The only sure way of getting to the top and staying right there is through “Excellence in Customer Service”
To win & keep winning, the following guidelines are mandatory:
- Know you customer.
- Make “Quality Customer Service” your top priority.
- Recruit right people & continuously upgrade their skills.
- Create a feedback channel for your customers.
- Get yourself help-desk software.
- Resolve customer disputes quickly.
- Always remain in touch with your customer.
1. PERFORMING GAP ANALYSIS
It is said that what can be mapped, can be measured and what can be measured, can be managed. To stay on top and remain seated there, we must perform a GAP analysis and then make appropriate strategies to close that gap.
2. IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT! – ابھی چلنے دو
This is run-to-fail maintenance strategy, which is seldom acceptable. It should not be allowed. Generally, maintenance should be performed before equipment breaks down. It costs the least and consumes the least amount of time as well. However, there are few exceptions where you see the “Don’t trouble trouble until trouble troubles you” approach. Please guess!
3. THE SQUEAKY WHEEL GETS THE GREASE – بن روئے
Squeaky wheel strategy is also not nice. Instead what should be done is that the machine should be maintained as per manufacturers’ recommendations. Alternatively, the condition should be watched continuously and as soon as an initial sign of a failure is discovered, the machine condition should be rectified. The maintenance must be performed before it can lead to expensive breakdowns.
4. A NEW BROOM SWEEPS CLEAN
Unlike a new broom which proverbially cleans only when it is new, any machine will continue to deliver first class performance provided it is maintained well and operated as per instructions of the manufacturers.
Just pay attention to daily maintenance, regular cleaning, oil and filter changes at prescribed intervals, right type of engine coolant, adequate and well balanced load on all the three phases, use of genuine parts, etc. The generator will continue to deliver desired performance year after year regardless of its age. Even the old will sweep clean. It will know the corners also well.
5. IN FOR A PENNY, IN FOR A POUND
Long ago the world has changed its perception about maintenance. Change your mindset too. Maintenance is an investment and not a necessary evil. While you invest a fortune on buying expensive equipment, you should not stop short on maintenance. Go the whole hog. In for a penny, in for a pound.
Now the strategic view of maintenance is gaining popularity. This is defined by condition of the equipment, operating loads, maintenance action (strategies) and business objectives, etc.
Please carry out maintenance as per the strategic view maximizing uptime and reducing expenses.
6. TIT FOR TAT – جیسے کو تیسا
The machine always pays you back in the same coin. You look after it well, it will look after you well and vice versa. Maintenance strategy is the key!
The best maintenance strategy for your machines is reliability centered maintenance. It is a mix of run to failure maintenance (waiting for failure to occur), lots of preventive maintenance (including time based, age based, condition based) and predictive maintenance. For generators:
1. Time based maintenance applies to Unlimited prime sets @ 250 hours, 1000 hours, 2000 hours, 6000 hours and 12,000 hours, etc.
2. Age based applies to Standby sets @ 6 months, year, two year, etc.
3. Condition based – as and when the condition dictates.
Please contact ESL for a full presentation on “Reliability Centered Maintenance”.
7. A NINE DAYS WONDER – چار دن کی چاندنی
A lot of new, very expensive equipment is grossly neglected when it comes to maintenance. Customers not only delay maintenance but even when they decide to do it, they take recourse to non-genuine parts, untrained workforce, outdated methods, improper tools, etc. The poor machine proves to be a nine day wonder only and soon starts suffering from poor performance. اندھیری رات
Treating your maintenance problems with non-standards parts, tools and techniques, etc., is like feeding a sick and hungry child with a rotten apple.
8. PENNY WISE POUND FOOLISH! – اشرفیاں لٹیں اور کوئلوں پہ مہر
Customers spend a fortune in buying very expensive machines. But when it comes to maintenance, they settle for non-genuine parts and road side mechanics to save a few pennies. Even the quality of filters is compromised. This is a clear manifestation of a penny wise, pound foolish approach. Genuine vs non-genuine parts is covered in our “Meet& Treat” sessions.
9. HAVING ONE’S FEET IN SEVERAL BOATS – دو کشتیوں کا سوار
A car (or machine) which is in the hands of many is more likely to suffer from poor performance and early failure. Its example is depicted in the picture below (guess what)
10. MUCH CRY LITTLE WOOL
The finest machine is only as good as the quality of operation and maintenance services it receives. It is often observed that the companies exercise extreme care and caution at the design and selection stages of the equipment. Best consultants are hired; prestigious site is earmarked for plant installation; a team of expensive commissioning engineers is invited from mother factories and inauguration is performed in style. Tall claims are made. Quality rhetoric abounds.
But what happens thereafter defies description. The power plant is put in the hands of untrained, unskilled lowly paid employees. Training is ignored. Maintenance is neglected. Quality of parts, even filters is compromised. Size of actions does not match the size of words. As a result the plant loses its efficiency. Performance nosedives.
It becomes a case of “MUCH CRY, LITTLE WOOL” or ٹائیں ٹائیں فش or ونچی دکان، پھیکا پکوان
11. NIP THE EVIL IN THE BUD – گر بہ کشتن روزِاوۤل
Japanese say “a nail which is sticking out must be hammered down immediately”. This is true for any machine including a generator too. Any leakage in oil, fuel, air induction and cooling and exhaust system can be catastrophic. Any loose nut or bolt or worn out belts can be perilous. Any abnormal temperature, noise, vibration or smoke can be menacing. Any such abnormality should be removed forthwith. This is a good engineering practice for every machine.
Nip the evil in the bud. However, its Urdu version is just a joke!
12. STRIKE WHEN THE IRON IS HOT – جب لوہا گرم ہو
MATCHING MAINTENANCE WITH MACHINE!
Striking iron at the right time when it is hot is being effective. Striking it with right force and at the right place is efficiency. According to Peter Drucker, effectiveness is more important than efficiency.
Let us now see which is the most effective maintenance strategy and when? Here are few examples:
a. Reactive or Run to fail strategy is followed for electronic cards, control modules; heavy duty mechanical parts e.g. crank shaft, cam shaft, etc.
b. Interval based Preventive maintenance strategy:
- Time based: For standby generators
- Utility based: For prime generators
c. Conditioned based strategy is generally followed for fuel system calibrations; engine overhauls, etc.
d. Proactive or Predictive maintenance strategy involves profiling and diagnostics to predict impending failures. It is followed for very large, heavy duty machines and its parts, etc.
e. Reliability centered maintenance is the most effective form of maintenance. It is a mix of all of the above in varying proportions depending upon equipment and its operations cost, crucial nature and complexity, business objectives, etc.
13. BUY CHEAP AND HAVE A BAD MEAT – سستا روئے بار بار مہنگا روئے ایک بار
Genuine parts are expensive but valuable. Non-genuine parts are cheap but they make you weep. Buy genuine Cummins parts from ESL for your Cummins diesel and gas engines and relax.
14. OUT OF FRYING PAN INTO THE FIRE
There are a lot of customers who take maintenance very lightly. They consider maintenance spending a cost instead of an investment. Daily maintenance is avoided. Weekly, monthly, half yearly and yearly maintenance is delayed. They don’t believe in condition-based maintenance either. Only when the generator starts to squeak, screech and scream, they consider doing something. Even then they take recourse to cutting corners where possible. At first they delay maintenance and finally when they do go for it they use non genuine parts. For a generator or any other machine, this amounts to an “out of the frying pan into the fire” type situation.
15. HALLMARK OF QUALITY SERVICE
MTTR refers to “mean time to repair”. It shows speed of response and repair when machine breaks down.
MTBF refers to “mean time between failures”. It shows the quality of repair.
The hallmark of quality service is low MTTR, high MTBF and maximum availability.
16. TOO MANY COOKS SPOIL THE BROTH – دو ملٓاؤں میں مرغی حرام
It is often seen in the industry that maintenance services are assigned to too many outside companies (Service providers). These service providers then assign jobs to their staff which also keeps changing. As a result, most of the times service jobs are performed by a different set of people with different skill sets, different backgrounds, varying commitment levels, unmindful of the previous history of the equipment, etc. Because of this continuous rotation of people, maintenance often becomes a joke. What should actually increase performance of the machine, ends up without adding much value.
“Too many cooks not only spoil the broth” but also refuse to own the responsibility of failure and poor performance. Every one suffers but the customers suffer the most.
17. WHERE THERE IS SMOKE THERE IS A FIRE
A machine failure is not without a rhyme or reason. Where there’s a smoke there is a fire. Poor operation and maintenance are often the reasons of machine failures. Please take care of daily maintenance, oil and filter changes at specified intervals, engine cooling system, batteries, amount and distribution of loads on three phases, etc. If you do these, you will take care of most important reasons for engine failure.
18. CUSTOMERS’ DILEMMA! A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS – نہ تین (۳)میں، نہ تیرہ (۱۳)میں
Customers often shuffle from one brand of generator to another and one supplier to the next because they believe the one they don’t have is better than the one they have. The result is that they become a rolling stone. They end up with a variety of dissimilar brands with little synergy and a long list of vendors with little in common.
Instead they should take care of the grass on their side. It will also turn green.
19. POOR PAPERWORK! SPINNING THE WHEELS WITHOUT GOING FORWARD – کارِ لا حاصل
Young engineers are often poor in paperwork. Their writing abilities become a yoke around their necks. They must realize that nothing gets finished till the paper work is completed. So they must sharpen their writing skills. The sooner, the better! After each job involving trouble shooting, the should, as a minimum, write a report clearly stating the complaint, its causes, corrective action(s) and steps to control & conform etc. It is highly recommended that they should do a course in business communication from a renowned business school.
Failure to do quality paper work will result in spinning the wheel without advancing forward in their careers.
20. GENIUS IS 1% INSPIRATION & 99% PERSPIRATION –
The secret of success as revealed by Socrates to his disciple: “Unless you crave for success just like a drowning man craves for air, you will not be successful.”
21. GARBAGE IN, GARBAGE OUT –
To ensure high quality of customers’ service and win their hearts and minds forever, don’t compromise on men, machine, material, methods, etc. Remember: GIGO. To learn more about application of these concepts to service business, contact ESL.