Lars Möller, General Manager, Services, Al Shirawi Enterprises
I’m a Swedish national, 53 years old living in Dubai for the last 18 years. I have over 32 years’ experience in the heavy equipment and commercial business working for both world class equipment manufacturers as well as distributors in the Middle East and North Africa. 20 of these years I’ve been in senior after sales management roles covering service and spare parts.
I’ve got my mechanical engineering diploma in 1983 before doing 15 months military service as a vehicle maintenance officer. From there I moved to Volvo CE in Eskilstuna as order planner followed by various roles in purchasing and then regional sales manager for French Speaking Africa and Mining Trucks in CIS.
In 1997 I left Sweden and moved to Tunisia for two years. This move was in many ways a huge one for me. First, moving to a new country and a new continent. Secondly going from unit sales to after sales and thirdly, going from a manufacturer to a dealer. The advantage with this background is that I see aftersales as a business, not just nuts and bolts. In Tunisia I worked 2 years for the Volvo distributor and was mainly involved in developing their parts business, mainly through market based pricing leading to a 50% increase of sales in around 6 months.
1999 I moved with my family to Dubai and we’ve been here ever since.
My specialty is in turning around loss-making service operations and turn them into world-class, profitable service providers that helps drive sales of new units. Till date I’ve turned around 8 service operations with major positive contribution to customer perception and dealer net profit.
My first project was to turn around a service business that had been making losses for 18 out of 19 years. It took me about 18 months to break even, and that department has been profitable ever since. Since then. I’ve developed a very simple but effective 3-step plan on how to turn around workshops that is based on my hands on experience and not just theories.
Since the first successful project, I’ve added 7 to my list and found that the basic theories are valid. In order to be successful, staff engagement is extremely important. As a result I’ve developed a comprehensive staff assessment system and implemented various reward systems to ensure the staff works towards the same goals and they benefit from the results as well.
In Dubai, I’ve had the opportunity of also working for the Cummins importer followed by Freightliner and the Komatsu/JCB distributor. For the last 5 years I’m in charge of all aftersales activities for the Scania/CASE/Manitou and Still dealer. In addition we also have one of the largest bodyshop plus a workshop for electric motor rewinding as well as a service center for cryogenic tanks.
In the current, rather harsh business environment in the UAE, were blessed by being one of the few that are growing and employing more staff. By being humble and listening to our customers, we develop solutions and procedures that will make it easier for them to do business with us. All parties will gain from this.