Suppliers should allow mine companies to trial equipment: survey

TRIALING a service or a product sample is the most important factor for African coal miners when choosing any new supplier, according to a new survey by Timetric’s Mining Intelligence Center (MIC).

Lou Caruana

In Timetric’s latest survey of over 100 managers at operating mines across Africa, respondents were asked to choose from seven factors that influence a decision when choosing a new supplier.

Timetric’s aim for this research was to identify the best formula for winning a new customer. The factors respondents were asked to evaluate ranged from “supplier having a trusted brand in the market” to “supplier being based locally”

For each factor, respondents had to provide a rating of between 1 and 10, with 1 being of very minor importance and 10 being critical.

The survey results have found that “a sample of the product or service to trial” is the dominant factor for the African miners. This is followed by “an on-site demonstration of the product or service” and “a supplier having a trusted brand in the market” in third place.

The results show how important it is for African miners to see products operating in the field, through demonstrations or product trials, over sourcing from a trusted brand.

Senior mining analyst Nez Guevara said: “Similar geological features can exist across many different mine sites and a particular commodity can be produced at multiple locations, but this does not mean a piece of equipment with a set configuration can be as effective in each scenario.

“The results here show having the ability to see and experience how certain products and equipment operate under specific conditions is an invaluable tool for miners.”

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