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