiently maintained throughout its life cycle. This made them a perfect candidate for a Customer Care Plan.
“If there’s a problem, we know Sullair are committed to resolving it and working with us to get to the bottom of it.”
A service agreement was developed that detailed all relevant equipment including compressors and dryers, an outline of the full scope of work and when each element of it would fall due, as well as the type of service and what specifics would be included. The plan also outlined the pricing structure over the 24-month period and transparency of service was discussed so the customer could make an informed decision. This process is followed in the development of all Customer Care Plans, with a focus on a customisation to the client’s site, equipment, and ongoing requirements – for example site changes or increased or decreased production hours.
“Dulux’s Customer Care Plan commenced in 2017 when the site first opened, renewing every two years consecutively”, explains Shael Esler, Sullair Australia’s National Service Business Manager. “Sullair’s scheduling team is in regular communication with Dulux’s maintenance team to ensure that servicing is completed at the correct intervals. This gives the customer peace of mind that technicians are attending sites regularly and works are completed in line with their agreed pricing structure.”
The nature of a high-volume site such as Merrifield is that in the event of a breakdown, a response is required straight away. This can have a significant impact on production schedules and operational expenditure. Emil Govic is Maintenance Leader at Dulux Merrifield and worked closely with Sullair in development of their Customer Care Plan. “From a maintenance point of view, our compressors are extremely important. For us it was about implementing a plan and having a reliable service schedule that we maintain and keep to religiously.”
To take a proactive (as opposed to reactive) position, Dulux’s agreement is reviewed and renewed every 2 years. The Customer Care agreement gives them an understanding of what’s required for the optimum maintenance and servicing of their compressor solutions, so they can manage their facility proactively all year round.
The security around services being done at the correct interval, under budgeted pricing cannot be underestimated and this is why Dulux Merrifield values their partnership with Sullair so highly. Sticking to the plan is also a key part of its success. “If there’s a problem, we know Sullair are committed to resolving it and working with us to get to the bottom of it”, explains Govic. There are numerous benefits to preventative maintenance and Customer Care Plans are a key component. “With a turnkey solution such as this one, it’s essential a comprehensive plan is in place, revisited every two years, then adjusted as needed for renewal”, Shael Esler explains. “Dulux Merrifield can now have care in place for the lifetime of their equipment”. Customer Care Plans make sure not only that everything continues to get the same maintenance, based on need across its lifetime, but that the maintenance team can rest easy, knowing the facility’s equipment is taken care of.