BSC’s Russell Randal and Collier & Miller’s Mark Stewart have shared a business relationship for nearly 16 years; that is since Mark joined Collier & Miller – a Griffith-based agricultural engineering and retail business senior staff member. But even prior to that, BSC had been serving as a trusted supplier of specialty and consumable industrial products to Collier & Miller for over two decades.
“We’ve known each other since we were all fresh-faced and now, we both have grey hairs and some wrinkles,” says Russell, who currently serves as BSC’s National Account Manager – Agriculture following decades of experience in industrial and agricultural equipment sales at BSC’s Wagga Wagga branch.
Collier & Miller’s services are varied, extending beyond wholesale supplies of industrial products to the regional industries to include engineering services and production of agricultural and industrial machinery at the Collier & Miller manufacturing facility in Griffith.
Mark says Collier & Miller have been a loyal customer, purchasing Carlisle belts for the past 40 years, while the American brand has gone through name changes from Dayco to Carlisle Belts and more recently to ‘Carlisle Belts by Timken’ after the Carlisle Belts business was purchased by the Timken company back in 2015.
“Our customers have been very happy with the reliability and the cost effectiveness of the Carlisle belts. Why else would we still be selling them after 40 years?” asks Mark.
In this edition of Partners in Motion, Russell and Mark talk about the long-standing partnership between BSC Wagga Wagga and Collier & Miller, touching on how the relationship has grown over the years.
Q: Can you please give an overview of the business relationship between Collier & Miller and BSC?
Russell: Collier & Miller is one of BSC’s largest distributors of industrial parts and products in New South Wales. Apart from being a very good distributor, Collier & Miller also manufacture implements like laser buckets, cotton trailers and chicken sheds at their manufacturing facility. They also manufacture quality chains for the agricultural market that are distributed nationally through BSC’s network. What I like about working with Collier & Miller is that, like BSC, they also have employees who have decades of experience in the industry. So, when we have a conversation about any product order or technical specifications for a new product, we can share our experience and understand and assist each other very well.
Mark: At Collier & Miller, we stock over 38,000 items, which we supply not only to wheat, barley, canola, cotton and rice producers in the agricultural sector, but also to nut (almond and walnut) farms, over 13 local wineries, citrus farms, poultry farms and beef producers. We also take pride in our design and manufacture process, with our engineering department manufacturing all types of machinery, which we supply all over Australia and overseas.
BSC plays a big role in supplying a large portion of the bearings, seals, industrial and agricultural belts and header parts, not only for our own stock but also for our in-house manufactured machines. The BSC team at Wagga Wagga helps us by sourcing special items that need to be sourced nationally and from overseas. The range of products we source from BSC has grown over the years and along with it, the relationship. The team at BSC is very helpful and ready to help us out whenever we need it.
Q: How long has Collier & Miller been supplying the Carlisle belts by Timken and what is the feedback from your customers?
Mark: We have been selling these belts for the past 40 years. The brand name has changed over these years, but the belts’ reputation and reliability has remained consistent. We recommend the Carlisle belts to our customers as good aftermarket belts and a cost-effective alternative for the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) belts. The price is spot on for our customers and the quality meets ours and our customers’ expectations for quality and reliability. We have never had any issues or troubles with them. If, on rare occasions, there was any problem and we did have a warranty, they would cover it straight away without any hassle.
Q: Which Carlisle belts do you use mostly in your in-house manufacturing?
Mark: We often use the Carlisle Blue Label v-belts or the Super II v-belts with our hydraulic pumps and motors. The Carlisle Super Ag-Drive belts perform particularly well in high-wear applications such as in headers and other in-field agricultural machinery. Harvesting products like wheat, barley, canola and the like need hard-wearing belts used in the headers. The Super Ag-Drive belts are perfect for such applications.
Q: How do you help your customers with belt selection?
Mark: We generally use the Drive Engineer® program from Carlisle belts by Timken for designing new drive systems. Drive Engineer is a very handy tool designed by Timken Belts engineers for calculating the number and types of belts required for each application. We simply input the required information and the software generates the report, down to the part number and even the service factor.
We also work closely with the BSC Wagga Wagga team and if we have any technical questions, we simply call them for consultation. Both ours and the BSC team have many years of experience with industrial belts and through our understanding of the customers’ applications, we can recommend the most suitable belts. Sometimes, our customers ask for a certain belt, but by asking about their specific application, we might recommend a higher performance belt that would give them more cost savings in the long run. And then, when our customer comes in the next time asking for the same belt, we know they were happy with it.
Q: Any last words?
Mark: Our relationship with BSC Wagga Wagga is an on-going and two-sided partnership, with both of our teams helping each other and working together to support the customers. We appreciate the quick response from the BSC team whenever we have any technical queries or if any of our customers have an urgent requirement for a product. In turn, we also help them whenever they need it.
Russell: After over 20 years, our relationship with the team at Collier & Miller is more of a friendship than a business partnership. They know that they can reach us any time if they need advice on any product or if they have an urgent requirement for a product. Our long-term relationship with suppliers like Carlisle belts by Timken allows us to source any product that Collier & Miller’s customers might require and we are happy to be able to support the dynamic regional agricultural sector in Griffith along with them.