Steve Sopko, Customer Service Manager
“The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Do you understand?” – Captain Jack Sparrow
The first week of April 2014 saw the first worldwide service meeting for EDAX, Inc. Service representatives from China, Japan, Europe and the United States joined together for training, product updates, business updates, innovation presentations, and team building. It was a very exciting and productive week.
Worldwide, we have a common theme and common challenge. That being, providing solutions for the customers we serve, both internal and external. The methods of service delivery may differ around the world, however, at the end of the day, when you boil it all down, “Service” exists to solve problems and to add value.
Do the problems differ in different parts of the world? Not really. A customer has a system that is not fully functional. That customer is losing valuable research time or production output. Time is always the main issue.
Teamwork. The Field Service Engineer (FSE) may respond first with a phone call, to define and diagnose the issue. Many times issues are resolved in this manner. At times our Support teams are involved as a first line service, from technical support to applications, engineering, and production. Team Viewer sessions are very useful and save a great amount of time, as this allows EDAX to look inside of the system with the user to see the issue and collect needed data for determining a next step. When these groups need hands on help from the site, the FSE is sent.
Traveling for the FSE does present its challenges. In the USA, the engineer will travel state to state, not in a vehicle from block to block, but airport to airport. Effective planning and time utilization is key to reduce the time it takes to provide the solution. The USA FSEs are now an internal Customer. He relies on the engineering drawing to be on site, or that needed part, software application or newly released version that solves the current issue for the customer. The internal customer shifts, the feedback the FSE provides is crucial for continuous improvement. This feedback can lead to engineering changes, applications solutions, and quality improvements in production. It can also contribute to future innovation EDAX develops in order to meet its customers’ needs not of today, but in the future.
The FSEs from Europe, China, and Japan travel internationally. Borders must be crossed requiring passports, import/export issues, communication and language challenges, and of course time. The opportunity to provide solutions is the same all over the world. Only the method used to deliver that service differs and has different challenges.
The Field Service Group solves problems. It’s why we exist. We also add value and provide information the improves quality on all of our products based on the user experience. The testing and findings we document improve our support documentation and methods or processes used. We communicate valuable customer feedback, which contributes to meeting the customers’ needs with product offerings of today, with a thought as to what their needs will be tomorrow.
It was refreshing to be part of a group, coming together from all over the world with a common mindset of simply solving problems. One group’s needs are not greater than the others, but a common mindset, to solve problems together for ourselves and our customers.