Flexibility, versatility and customisation go a long way in any manufacturing venture. If a company is agile enough to handle the needs of its clients, that company will stay ahead of more rigid competitors.
“There is no one instrument that does it all,” says VEGA Australia managing director John Leadbetter.
This tenet is at the heart of VEGA Australia’s approach to business. Leadbetter, a 40-year industry veteran, firmly believes that a company has to have different technologies to suit different applications in a variety of locations.
Since 1984, VEGA Australia has provided instrumentation and measurement technology to businesses in Australia and around the world. From petrochemical and refining to environment and recycling, VEGA’s equipment works hard in a range of industries.
VEGA’s sensors ensure safety standards and hygiene requirements in the chemical and food industries; the offshore oil & gas and pharmaceutical industries employ VEGA measurement technology; VEGA instrumentation works within the operations of the paper industry as well as mining and metal processing; the energy sector uses VEGA level, switching and pressure instrumentation; and the ship and yachtbuilding industry is bolstered by VEGA tank measuring systems.
With such a disparate range of uses, Leadbetter says that the global clientele demands a scalable product range.
“We’re dealing with a number of industries globally, and there are a variety of applications our solutions have to suit,” he says.
“There’s no one solution to do everything, so you have different technologies to suit the variety of needs.”
Right now, many within the industry are under exaggerated time and financial constraints. For Leadbetter, this means no two customers are ever in the same boat – and that’s why a blanket approach doesn’t work.
“What we strive to do is make sure we solve the customer’s problem, whatever that may be, so that the next time they have a problem, they come back to us,” he says.
“We want repeat business, and you only get that by working closely with a customer to meet their specific needs.”
The VEGA approach, according to Leadbetter, is to sit down with a customer, understand exactly what they’re trying to achieve, and then come up with the perfect bespoke solution.
“And we like to offer alternatives,” he says.
“We can say here’s solution A, or solution B. They’ll both do the job, but each have advantages and disadvantages. We let the client decide.”
Leadbetter cites as an example the case of a mining company that contacted VEGA for a method of measuring levels of ore in its plant.
“We went through the process and gave them options, but then they told us they’d accepted different technology from another company,” he says.
“So we then kept in touch with them, and three months later they came back to us and said the other company’s technology hadn’t worked.”
In response, VEGA offered the miner references from other companies that had successfully employed the VEGA solutions. This convinced the miner of the VEGA solution’s viability, and the deal was done.
“They chose the other technology based on price, but their costs doubled because they bought twice. In the long run, it ended up costing them even more.”
Leadbetter says VEGA makes a point of discussing references and how the VEGA process works.
“If we come across an application we have no first-hand experience with, we ask our international partners. Somewhere in the world, someone may have already used it and can give us a reference,” he says.
“And we can then pass it on to the customer. If you go the extra yard, you get another happy customer.”
It’s become more evident in the last five years that businesses tend to make decisions on a product based on its long-term benefits rather than price considerations, a change Leadbetter says is overdue.
“You want peace of mind, and you should basically get a lifetime of good operation at no cost,” he says.
“If VEGA offers you a unit for $5000 and someone else offers you a unit for $2000, you need to look at the cost of ownership rather than the cost of purchase.”