Over 12 years ago, a brainstorming exercise was carried out during one of our Sales conferences to answer a few key questions.
Who needs our products? Mechanics – and workshops.
What is it that they actually want? How satisfied are they with our products? What would they do differently? Where can we improve things? How can we help them?
A decision was made!
One thing quickly became clear: we needed a colleague to deal exclusively with workshops!
This was followed by another question: what qualifications would this hypothetical colleague need to have?
Ticking all the right boxes
All of the relevant points were gathered together in order to answer the question. These filled up an entire sheet on a flip chart. And so the search began for the right candidate...
A certain colleague from Product Management sprang to mind for the Head of Marketing back then. However, this candidate couldn’t see himself taking up the role and the tasks it involved.
That’s where I came in! He called by with the flip chart sheet and I jotted down the points.
I then made a decision after talking to my wife. It wasn’t an easy one to make as we already knew that it would mean a significant change to our personal lives, such as they had been up to that point. But then my wife spoke some words of wisdom to me: “Jens, you are exactly what they want on paper. This is just what you’re after. You should go for it.” I agreed the very next day. It was a decision that I’ve never regretted!
The Workshop Field Service was born!
After starting work and pitching the idea to our customers, the first “trips” began. From their inception right through to the present day, these trips have been intended to provide information and a mutual exchange of ideas with our customers and workshops. Friendships developed, ideas were worked on together and then tested after being made a reality. It’s the workshops who decide whether something is good or not. They’re the specialists, after all.
Some new blood joined me after one-and-a-half years. The second team member came along, then the third and the fourth. One retired and was then replaced by a new, fourth team member. The range of tasks was also expanded over time when the training sessions were added to our repertoire!
After restructuring things slightly, it’s now the case that three of the team members are responsible for undertaking trips to customers, whereas I’ve been the “training guy” for almost 6 years now. This is a job that always gives me great pleasure when I get to pass on my practical expertise!
We are assigned to the wider Sales Support Department. This department is blessed with a cohort of strong women who act as a link to our customers and their workshops.
One of these colleagues is exclusively occupied with supporting us. This is a task which requires significant organisational skills. In stressful periods, psychological support is always at hand here. Sylvia is the girl to turn to for anything you need and is well and truly on top of this job!
Today, we are the Field Service A-Team!
We might not be called Hannibal, Face, Murdock or BA, but there are four of us and we also drive a van! We also see helping and supporting others as our calling and we not only cultivate friendships – we live them.
To sum up, you could definitely say that creating a department like ours was one of the company’s best decisions. It’s helped all of us: the company, the individual departments, our customers and – most importantly – the workshops. That’s what everyone at Herth+Buss goes to work for. The Field Service Team would also like to express its gratitude to everyone for this!
All the best, Jens from Herth+Buss!