English - Nooteboom Giants on the Road Magazine English - Nr. 6 - 2019 | Page 41

ALL IN THE FAMILY AFTERSALES ALWAYS READY MAX HILLMANN – TOGETHER WITH HAIKO THEUNISSE AND WILLEM VRIJENHOEF – WORKS IN THE AFTERSALES DEPARTMENT OF NOOTEBOOM. ALL WEEK THEY ARE READY TO SOLVE URGENT TECHNICAL PROBLEMS Sometimes it concerns simple questions about operating the steering or removing the neck of the interdolly. Those questions are almost always solved there and then. Max: “Sometimes a driver calls us because he has broken down and is parked in a dangerous place. In that case we put all our other jobs on hold for a while and discuss with the driver what the problem could be. In the meantime someone else will have contacted a service dealer or a workshop in the area. A problem that first seems to be as big as an elephant sometimes proves to be no larger than a mouse.” FOUR TASKS Max: “Our department has four tasks. First of all, our customers can always contact us if they have to solve a technical problem. It usually concerns Nooteboom trailers but we frequently get questions about other trailers too. Another important task is dealing with warranty claims. At Nooteboom any problems we identify are immediately passed on to the engineering department and together we find a solution, which is then implemented in the production straightaway. This procedure keeps our warranty costs extremely low. We carefully assess all warranty claims. Of course a problem can be caused by a defect in our product, but operating errors or overloading are also common. If the complaint is due to a part from a supplier we often settle the guarantee directly with the supplier. A third task is to provide technical support for service dealers, customers with their own workshop and any other companies that repair Nooteboom trailers. And our final task is training the mechanics that work at service dealers and customers.” MAX HILLMANN Within the Nooteboom organisation many young, enthusiastic people were trained who now hold important posts in the organisation. Max is part of this younger generation. Max: “I was brought up bilingually. My mother speaks Polish and my father German. I also speak Dutch and English and for my job I would quite like to learn Spanish as well. In 2011 I joined Nooteboom as a mechanic in the overhaul department. My father is a driver at Hegmann Transit, a loyal customer of Nooteboom for many years. While visiting a workshop in Wijchen he just asked: ‘Can you give my son a job at Nooteboom?’ So I started, right in the middle of the financial crisis, but I was extremely motivated because working at Nooteboom was my dream. My many years of experience in the overhaul department come in handy now that I am working in de aftersales department. As a result of my current function I know nearly everyone in the Nooteboom organisation. We solve technical problems with engineering and production. Our warranty policy has a commercial side too and we solve this together with the sales department. We also have a good relationship with all our dealers and own branches, mostly in Europe, but some are a lot further away. Nooteboom is a very open organisation, which means I can talk to the management just as easily as to a colleague in production. Everyone is after the same challenge: to further improve the quality of the Nooteboom trailers and our service.” IMPROVEMENTS? Max: “In our aftersales department we can speak to our customers in five languages: Dutch, German, English, French and Polish. We are working on adding Spanish, because the Spanish-speaking countries are becoming increasingly important for Nooteboom. Another area where we would like to improve is the speed at which we react. Our customers should expect us to react quickly. We manage to do so which is also due to the most modern means of communication. It enables us to have face-to-face contact, which makes it easier to communicate with our customers. It used to be difficult sometimes to explain to a mechanic where he could find a certain part. Now we can look together with him via his smartphone.” WHAT DOES YOUR WORKING DAY LOOK LIKE? Max: “The three of us work together without having a particular country or activity assigned to us. We all react as quickly as possible if a customer contacts us by email or phone. But all three of us have our own key accounts. A major part of our job is to answer simple questions, such as ‘My manual steering isn’t working’ or ‘In which position must the valves be when I want to uncouple the dolly?’ For questions that are asked most frequently the customers can also consult our website or Nooteboom app, where in our FAQ we answer these questions clearly in text and with an instruction video. Most drivers and mechanics have years of experience with Nooteboom trailers and we will take them through our procedure step-by-step until we find a diagnosis for the problem. Sometimes it happens that a driver has broken down and all he has with him is a screwdriver. Of course that’s a challenge. In addition to answering technical questions we also get requests nearly every day asking for drawings and data of Nooteboom trailers, for inspection purposes and exemption applications.” Max: “In comparison with the numbers we produce we deal with very few warranty claims. And I should know because if there are any problems we’ll be informed via our department. A Nooteboom trailer is just extremely well-constructed.”  ■ 41