A customer contacts us because something is not working as it should. This is always annoying. This will sometimes shut down the production process, which causes stress. As a member of the support team you will be well grounded. You are a good listener and get down to work skilfully and quickly. You can empathise with the customer’s situation and will do everything to arrive at a solution. This requires technical knowledge and short lines of communication with other experts in the organisation.
We don’t have standards question-and-answer lists. Every customer is different, every machine is different and the processes differ from one another to such an extent that each one will require individually-tailored assistance. We do this as far as possible remotely, by telephone, e-mail or we look at it live together with the customer. This means that you could be conducting a conversation with a customer in English about a machine with a somewhat older operating system at some point and carrying on half an hour later in German with a customer about one of the latest machines. It is worth stating that as many as 90 percent of the problems are resolved by the Support department on its own.
If the Support department cannot find a way forward, then it will be flagged up to the Service team coordinator. The customer will be contacted and an appointment scheduled. A problem with a machine often results in the production process being halted, so it usually involves working against the clock. We have Service Engineers in throughout Europe, together you will be ensuring that the machines can keep running at our customers. We work in close collaboration and ensure that a fitter is always on site as soon as possible. As a Service Engineer you will often be working against the clock. You will need to be able to cope with this. You will always be able to call on the Support department and the Service Coordinator who will provide you with any support needed. And once you have solved the customer’s problem you will be heading home as a ‘hero’.
Like a car, a machine also needs maintenance. This is often done on a contract basis. So if you work in the Maintenance team, you will know what to expect, since all routine maintenance jobs are in fact scheduled. What is great about is that you will be travelling all over Europe, since our machinery is sold internationally. As a Maintenance Engineer you will be inspecting the machinery and carrying out minor repairs as necessary. You will record your findings and what you have carried out yourself in a report. Thus, it may be the case that parts are due for replacement but they have yet to be ordered. In this case a new appointment will be scheduled in order to remedy this problem. As a fitter you will be ensuring that our machines are kept in prime condition.
PARTS & CONSUMABLES
Our machines are used intensively by our customers, which is why they are occasionally due for new parts or tooling. Some parts of a machine are liable to wear and tear and must be replaced at set intervals. A drill or a saw are examples that come to mind. Customers often have these parts in stock. They will contact our Parts & Consumables department if stock is close to running out. The will also approach our team for spare parts. This is done via e-mail or by telephone. Sometimes you will be given a part number which makes it clear right away which part is involved. It can also happen that you are sent a photo which therefore requires rather more investigative work. In addition to this, you will also be work in close collaboration with the Service and Maintenance teams, they will also call on you regularly if they need a part for the customer. Once you have found the part, you will see to it that it is shipped to the customer.
The machinery we supply to our customers is operated by operators. We ensure that operators are given the appropriate training so they can operate their machines correctly. We often hold the training sessions in our Experience Centre, although in some cases we also hold them at the customer’s facility. Training is both theoretical and practical and is intended to impart knowledge about the machine such that the customer will be aware of how the machines work and how minor repairs can be carried out by the customer. After all, the more knowledge the customers themselves have, the less support they will need from Voortman. Every training session is different since the target group will vary. Some customers will be working with a machine for the first time and some for longer, but would like a refresher. What is more, cultures and levels differ from one country to another where our machines are located. Operators with adequate knowledge who can get down to work independently is what we aim for every day!
The various departments provide a team with a great deal of diversity. One will be at the customer location working on the machine, the other will be working in the office. Yet another puts on training in our Experience Centre. At the same time, we are not that different from one another. We are all boffins with a commercial understanding and are passionate about our trade. We are aware of one another’s strengths and know where to find one another as well if necessary. In fact we are not satisfied until the machine is up and running again for the customer!
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