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Proposal for an Enhanced Service Department

CEMS Division of Enertec, Inc.


            The tremendous growth of the CEMS business at Enertec has historically limited the allocation of resources to service. Ownership of installed CEMS has been sporactically handed off from the Project Engineer, usually only in the case of the engineer leaving the company. Wave after wave of regulatory deadline and software versions have only added to the confusion making the service of our systems a stressful job and one prone to burn out.

            The growth spurt in CEMS for Enertec has abated and will allow the astute manager to seize this opportunity to bring order out of chaos. There is also the tremendous potential for after sales growth of service contracts, if the customer is presented with the right motivation. In fact, for the Service Department to grow there needs to be a determined sales effort to bring all of our installed base into an agreement with Enertec for our continued combined (Enertec & customer) success in meeting regulatory statutes. The current reactionary response to servicing our customers cannot continue if we intend to expand our obligations in service contract form.


Tools To Do The Job

            The primary tool for servicing our customers remotely is a HELP DESK. This must be a data base that includes: customer information, version information, problem information. The service representative must have access to all of this information at the same time that she/he remotely accesses the customers DAS.  This tool does not exist at the present time and must be developed quickly, before much of the customization information is lost. There are many software packages available for this function or Lotus Notes data bases can be developed to perform this crucial function.

            Another fundamental tool for service department success is a mechanism to relieve the stressful burden of interruptive problem solving. The service representatives must have scheduled periods of uninterrupted work and relief from always being the point man. The dynamic workload must have an overload mechanism to bring “firemen” to the scene, if necessary, and a cutoff mechanism to prevent re-learning or undue effort by inexperienced personnel. A note about personnel: service representation is a stepping stone at Enertec into Software or Projects. As such, service sees the newest engineers with the least experiance and has a high turnover. This means that the management of personnel should be tighter than is customary at Enertec.

            The key tool to the success of the Service Department is the development of a team effort in handling the workload of the department. The Service Manager must assess each service representative for their strengths and weaknesses and train them for “specialties” within the realm of CEMS: Reports, Episodes, Cemspeak, etc. At the same time, each representative must be able to assess situations from telephone inquiries so that they may take point (initial contact) on any given day and start the problem solving process. The workload is approached with rotating responsibilities for individuals.  The agreed upon schedule of responsibilities becomes the backbone of the team effort. Depending on the urgency, escalation to specialties and/or more experience occurs at set times, guaranteeing uninterrupted work time for individuals not on call. There is still a flexibility within the group towards individual effort but only at that individuals own initiative. This will distinguish where raises and promotions come from for all to see.

On Site Service

            Currently there is a separation of in house service personnel and on site service personnel. On site service personnel must deal with mechanical devices (analyzers, sample conditioners, probes, etc.) as well as the computer/plc side of our CEMS.  They also install new CEMS and train operators.  A study should be conducted to determine the feasibility of rolling both groups together and whether there is good economic sense in supporting all of the hardware installed. 

Service Contracts

            Our long term success as a CEMS vendor rests on the keel we lay for servicing our systems after they are installed. There was little, if any, keel laid for the 40CFR60 systems and only some of the 40CFR75 customers have realized the importance of maintaining a long term contract with Enertec. The first order of business for the Service Manager must be to motivate a high percentage of the installed base to support Enertec’s development and maintenance of a “full” Service Department.

            Each and every customer must be contacted and prospected for the type of service they can sustain. Even if we haven’t heard from them since the installation, even if they do everything themselves, they must participate in our programs. Our “Users Group” will become a voice in the regulatory wind and our job, as the combiner of diverse interests, is to make that voice common and loud. For this reason, Enertec should participate in Air Quality groups and attend any important meeting concerning our customer’s interests. This is a strong selling point to the customer who has neither the time nor inclination to fight for his or her rights.

            A variety of service contract packages can be developed so that there is something for everyone. Preventive maintenance should be stressed over breakdown maintenance. New features can be developed to encourage software/ hardware updates. For instance, a program to minimize expendable costs (filters, calibration gas, in house service) could be incorporated into an annual “check up”.  Some customers may want quarterly reports prepared by Enertec.  Each customers “hot spot” must be determined and satisfied. From the smallest to the largest, each customer will benefit from our service and perceive that the value added is at least in proportion to, if not exceeded by, the annual fee we charge. 


            The short proposal given is only a beginning, a jumping off point, for enhancing the Service Department.


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