AFT has a team approach to support customers: each customer has an assigned team of people to address their needs, including:
With customers around the globe, AFT's sales terms are regionally focused in order to respect local needs. Below is a list of our standard terms with a link to each pdf document:
Alicia Figueira joined AFT as a Technology Specialist in our Global Technology Group. In this role, Alicia is working across AFT’s different businesses and applying her advanced technical knowledge to develop and improve the tools available for our global applications and sales teams.
Tell us about your background and personal interests
I grew up in the suburbs of Vancouver, Canada and graduated with both a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of British Columbia. After graduating, I worked for a company that makes test equipment for fuel cells before coming to work for AFT.
In addition to my technical background, I competed nationally as a synchronized swimmer for 13 years and was on the provincial BC team for several of those years. I also enjoy road cycling and mountain biking.
How do you see yourself making a difference at AFT?
As Technology Specialist, my focus covers three distinct functions: I am working across AFT’s global organization to combine business and scientific data in a way that makes our production more efficient. I am supporting AFT’s ongoing research and development projects in screening and refining. I am also streamlining and creating better applications tools for our global sales teams. The combination of in-depth technical studies and broad understanding of our products and services gives me a great opportunity to help grow AFT’s businesses.
Tell us how synchronized swimming prepared you for teamwork at AFT.
There are many similarities between being on a sports team and being part of a company team. Every member plays a key role. Whether you are all doing the same thing or contributing in a unique way, everything falls apart when someone misses the mark so following through with commitments is a must. Achieving goals requires peak performance from each of us - in synch with others.
In support of growing opportunities in the Russian marketplace, AFT recently opened a sales office in St. Petersburg. According to Risto Weckroth, AFT Vice President, European Sales, "A fully dedicated and experienced team is now in place to support existing business and new projects. We see a bright future in Russia, supported by the full network of AFT experts globally."
An interview with the Russian team follows.
How is AFT positioned to grow steadily in Russia?
Roman Smorgunov: Mill management expects technical knowledge in pulping and papermaking, as well as an understanding of the Russian marketplace. AFT matches both needs with experienced engineers and business professionals. Often we help mills achieve big gains from existing equipment. A world of know-how is available to support Russian teams meeting global standards for quality.
Julia Babenko: AFT is not only about supplying capital equipment and spare parts. Thanks to decades of collective experience in the Russian and CIS markets, we offer customers comprehensive support and assistance in delivery issues, and advice on completing formalities and procedures. We provide full follow-up of our deliveries, making sure that our goods are used to their fullest efficiency. We always suggest options for improvement – that’s what helps customers gain maximum benefit from AFT equipment.
What are the top priorities for 2019?
Sergei Korostelev: Reducing energy costs and increasing the quality of fiber are top priorities. High strength solutions for lower basis weights grades are also a high priority for papermakers.
Roman Smorgunov: We simplify processes, helping to achieve greater stability and flexibility. Our POM compact stock preparation is ideal for high efficiency at lower cost. Continuous improvement happens when operators have more time, because of fewer maintenance concerns.
What should customers and prospects expect from AFT?
Roman Smorgunov: AFT is about big results from modest investments and larger scale projects. Our Finebar plates typically deliver financial gains through higher productivity, better quality and energy savings. Screens and screening systems lower energy and maintenance requirements. We are capable of delivering complete stock preparation systems, or individual components.
Sergei Korostelev: Our proprietary SimAudit simulation program allows customers to quantify potential gains for their paper and board machines. You see projected results from changes in screening and refining, which are often exceeded once implemented.
A fully dedicated AFT team is now in place in Russia to support existing business and new projects. From Left to Right: Lyubov Lyubimova (Translator), Roman Smorgunov (Sales Manger and Chief Engineer), Sergei Korostelev (Senior Technical Expert), and Julia Babenko (Head of Administration)