Service, support and spare parts: Working in After Sales during corona4 May 2020
The coronavirus has shut down several parts of the world for months now. But in some countries, including Denmark, employees are slowly returning to their workplace as societies are reopening. This also applies to Henrik Skriver Poulsen from HMF's After Sales department, who for the last month has supported customers with spare parts and advice from his home office – and there’s plenty of questions to address at the moment!
There is still plenty to do
HMF's After Sales department usually helps customers with advice and answering questions on spare parts as well as with shipping and receiving parts. But for now, the usual workday has changed a bit for the employees in the department.
“We still have quite a few orders. Furthermore, we receive an increased amount of emails as some customers find that their packages are delayed – or even lost. Usually, we guarantee delivery before 12 p.m. throughout Europe. However, some countries are highly affected by the virus, so delivery of goods, which isn’t for the hospitals, won’t be prioritized by the postal services. This is affecting our customers a bit. Fortunately, many understand the challenges and appreciate our efforts” says Henrik.
Answering emails and questions on the phone is not a problem when working from home, but not all tasks are easily done from the armchair.
“We have to be at the factory in order to enter orders, book freight, print labels which warehouse operatives put on the packages, and ensure that the carriers pick up the packages at the right times. In addition, we are often in ongoing dialogue with our colleagues in the warehouse if they have questions about the order that they are currently collecting spare parts for.”
The After Sales colleagues has solved this by taking turns at going to work and working from home and by scattering across empty departments. Henrik’s colleagues along with some of HMF's other employees, are slowly returning to their normal work stations - but of course within the scope of the government’s recommendations.
Focus on minimizing downtime and answering questions
The corona crisis has also affected Henrik's work in other ways.
“Usually, I go visit our partners to help them figure out what parts they will need to meet their customers' needs. For example, we are looking at spare parts suggestions for the individual workshop and which cranes are most popular for the given region, "says Henrik and continues: "... but all of that is on hold for now."
Under the present circumstances, all focus in the After Sales department is on ensuring that as many hauliers as possible can get their cranes back on the road in the event of crane downtime.
“It's all about getting the spare parts out to customers so that they experience as little downtime as possible. In addition, we prioritize answering our customers' questions,” says Henrik and continues:
"We still ship up to 100 packages with spare parts a day, so that the world's hauliers can keep the wheels on society turning."
Although the department is doing well considering the situation, Henrik is looking forward to “the other side of corona”, where he again can experience the personal relation with both clients and colleagues.
“I'm looking forward to things going back to normal – whatever “normal” means after corona… It's nice to work from home, but it isn’t something I would like to do every day. I miss my colleagues and the social aspects”.