JASA is growing enormously, the internal service department employees are also relentlessly working on this. To keep the quality high and to take steps forward, they are implementing process improvements in their department. But what exactly does the internal service department do? Which challenges is the department facing, and which processes are being improved? Sabine Zigterman (40), Customer Service Support, and Frans Vendel (52), Customer Service Support, tell us about it.
What goes on in the internal service department?
Sabine: "An awful lot! In the department, we take on the breakdowns, handle the Customer Services dealing with maintenance requests from customers, and we are responsible for the part sales of everything JASA supplies like the JASA packaging machines and, for example, the weighing modules".
Frans: "We also support the technicians, for example, with the preparation of their jobs. We also answer internal questions. In fact, we are the general point of contact for everything and everyone!”
What are your duties?
Sabine: "My work is very diverse. A small part of my job consists of administrative work, and the rest of my time is spent on process improvements for the internal service department."
Frans: "My function is twofold. I am responsible for both the sales of spare parts and the preventive maintenance carried out by our technicians at the customer's premises."
What are the spearheads of the internal service department?
Frans: "our team consists of five people, who all have their own tasks. Sabine is responsible for process improvements; Klaas, Jurjen, and Willem are accountable for the helpdesk where they take calls about malfunctions and prepare and schedule the work of the Service Engineers. Willem also trains people; Frans leads the part sales and the acquisition of preventive maintenance. An important spearhead of the department is that everyone can fully focus on the job, thus providing excellent service."
Sabine: "due to the bias of the day, or because of the enormous hustle and bustle, the work sometimes gets mixed up. This is not what we want to happen, because this at times, causes confusion and delays for the party concerned. We try to align our tasks to work as efficiently as possible. Our objective is to help the customer as quickly and proficiently as possible".
The internal service department expanded, how did that go?
Sabine: "At first, we worked with three people in the department. Because more and more companies are responding to preventive maintenance, which involves extra work, combined with the enormous growth in requests, we were getting busier and busier in the department. That's why we expanded the team with two additional employees, which gave us control of the workload."
Frans: "We all have to find our place in this new structure. When only the three of us were working here, everyone performed every task, now we have a division of tasks. As Sabine mentioned earlier, we are streamlining this more and more. While at the same time, we implement process improvements."
What is the purpose of these process improvements?
Sabine: "These process improvements are mainly aimed at structuring the workflow. We started this when we expanded the team. We structure the workflow so that everything gets done in the same efficient way every time. But there's more to it than just that. For example, we evaluate our IT system to see if we can purchase replacement packages that allow us to do our work faster and more efficiently. This benefits us internally, but in the end, it's the customer who benefits most".
Frans: "We are looking for systems that serve us better than the current systems, for us, for the technicians and the customers."
Has the internal service department had to deal with other changes lately?
Frans: "Nowadays, communication with customers is mainly via e-mail, while in the past, most communication was over the phone. However, it is a lot more efficient to place orders by e-mail. Still, not everything can be done by e-mail, breakdowns often still come in by phone".
Sabine: "Another thing we notice is that the technical service departments at our customers are diminishing; instead, they call us. That's a huge challenge, as our pool of Service Engineers is too small to handle all these additional requests, forcing us to plan further ahead".
What other challenges does the internal service department face?
Frans: "Process improvements are not only implemented in the internal service department but throughout the company. JASA is growing tremendously fast, which means that every department has to adapt. We can no longer work the way we did five years ago. At that time, the internal lines were shorter, and we received fewer requests."
Sabine: "Because all departments are facing these growth-related challenges, we need to align the process improvements. When a customer order comes in, it must roll smoothly through the company from start to finish."
Frans: "That perhaps is the biggest challenge: coordinating all those process improvements. That's what we have Sabine for. She leads this in the right direction."
What's the best thing about the service department?
Sabine: "The team! We have a super enthusiastic team, in which everyone has the drive to bring everything to a good end together".
Frans: "I totally agree. We have a top tier team! Everybody is highly result-oriented and does their utmost."
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