October 31, 2016

TECHNICAL SERVICE MANAGER: WHAT’S A DAY IN THE LIFE LOOK LIKE?

By: Cesar Fernandez Garrasino, MV

My role as technical service manager for Latin America is different each day. That’s because my responsibilities include providing technical support to our AFB sales teams and their customers on everything from pet food formulation and production to quality control and regulatory issues for the Latin America region. My home base is our Argentina facility in Buenos Aires, but about 50% of my time is spent traveling to assist our customers throughout Latin America. Recently my work has taken me to Chile, Peru, Columbia and Mexico.

CUSTOMER ADVOCATE


Despite economic challenges, the Latin America pet market enjoys ongoing growth, and pet food manufacturers continue to expand operations throughout the region. As a result, I have many opportunities to help our customers either directly or through our sales team. Often, I get a call one day and am on a plane to visit the customer the next. 

A few areas in which I consult with our customers both in person and remotely include:

  • Regulatory compliance, which requires special expertise and ongoing research, because each country is really like a different world with unique and changing requirements. I advise customers, as well as assist them with the documentation required by governments. I also assist with product translations and labeling.
  • Product formulation, to ensure the best results within the parameters of the production plant and import/export restrictions.
  • Palatant and pet food production, identifying the best approach for a given product formulation, plus troubleshooting in real time in the plant.
  • Quality control, to ensure results are as projected and required.


I also provide these functions for our AFB Argentine palatant production plant, working with our quality team and supply chain. When I travel, I stay in constant communication with these colleagues to be sure production is on schedule and meeting the ever-growing needs of our customers.

SUCCESS STORY


After 25 years in the pet food industry—10 of those with AFB—what I still enjoy most is achieving a successful solution for a customer and seeing the tangible results over time. For example, soon after I moved into my role as AFB Latin America technical service manager in 2010, I assisted an important pet food producer with a cat kibble issue. After reviewing both the formulation and production process, I was able to determine texture was the problem. I recommended a change in the production process to remedy the issue, which changed the kibble texture to one more enticing to cats. In the years since, the food has grown substantially in market share and the company has increased its production by more than 50%.

READY TO ASSIST


To learn more about how AFB’s technical support capabilities around the world can help you achieve success, contact me at cgarrasino@afbinternational.com.br or connect with your local AFB representative

 

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