Monthly Archives: May 2015

What do I do at JobCCC?

As a continuation from yesterdays whining … Here is SOME of what I do at JobCCC….

Quotes

I prepare quotes, yes. Some are as simple as looking at the price list for a specific model stocked in the plant. But this is a minimal part of my job. These could be for one of our distributors or not.

Sometimes I must review specs/data sheets, consult engineers, size actuation, determine accessories and request clarifications.

Sometimes I must go to our US plant for information and/or quotes on actuators or the correct components to build the actuator in Our plant.

Occasionally I have to go to our plant in Italy where I often must wait weeks for a response. I then have to deal with Irate customers (or co-workers) and explain why they are not receiving their quote, and why it takes weeks “just to get a quote”

Sometimes I have to determine which material is required for a parts kit a customer may want. This may be a simple peek in SAP (our system) or I may have to “dig” for the correct information or I may have to go to Italy. (this task can range from very basic, to fairly extensive). I have had to go “over the Italians heads” as they will refuse to research. Exact info is required with them or you get no quote. Even with Data sheets, order numbers and/or part numbers, if there is no Serial Number they have refused to quote.

Sometimes I must re-quote as per the customer’s request due to a spec change, or valve change or whatever other change they may require. That could be a simple change in an accessory or a complete new quote.

I have managed all aspects of quotations including drawings and technical data.

I also have to “deal with” “Account Managers” though all stages (quote and order entry to delivery), which is not always easy or pleasant, as some of these account managers seem to think I am their personal secretary and are too lazy to look up or do anything on their own.

Orders

I enter orders. Sometimes these are as simple as entering a P/N and creating a delivery ticket, but occasionally I have to “fight” with “slow moving” Italy on getting the item delivered on time.

Sometimes I have to create an EWR (this is an Engineering Work Order). During this process I have to deal with employees in our plant who are not willing to help or offer assistance. Typically all I get from some of the “plant employees” is a roundabout way of saying “I am not doing that, It is not my job” They offer no advice or solution and no assistance on finding the correct person.

On some orders I have to do ALL of the document control (yet, we have a document control department), ALL of the expediting (yet, we have project managers who are supposed to handle this), ALL of the stress.

I handle and deal with customers from the quote stage to the order stage to the document stage to the delivery stage to the questions and repairs stage and beyond as well as everything in between.

Technical Support

I provide customers with technical information as required (within my ability and knowledge, which increases daily). Sometimes it is as simple as sending a Manual or referring them to our field service/repairs department. But I also am occasionally involved in engineering discussions and provide my input and/or act as a liaison between customer and engineering. Sometimes I must sit on the phone with a customer explaining in detail how an assembly works.

Luckily, my technical background allows me to better communicate with customers about their technical concerns.

Some days I spend a large portion of the day speaking with/or emailing customers, whether regarding quotes, orders, expediting, technical issues, repairs, complaints or locating the correct person for them to talk to, etc.

And everything else

I am apologizing often … apologizing on behalf of the company. Apologizing that their quote is taking so long, that their order is late, that they have been given 7 different employees to call/given the “run around” and cannot locate the correct person, that their documents have errors, that their order was incorrectly shipped, that their actuator is leaking.  I do it. I do it and I FIND out what they need. I do not just pass it on to the next person on my “company contact list”. I handle it, or FIND the CORRECT person to handle it. That is customer service.

I work through my Lunches most days, take little to no breaks, typically come in at least 30 minutes early, occasionally stay 1 + hours late and/or do some work on weekends from home. Yes, this is pretty much voluntary, as no one “tells” me or asks me to do it, but I do it to keep my customers happy, by completing things for them in a timely manner. In order to do this, I must put in extra time. I am usually ok with this, and if/when I am not … well I take my lunch.

To add to all the pressure, I am also the Chairperson of our HSE committee… I must plan and attend meetings, collect, organize and log observation cards, monthly inspections, deal with safety concerns (providing any come up) etc. As the only person in the office with First aid training, I also feel obligated to keep this up to date. All the while fighting with co-workers to fill in 1 measly obs card a month. Apparently this is like asking them to chop off their right leg?

What else do I do? Well I do some pricing. I keep detailed quote/sales logs. I do up monthly reports. I am constantly doing extra training when “slow days” arise. I am trying to “un-do” the product silo by creating company public instructions, price lists and process flows relating to the product. I have created training binders and am always adding to them. The list goes on and on …

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Until March 10, 2015, I loved my job at JobCCC.

Why March 10th? This is when the big company changes occurred at JobCCC. You see, A lot of people in our company were let go, as was the case with many oil and gas companies this year. (Side note I work for a valve and actuation company and work with the actuation product line.) My Manager was let go.  My Manager was awesome. He was knowledgeable (due in part to 30 years with the company). He was respectful. He was open and had an open door. He asked for things, always. never said “Do this!” and ” Do that!” He praised when praise was earned and criticized when needed.  He assisted the best he could and “had my back”. He was a leader. HE was a GOOD manager! Sometimes I make him sound like fricking superman, but that is because I respected him as both a manager and a person. Sure he had his faults, for example, he wouldn’t let me get nasty and/or spiteful with asshole customers. haha, damn him. 😉 ….. My new Manager … is kind of a jerk (this is me being very nice about how I feel about the new manager). The new manager pushes for “openness” and then doesn’t let you say a word. If you try to discuss ANYTHING with him he “butts in” and will not let you talk, and continues to do so until you either give up and clam up or forget what you were trying to say. He Disagrees with everything I (and most others) say. Never praises…anyone. He Micro-manages and “bird-dogs”. He always be-littles staff and makes demands as opposed to just asking or at least being polite about it. … and he appointed the biggest rat/suck-up in the office as the office supervisor.

So the line of succession used to be: District Manager – Good Manager – Myself … Now it is: District Manager – Bad Manager – Tattle-tale Brown noser Supervisor – Myself … makes sense doesn’t it? 2 negatives equal a positive?? only if you are in math class and only if you are multiplying …or dividing … or … well you get the point.

The … New Manager (and most of the ignorant “plant” staff) seem to think I do nothing but deal with 1 distributor … wait what! Really?? why would there even be a position for dealing with 1 distributor who only gets stock orders 1-2 times per year purchasing just this 1 product … What the F#@$!?  Others seem to think I have so much spare time on my hands that I can do this and do that and ooohh hey … do some of this too, even though none of these are related to my job at all, and some of them are that persons job. Most of the time I think it is pure laziness… too lazy to do their own job, too lazy to find the correct person, too lazy to search Google, too lazy to even search through their own email for a document that was sent to them MULTIPLE times!

So…

I was hired as (basically to sum it up) an assistant to the “actuation guy”, let’s call him K for simplicity, and time permitting to help out on the valve side. Basically I was to assist with quotes, a bit of technical support and occasionally sales entry.

This all changed when K left (just 3 months after I started. Keep in mind that K was the ONLY person in Canada (within our company) who knew anything about this product line … on the Sales, planning, pricing, inventory and technical side (to name a few) [other than an engineer…who is of course very technical only … sales, pricing etc. are like Greek to him]) I was left with the responsibility of handling that product for Canada and it was either sink or swim… I swam. I swam hard and struggled. I am still trying to swim and am still struggling.

I am currently the only inside sales / Tech support for this product in Canada This puts a lot of pressure on me, I am lucky to have 1 person (an engineer who knows the product from an engineering side) in our plant  for help, advice and more advanced technical knowledge. In all honesty, sometimes he seems to be the ONLY person able and willing to assist and advise me (on the Canada side). But overall, I am it. There is minimal assistance out there for me (there is likely a lot, but no one willing) which has added to my struggle with my position. But I do it. I learned about 80% of my job on my own.  K left and I had NO-ONE to teach me. As previously mentioned – sink or swim.

My positions with all I do in no particular order include but are not limited to:

Customer Service

Quotes Person

Order Entry

Expediter

Document Control

Technical support

Safety/HSE Personnel

Each one of these can be and is a full time job, (seriously, we have a whole document control department! We have people dedicated to doing just quotes, we have project managers who’s main job is expediting! …you get the point) but I manage them all!

I picked up this position with no change in title, no pay raise to accommodate the massive amount of extra work, tasks, positions and “fights” I had taken on. I picked up this position with no one to “teach” me how to do it, and little to no assistance from my co-workers. But I did it. I stepped up to the plate, I took on the responsibility and I loved it! I loved the pressure. I loved the challenge. I loved the independence and self-teachings. I did it, assuming that my commitment, reliability, hard work and dependability (etc) would be noticed and eventually pay off. My old manager noticed … but he is gone now.

**Please note that I am not trying to compare my job to yours. I am just simply venting, and doing some complaining. I am entitled to some complaining now and then…When you go from loving your job to hating it passionately within a day … some venting and complaining is necessary.

I am so new

I am a new “blogger” If I like it, I will keep it up … If I don’t well, then I won’t.

This page is more of a test page than anything.

What do I want to blog? anything and everything … whatever is in my head at that time … I am not going to dedicate myself to 1 topic … like just reviews or only politics .. nope, my head is all over the place and so shall be my “blogs” … oh and just because I like it or agree with it today doesn’t mean I will tomorrow… 🙂

 

Happy day.