Our latest interview with a member of the Total Lubmarine family takes us to Italy where we meet Monza-based International Marine Key Account Manager Francesco Tealdo.
Francesco highlights his love for adding value to the customer experience and when he is not working, his passion for motorsport.
Q) Tell us how you came to be working in your current role as International Marine Key Account Manager for Total Lubmarine
I started working with Total in 2000, as an area manager for the automotive side of the business and prior to that had worked in the lubricants sector.
I’ve always been based in Italy and in 2009 joined the Lubmarine team as a Marine Manager. I have since progressed through to my current role which has seen me take on more of a strategic approach as well as direct customer liaison, coordinating and working with a team covering Italy, Monaco, Switzerland, Croatia, Slovenia, Monte Negro and Malta.
The role is a lot different to the pure sales roles I previously had where you are out in the field working your own territory and I love that I am now working with a great team covering a large territory.
Q) What do you love about the job and the role you have?
For me it is all about how we add value for our customers and a big part of that is the human difference we can bring. I think it’s really important to take a people-first approach and this is certainly what I try to do myself, with the team here and with our customers. This is where I feel we can really add value to our customers’ experience and support their business needs. It is in our approach to how we work with customers that I believe sets us apart.
In terms of the range of products we offer, they are of course high quality and ever evolving through our innovation. Add the human factor to this and I feel it is this combination that helps Total stands out. Through the good relationships with our customers we develop a level of trust and interaction that is more than about products.
I really enjoy the direct contact we have with our customers. We work hard to find the best solutions for our customers, and as part of that, dynamic response is vitally important. We are proactive and passionate about what we do.
Q) Can you tell us about the types of customers you are working with?
We enjoy working with a wide mix of operators across our region – from some of the world’s largest tanker companies through to leading global RO RO operators right through to a lot of small and medium sized vessel operators. Within those organisations we are liaising with Procurement team, Fleet Managers, Technical Directors and technical teams.
For me it is important that we involve the customers’ technical teams in our discussions. Not only are we providing them with high quality products and services, it is the level of technical support, expertise and collaboration we bring that can really make a difference to our customers business. An example of this is the interpretation of the reports from our Marine Lubricant Engineers following drain oil analysis. They really bring added insight and value for our customers, over and above us offering technical data analysis and reporting. This approach has seen us grow accounts from small numbers of vessels initially to 100+ vessel fleets. I believe this is a reflection of us being much more than a lubricant manufacturer.
Q) How has your role changed as a result of Covid-19?
Before Covid-19 I would travel a lot and keep in personal touch with our customers across our territory. This has been the single biggest impact of Covid-19 in terms of being prevented from doing this.
Thankfully we do have technology in place now and we can at least have those face-to-face meetings – just online. For me it’s not ideal but at least we have been able to have this as an alternative to ensure business continuity. As a result we have been able to maintain what we do for our customers and have been able to work flexibly around Covid-19 to keep delivering our solutions-based approach. It has certainly seen an evolution in the way we can do business!
Q) What has been some of the issues you have seen in the market this year?
There was quite a lot of confusion in the early stages post-IMO2020. The focus had clearly been on the impact of the fuel as part of the transition to IMO2020 and that was certainly our experience of that.
Lubricants were not an initial focus and this was a challenge for us. We were encouraging customers to look at the potential impact that the switch to low sulphur fuels may have had on lubricant performance and engine condition as a result. What was great for us was that we were able to provide them with a proven lubrication solution in TALUSIA UNIVERSAL.
The performance of the product is amazing; it is proven, has been re-classified through OEM NOL’s and provides not only a practical solution, but a technical one across all 2020 compliant fuels. A single cylinder oil solution makes lubrication management a lot simpler for our customers and it is great for us to be able to offer this to them.
Q) What do you like to do in your social time?
I like to keep fit and active and run regularly. I also like martial arts – in particular Jeet Kune Do.
But my real social passion – especially as I am Italian and live in Monza is motor sport and cars in general. I am a big fan of both F1 and Moto GP. My passion is my Mercedes SLK Spyder – which I think is one of the most beautiful cars ever built and I love taking the car out at weekends and simply driving through some of the beautiful landscapes we have.