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Why coffee roaster manufacturers need to provide global support services

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For a roaster of any size, when the time comes, buying a new machine is one of the most important decisions they can make. Different types and brands of machines will have a huge impact on how coffee is roasted, as well as how the roastery may need to operate.

Additionally, as investing in a new machine is a sizeable purchase, it’s imperative that roasters receive the right level of assistance and advice from manufacturers. But not only that, ongoing support – whether online or in-person – is also essential for roasters to get the best long-term results from their machines.

To learn more, I spoke with Fantuzzi Federico, sales department and service supervisor at IMF Roasters

You may also like our article on how to know when it’s time to upgrade to a new roaster.

Professionals assess equipment at a roasting facility.Professionals assess equipment at a roasting facility.

Common challenges after buying a new roaster

The machine is at the heart of any roastery – playing an essential role in how the business operates and having a huge impact on coffee quality. So before investing in a new machine, roasters must consider which type – whether gas or electric, drum or fluid bed, for example – would best suit their needs.

Once this decision is made, the simple act of purchasing a roaster is relatively easy. The logistics of transporting and installing a new roaster, however, require a lot of more thought and planning.

To facilitate the process as much as possible, machine manufacturers can assist roasters to make sure their new machine is suitable for their business, and more importantly, that it is installed correctly.

“Buying a new machine is always a challenge in terms of available space, utilities, and power supply,” Fantuzzi says. “IMF supports its customers with all the necessary information to properly install their new machines, as well as the necessary utilities – such as air compressors, chimneys, and electrical requirements.”

Adjusting to a new machine

Switching to using a new roaster – whether it’s a brand or a model you’re familiar with or not – takes some time to adjust. For example, buttons and switches may be located in other places, and the size, speed, and rate at which it operates might be different to your previous machine. 

In turn, without taking enough time to test out your new machine, the likelihood of making mistakes could increase. For any roaster, this could mean potentially losing both time and money. 

Naturally, avoiding these issues is incredibly important, so it’s imperative that roaster manufacturers provide their customers with as much support as possible in these early stages. 

IMF offers many services, including support with developing roast profiles, access to lab equipment, and training for roasters,” Fantuzzi says. “We also work with expert independent trainers according to different services that businesses need.”

With any new machine comes a big learning curve. During that time, this will inevitably impact the quality of the coffee, so machine manufacturers should endeavour to support roasters to maintain consistency and quality throughout the transition period.

Two coffee roasters discuss procedures at a coffee roastery.Two coffee roasters discuss procedures at a coffee roastery.

Why roasters need ongoing support when buying a new machine – and afterwards

While some purchasing relationships cease after the sale ends, it’s fair to say that most roasters require an ongoing partnership with their machine manufacturers. 

As coffee roasters are intricate machines, malfunctions are sometimes unavoidable. And this is especially true when the owner is operating a new machine, who may not always know how to resolve or troubleshoot these issues in the most effective ways.

“Customers can have different levels of experience with machines, so they will need different levels of support and guidance for carrying out maintenance,” Fantuzzi says. For instance, he explains that when purchasing an IMF roaster, you have the option to receive either local support services or support from the head office service team – depending on your preferences.

The first few weeks of operating a new machine are especially important. The owner needs to learn and understand the various nuances of their roaster, as well as how to best take care of and maintain it. 

“Roasters are machines with moving parts that require regular maintenance and cleaning,” Fantuzzi explains. “You need to clean some components more than others, such as fans and filters, while you will need to grease or replace others due to wear and tear.” 

With continuous guidance from manufacturers, roasters can make sure they stay on top of machine maintenance – and keep selling high-quality coffee to their customers.

A coffee roaster inspects a screen attached to an IMF roaster.A coffee roaster inspects a screen attached to an IMF roaster.

What kind of support do roasters need?

There are many roaster manufacturers in the coffee industry. However, the ones that offer quality customer support right from the beginning stand out for several reasons.

IMF provides detailed datasheets on its machines, as well as drawings and instructions for installing certain pieces of equipment,” Fantuzzi tells me. “In addition to checking the entire roasting space, our expert technical officers also assess the space where the roaster will be installed to make sure it will fit.”

Any manufacturer should want their machines to yield the best results possible for their customers. But the more support they can provide (especially on a long term basis), the more likely it is that their customers will see higher levels of success and satisfaction with their new machines.

“The roaster is the heart of the process, so if it stops, production will also stop – and it’s crucial to provide immediate support,” Fantuzzi says. Longer delays or unavailable support teams can diminish customer satisfaction very quickly, so the more efficient a manufacturer can be with providing support services, the more loyalty they can build with their customers.

Moreover, roaster manufacturers should invest in training new owners on how to best use their machines so they can minimise any common issues from the start. 

“IMF’s specialised personnel trains customers to carry out maintenance to best prepare them in case of future emergency issues,” Fantuzzi explains.

When an issue arises for a roaster, immediate assistance is necessary to ensure they can fulfill orders on time. To deal with these instances, machine manufacturers can provide a 24/7 online and video or phone call support service.

Online and in-person support

Without providing support, hours could pass between when an issue occurs and when a solution can be put in place – meaning orders become backed up and production grinds to a halt. 

“Most of the service requests that come in can generally be solved remotely the same day,” Fantuzzi says.

In cases when on-site support is needed, machine manufacturers should have a plan in place to send out a technician as soon as possible. Whether they are internal employees or trusted independent consultants, in-person support can be vital in certain situations.

Ultimately, providing both in-person and 24/7 online support ensures that machine manufacturers are catering to the needs of their customers around the world. Being readily available to assist customers – no matter where they are located – is a vital aspect of developing a healthy manufacturer-client relationship. 

“Providing global support services ensures the customer feels like they are in safe hands – whether they are in Australia, Europe, or anywhere else in the world,” Fantuzzi concludes.

A professional points to roasting data on an electronic screen.A professional points to roasting data on an electronic screen.

Buying a new roaster for your business is a huge decision. But your choice shouldn’t just stop with the machine itself. Taking into account what kind of support services different manufacturers provide in both the short and long term is also a key factor.

In the end, with access to these services, coffee quality will be more consistent and your operations will run more smoothly.

Enjoyed this? Then read our article on how roasters store and transport roasted coffee safely and effectively.

Photo credits: IMF Roasters

Perfect Daily Grind

Please note: IMF Roasters is a sponsor of Perfect Daily Grind.

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