How to provide a fuller service
One aspect of the supply chain is often overlooked: providing the client with appropriate training in how to use equipment correctly. But this, says supplier U Mole, is where it excels.No matter how good or what the capabilities of the equipment might be in the field, it is only as good as the operator working it.
This, says trenchless technology supplier U Mole, is where its commitment to customers and product lines comes to the fore.
No matter whether the equipment is as simple as a coiled cable trailer or as sophisticated as a small boring unit, the company says it strives to ensure all clients have access to appropriate training in the correct operation and handling of each unit.
This, it says, is achieved by ensuring the company's own workforce and sales teams are fully conversant with the technology themselves.
U Mole invests in its own personnel training and product certification so that full familiarisation training can be given to clients and their operations teams.
U Mole has had its support staff trained by its OEM suppliers in Germany, the US and across the UK to ensure that, when they are working with clients, all aspects of a unit's operation can be covered. This ranges from basic operating instructions to the most detailed aspects of health and safety at work using the machine.
A recent example was the training of the Hammerhead Mole Servicing team at Electro-Services. Tom Johnson and Andy Saunders, Electro-Services fitters based at the Pulloxhill head office in Bedfordshire, were trained by U Mole's Matt Russum on the maintenance regime for Hammerhead Mole units.
Unlike some other types of moling equipment available on the market, Hammerhead Moles require no specialist tools or solvent cleaners/adhesives to complete routine service. As such, all Hammerhead moles can be fully serviced in either the workshop or on site by fitters - without the need to return them to the OEM. This is something which Electro Services found expensive with other manufacturers equipment.
The Electro-Services training took place earlier this year with both participants successfully completing the course and passing a 40-question assessment test.
As well as training on its installation and replacement equipment, U Mole also provides training for its support equipment.
Recently, training in the use and application of coil pipe trailers took place with client J Murphy & Sons over five days at various local Midlands depots operated by the company.
On-site training, with the use of both audio-visual aids in the classroom and hands-on training with the trailers themselves was undertaken by 141 of Murphy's staff from Coalville, Birmingham, Kettering, Scunthorpe and Dinnington.
The training sessions for Murphy covered both 125 and 180 trailer models. And they included all safety aspects of using the trailers, checking the trailer was is good order prior to loading, loading pipe onto the trailers and making sure the pipe was secured for transportation.
Murphy issued the trained staff its own certificate of training once they completed the course.
U Mole can also "train the trainers". This was the case when U Mole's Frank Gowdy and Frank Bucknall took a one-day training course with pipe manufacturer Uponor at its Blackwell site near Alfreton.
Uponor is a certified training company that instructs client companies in the use and application of pipe systems.
Uponor has started to include in its training course all aspects of handling pipe with pipe coil trailers. As a major provider of pipe coil trailers in the UK plastic pipe market, U Mole was engaged by Uponor to ensure that its own training staff are competent in the handling and use of coil trailers so that they in turn could pass this information on to their own pipe purchasing clients.
Aspects such as health and safety of operators, safety features of the pipe coil trailers themselves, the correct loading and securing procedures were covered in the one day.
Commenting for U Mole, Russell Fairhurst, managing director says: "It has always been the company philosophy that simply supplying equipment was not enough.
"Our equipment in the hands of the insufficiently trained could at best be very inefficient and at worst dangerous for both those working the site and passers-by.
"We offer full training on all our product range no mater how simple the unit may seem. Backing up our company's product line, we have over two decades of experience from which we have gained an intimate knowledge of the safest, most efficient and cost-effective way in which to operate our equipment."