As Business Development Manager for Mining Sales for Eastern Canada, Dave handles everything concerning mining sales. He says it's largely about the customer relationship — "both keeping it and building it!"
Meet Dave Parenteau
Making of Mining
Dave doesn't come from a miners' family like many people in the industry do. My family has always been involved with heavy equipment, and I come with a construction background.
"Call it a happy accident," he says. "I went to a university open house to explore mechanical and civil engineering. I didn't even know mining engineering was a thing — but it pulled me in!"
In November 2020, Dave started at SMS Equipment as an application engineer. "I joined the company on the technical side, transitioning into this role after supporting the sales team and then fully taking the reins, says Dave. I still get to do application engineering for mining customers, although I have less time to do it these days! But if we need to size the proper equipment or pinpoint the fleet for a new or existing project, I take care of that analysis."
Share What You Know
Dave says there's an undeniable community feel to the company. "Many of us are a jack-of-all-trades, ready to help whenever we can," he says. "People here go to great lengths to answer your question and guide you through the unknown."
And if someone doesn't know the answer, employees are always redirected to the person who does. "The approach to information sharing is where I find that family feel to SMS Equipment that you don't typically see in companies this large."
In the East, Dave says Komatsu as a brand isn't as well-known as it is in the oil sands. "This is a chance to get both SMS Equipment and Komatsu in the spotlight," he explains. "We have great products, and this is an immense opportunity for growth. I'm learning so much and working to fast-track milestones because, with any other company, I probably wouldn't have this amount of responsibility. I get to grow personally and, at the same time, grow the business."
All of our actions point back to the customer at SMS Equipment. "I think of my role as less sales and more consulting," says Dave. "Customers are looking for guidance and support. I'm here to maintain and grow these relationships. That's the best part of my job."
Doing so comes down to aligning goals. "I try to find a solution for them to be more productive — not a solution for me to gain more sales. When they succeed, I do too, so I ensure everything I do is about them and their needs. That's it. It's simple."
One of Dave's greatest accomplishments is a customer's commitment to the massive PC7000 hydraulic shovel. "It was a lengthy process," says Dave. "Understandably, the customer had a lot of questions, and I don't think anything was left unanswered!"
Of course, success didn't come all at once. "There are little hints it's coming your way," says Dave. "I would say, 'Can I buy the champagne bottle but not open it yet?' They're like, ok. And then later, 'You can put the champagne in the fridge!' It's a process of building trust, and the shovel should be pushing dirt in 2024!"
"I may cover a large area on my own, but I'm not ever by myself because I can always rely on my mining sales colleagues and our people internally," Dave says. "We're truly a team."