News | 06/24/2024 Keeping the team on track

Life on a mine site is non-stop. Most sites operate 12 or even 24 hours a day, with machines and personnel working as hard as they can to move as much material in a shift as possible. So when machines need to be maintained, repaired, or even built for the first time, it is important that all of the necessary parts are exactly where they need to be. This is why our workshop logistics coordinators, like Cindi Patroni of Liebherr-Australia, are invaluable.

Cindi Patroni (left) inspecting parts at Liebherr-Australia’s Mackay workshop in Queensland.

A typical day in the life of a workshop logistics coordinator can be summarised in one word: busy! Patroni must keep track of everything moving in and out of Liebherr-Australia’s Mackay workshop. Her role is based around parts supply and inventory for all jobs in Queensland, including the modular maintenance program. All these parts need to be properly tracked, categorised, and fitted. Plus, if the parts can’t be fitted immediately, they then need to be catalogued with custom-made manuals so that field and service can finalise the fitting for the customer on site.

And that’s when things are going well!

“Sometimes, despite everyone’s best efforts, things can go wrong. There can be unforeseen delays or mix-ups of ordered items. It is my job to work with key stakeholders to follow up on these and fix any issues as soon as possible,” says Patroni.

But teamwork can help overcome these challenges. Patroni works closely with the parts team, customer support team, leading hand, fitters, and workshop supervisor to advocate for solutions to keep jobs moving forward and meet the deadline.

“In the workshop, using the team’s combined expertise can help us out of a sticky situation,” explains Patroni. “We recently needed to overcome an error within our documentation system that was causing confusion with a part we received to complete a maintenance job. Working with the customer service team, we were able to clarify the issue and provide a solution back to the documentation team so the error could be resolved.”

Field experience

Before joining the Liebherr-Australia team, Patroni and her husband worked the family cane and cattle farm for 18 years, all while raising their three sons.

“My husband and I bought the farm together and, over the years, it has been a joint effort sharing responsibilities,” says Patroni.

There are so many things to consider when working a farm: making sure the cane crops are sprayed at the right time to beat the wind and the weather, checking cattle stock during calving season, adapting fertilising processes for the wet years, and coordinating the tractors and haul-out trucks during crushing season. Cindi’s many years of handling the complexities of farm life is what helped her to successfully navigate the fast pace of the Mackay workshop. In fact, it was Patroni’s ability to take her skills from the farm, as well as those from her background in business administration, that drew her to working for Liebherr in the first place.

“I first joined Liebherr in 2020 as a parts interpreter,” explains Patroni. “My role involved problem solving, helping customers with general inquiries, orders, weekly reports, and handling any unexpected machine downtime.”

After 12 months in that role, Patroni moved into the parts administrator position where she was able to use her experience to become more involved in the logistics side of problem solving – organising freight and liaising with the parts interpreters and the service exchange team.

“My first question to any customer or colleague is ‘how can I help?’,” says Patroni. “This is what led to me take on my current role as our workshop logistics coordinator, so I can help bridge the gap between the workshop and the parts and warehouse departments.”

Better together

In her four years of working for Liebherr-Australia, Patroni says that the people she works with are her favourite thing about her time with the company.

“In my role, I have had endless opportunities to work with a diverse group of people from various departments,” she says. “I’m excited to see what our team will achieve in the coming years.”


Swann Blaise

General Manager Marketing

Liebherr Mining Equipment Newport News Co.

4100 Chestnut Ave.

Newport News, VA 23607