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MBE: Building on a legacy

MBE’s Service & Maintenance Coordinator, Jake Hally, undertaking scheduled maintenance work on a client’s MBE Sprayer. Image: MBE.

Matthews Brothers Engineering takes pride in its after-sales support and maintenance services. Richard Bailey, General Manager and Design Manager explains how the company has taken great strides in this area over the past 12 months, as well as what customers can expect for the future.

For 100 years, Matthews Brothers Engineering (MBE) has taken its customers step by step along the way, throughout design, development and delivery of its premium road making machinery. As a result, its after-sales support and maintenance services were always a consistent presence. 

But now the Australian owned and operated company has placed a greater emphasis on ensuring that customers can quickly and easily receive the support they need across Australia.

Richard Bailey, MBE General Manager, Design Manager says that when he and Sally Rolfe, Sales and Operations, took on the mantle of running MBE in 2022, service and maintenance was a key area of interest that was highlighted for potential growth.

Prior to establishing dedicated staff and resources to this area of the business, Managing Director Paul Matthews was tasked with answering customer queries and requests regarding machinery maintenance, on top of running the company during the day.

“Historically, it was always Paul who would be there on the other side of the phone, answering calls for what seemed like 24-hours a day. You really can’t pay for that level of commitment,” Bailey says.

“When Paul stepped back, we identified that the support side was a bit of a gap for us. Our support and service were a bit more ad-hoc. The first step for us was to identify that and go ‘right, we really need to work on this’. Now it’s a great strength of ours, along with our Australian-made product.”

A big step for MBE was the allocation of a dedicated team member who would oversee service, maintenance and technical support, catering for issues from mechanical issues, right through to electrical, or even spare parts.

“He’s now a central conduit for coordinating all of that. He’s previously fitted out these vehicles and did that for the entirety of his apprenticeship, so he knows these vehicles inside and out,” Bailey says. 

“Having that single point of contact allows him to really build upon that knowledge. This has really become his bread and butter.”

Issues are usually coordinated within MBE’s experienced team to find the best possible solution for the issue at hand. 


 

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“We make sure that we stay in really close communication with the customer to see if it’s an issue that can be solved over the phone, or whether or not they might need to bring the machine into our shop for more works. Again, that can now all be coordinated through a single contact,” Bailey says.

MBE is also working to establish servicing schedules, enabling services and general maintenance to be applied to equipment before problems arise. 

Bailey describes these as “preventative works”.

“It’s about addressing potential issues, before they turn into an issue. It’s great to get that out of the way in the offseason to reduce downtime on site,” he says. 

Spare parts have also been a growing area of emphasis for MBE.

“The great thing is that it’s our own OEM componentry, so we don’t have to wait for an online order, bring it in from somewhere else and add to the waiting time. We can just take the parts off the shelf and they’re ready to go,” Bailey says. 

“It’s a really quick turnaround. If someone needs something very urgently, we can get it to them overnight to get them back up and running as soon as possible. That’s the essence of our service – that so much of our equipment is locally sourced.”

Training for customers when they receive MBE machinery is another aspect that the team is currently working on, with some clients who seeking additional training in how to optimise MBE machinery. 

These training sessions have also been an opportunity to receive feedback from operators.

“We’re sitting with the sprayer operators who might go ‘well we like this, but usually we’d do this’. It all ties back to getting active engagement and live feedback that we can use to refine our products even more,” Bailey says.

“This and the general servicing and maintenance are areas that we’re looking to financially invest in, not just put time into it. It’s something that we really want to grow, because we recognise how important it is. Our product is only ever as solid as the support that we can provide. We think it’s a big advantage that we can offer this to our customers.” 

This article was originally published in the April edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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