Assistance in every situation and Every Location
The Service team pulls all the strings. When the hotline rings it could be for many reasons; inquiries for new equipment or start-up, reports of malfunctions or defects, process modification inquiries and spare parts orders – anybody who works at Brabender Technologie needs to be flexible and switch quickly between various topics in order to respond and act in a timely manner.
“Our first and most important task is to ask questions“, Michael Richtmann emphasizes who is Service Manager at Brabender Technologie. “With every inquiry we must find out what concerns the customer has. If problems are involved, we then find out the current status of the equipment and what action has already been taken. It’s great when customers get in touch with us direct and we are able to act as a Helpline. An experienced service engineer can then speak directly with the customer and propose solutions.” This free-of-charge service becomes more difficult to provide when people have already tried out options and made adjustments on the device. The expert recommendation is to call immediately, as it often saves time.
Special pathway: remote maintenance
If a remote maintenance service has been agreed to with a customer, the Brabender Technologie team can virtually assist the customer on-site. Once the customer has given their consent, the team can log in live to the control system and is able to observe feeding behavior, view feeding logs and undertake changes to the control system. “Not many of our customers currently utilize these services for reasons of IT security”, Dominique Python relates. “But we anticipate that more will do so because remote maintenance is an attractive offering in terms of value for money.” What’s new is a solution involving a separate mobile line where any device can be accessed independently off the Internet. “We are hoping to persuade more customers of the benefits of remote maintenance.”
Quickly on site – worldwide
Where a solution can’t be provided by phone, service engineers need to go to the site. To make this happen the Service team provides an individual quotation and arranges the visit. Michael Richtmann emphasizes that Brabender Technologie offers this service worldwide. “We have an international network of engineers, which we regard as our major advantage. Be it in South America, or Asia, our customers can rely on the fact that somebody will come and help them.” If a customer in Myanmar calls the Hotline, a colleague in Singapore can help. Brabender Technologie employs co-workers worldwide that are able to answer questions in a wide range of languages and locations (you can also read more about this topic in the article about our branch in Dubai on pages 24 and 25). Spare parts can be sourced from Germany, Canada and China.
Wide range of tasks
Michael Richtmann and his colleagues assume responsibility as soon as the equipment leaves the factory. Many issues therefore fall within their responsibility such as start-ups, transport damage, or follow-up solutions if problems occur in production environments. “We play the role of contact, problem solver, advisor and even detective. The devil is often in the detail and it’s important to find it“, the experienced Service manager states. It is therefore extremely important that we communicate well internally so that everybody benefits from the experience of their peers.
Customers are keen on checking back with us when products are modified. The Service team then clarifies with the Spare Parts department whether other components like screws, screw tubes or motors are required. Colleagues advise on what a customized solution could look like and draft a quotation. “We represent the interface between many departments. We work closely with Spare Parts in this regard, that’s why our teams sit next to each other. Short pathways and continuous communication between departments are also very important.”
Interface between almost all teams
That also applies to other areas like sales or design engineering, because questions frequently get asked in both directions. Retrofit inquiries are also often received via the Hotline or as a result of a Service visit (you can read more about this in the next article). Our best moments in service are when satisfied customers say thank you and everything runs smoothly. Michael Richtmann says: “Then we know that we have done a good job and played our part in keeping the customer happy.”
(Published in FLUX 1/2018)