I’m the National Parts Manager. My role involves maintaining stock, supporting customers and our internal staff for all their spare parts needs and sometimes their service needs as well. I also deal with suppliers, so we can give the customers the best price for parts and service. Basically, I’m trying to make sure everyone gets what they need in a timely fashion.
28 years! I started as an apprentice at Conplant, and worked my way up – to Workshop Manager, then Field Service Manager, National Service Manager and now National Parts Manager.
Technology has helped a lot – it’s given us more information and the ability to make better-judged decisions. Imagine having to look after 12,000 different part lines without a computer! Our IT system is probably the biggest thing that’s made our life easier.
One thing that hasn’t changed is our values and the way we operate. It’s always customer first. The answer to every customer’s question is always ‘yes’. There’s a lot more information out there now, so people tend to shop around and look online. The level of service is what makes us stand out.
I was always a tinkerer as a child. I love to fix things and make sure they run smoothly. After I left high school I was offered the apprenticeship as a plant mechanic and I haven’t looked back.
Everybody is always willing to give support and help each other which is great. It’s not a large company, and we’ve got a flat hierarchy, so you can get an answer pretty much straight away. We can actually sit down and talk to each other at different levels of the business and get a result that works well for everybody. The more you disseminate information, the better everyone can do their jobs.
We’re nimble – so if there’s change required, it doesn’t take long for it to happen.
The biggest issue for customers is usually time – if the machines aren’t working, they’re not making money. We’re a hire company, so we understand that pain.
So from time to time I’ll get in the car and drive to the freight company after hours to drop a part off, so that a customer can get back to work the next day. But there’s nothing too strange – customers ask for anything and everything!