‘It’s an adventure every time’
In the 8 years Alex Lanser has been with Royal IHC, he has visited 28 countries around the world to help customers get the most out of their dredging equipment. He provides training on operations and maintenance. “I have worked at a dredging company for over 36 years,” he explains. “Now I am putting that experience to good use by teaching others all about dredging. I love the job: it is a great adventure.”
The dredging project at the Santo Antônio Dam, located at the edge of the Amazon in Brazil, is one of the locations Alex has worked. “It is an extensive site and a big project. Our customer had a tight schedule to get the job done, but the people that were employed to carry out the dredging had hardly any experience. So that is where I come in.”
Alex has been to the project site at the Madeira River in Brazil many times. “In total, I have spent around 6 months there,” he says. “On my first visit, I arrived right after the dredgers. My approach was to start operations myself and demonstrate how to work the machines. After a while, I’d hand over the controls and give the operators instructions on how to work more efficiently. I trained approximately 24 people in both dredging and maintenance, but it is also very much a hands-on job.”
In such remote places – and in extreme conditions – unexpected things can happen. “Whenever a technical problem occurs, I do whatever I can to find a solution,” says Alex. “The great thing about working at IHC is that our products are supported by the entire organisation. Whenever I have a problem abroad, I can always count on our team of specialists. There is always someone who can talk me through the process of fixing things.”
In addition to providing training and ensuring that targets can be achieved, Alex also advises the management on dredging plans, methods to increase production, and other matters such as ordering spare parts and the correct equipment.
“In the end, our goal is to keep the customer happy,” Alex concludes. “They’ve bought relatively expensive vessels, so we have to make sure they meet – and exceed – their expectations. The fact that the customer has asked me to return several times shows that they were pleased with the results of our training, advice and help. We have given them the know-how and the tools to achieve their goals and the project has progressed according to plan.”