Customer service played role in Belson Steel's scrap handler fleet expansion
Marc Pozan, the owner and president of two scrap metal facilities near Chicago, had issues to resolve with his material handling machines as well as plans to upgrade his fleet - but he hadn't seen or heard from his local dealer in months.
"Service issues and a lack of responsiveness to my questions were the main reasons for looking elsewhere," said Pozan.
A family-run business for 60 years, Belson Steel Center Scrap Inc. is a 16-acre scrap metal yard in Bourbonnais, IL. The business is complimented by Chicago Heights Processing, a specialty scrap processing and recycling operation. Between the two facilities, Pozan maintains a fleet of eight scrap handlers. Part of his plan to maintain his production levels and to meet the ongoing requirements of his major customers was to upgrade his fleet. For that, Pozan decided, he would have to find someone new.
So he went shopping.
"I looked at different brands out there," he explains. "SENNEBOGEN has a good reputation and they are known in the scrap industry." More important, to Pozan, was the reputation of SENNEBOGEN's distributor in the Chicago area: Howell Tractor & Equipment. "SENNEBOGEN has great equipment, but without Howell's sales and mechanical service and their ownership team, I might not have gone with their machines. The people who own Howell have a great reputation for support."
After consulting with Howell's Area Sales Manager, Bill McNamara, Pozan placed his order for two SENNEBOGEN 835M purpose-built scrap handlers. "By the time I heard from the other sales representative, I had already purchased my SENNEBOGEN machines," he recalls. Since then, both the equipment and the dealer have lived up to Pozan's expectations.
Pozan's demands from his machines are fairly simple - to be up and running when he needs them, and to give him a long productive life. His focus is zeroed in on meeting the needs of his major customer, the nearby steel mill, without fail every day.
"The SENNEBOGEN machine is a very capable scrap handler, as well built as any," he says. "Scrap handlers today are all built for fuel efficiency, they're built lighter than the excavators we used to have. But if I could find one built to last like they were in the old days, I'd do that. Among the ones being built today, I'd say SENNEBOGEN is the premier machine."
The real difference favoring SENNEBOGEN, in his view, is the people behind the equipment. "Howell is ‘Johnny on the spot,'" says Pozan. "They are responsive to phone calls; they work well with my mechanics. You want to see salesmen that want to help you and help themselves - it's not a one-way street. In sales, it's about being the most you can be to your customer. From top to bottom, they are nice, smart, capable people."
In McNamara's estimation, Pozan will only become happier with his purchases as time goes on. "His first machine has 2000 hours on it and the newer one has 800 hours. He has service contracts on both machines, and they're under warranty, so he hasn't had to worry about maintenance or reliability so far. As the machines get older, though, he and his mechanics will come to appreciate the simplicity of SENNEBOGEN engineering, and how easy to service they are."
McNamara credits Pozan for his approach to ensuring a long productive life for their equipment. "Everyone talks preventive maintenance, but it's easy for technicians to overlook some of the inspection checks that should be part of every service interval. Mark really gets it. He has the vision to recognize the value of PM. We use a 22-point checklist for each service call, and they allow us to take the machines out of production long enough to complete the servicing properly. We do the walkarounds; make sure all the pins and bushings are getting grease and the grease lines are all connected. We give them the service reports and they pay attention."