Name: Bill Boling, Parts & Distribution Manager
Tenure: Bill has been with EMR for 21 years. He began his career in June of 1999.
Who is on the tech team?
What are the responsibilities of the tech team?
The main responsibility of the tech team is to assist technicians administratively in any way that they can.
How did you come up with this strategy?
The main reason for implementing the tech team was because EMR needed to more thoroughly support our technicians who are in the field taking care of our customers.
What are some of the challenges that were faced during the transition?
The biggest challenge we faced during the transition/implementation of the tech team was getting the technicians & branches to buy into the idea, and embrace a new process. People innately do not like change, so when this idea was put in place some employees were apprehensive to the new processes. Another big challenge was getting to know the employees that were put on the tech team – since some of them were from other branches they had never been under my direct supervision. Organizationally we had to adjust. After a few months of working closely together we are comfortable with one another in giving and receiving constructive feedback, and working through problems openly as a team.
What are the benefits of the tech team?
The main benefit of the tech team is that our technicians now have a dedicated staff to assist them in any administrative tasks they may need while they are out in the field with their hands full. The tech team’s phone lines are 100% dedicated to receiving calls from technicians to help in any way that they can (ex: calling manufacturers, creating purchase orders, etc.). Another huge benefit of the tech team is the uniformity that is now in place. All processes and procedures are handled the same way, to completion, which is something we struggled with in the past. It was a challenge we developed a working solution for. Management now has a team that they can go to when they need an answer or something completed quickly. Previously, some issues would sit for longer than we thought acceptable. Issues will naturally arise, and now we have confidence that they are addressed immediately, which is a win/win for EMR and most importantly, our customers.
How has the tech team changed the daily functions of EMR’s Parts Department?
Before the tech team was established, EMR had an estimate department, staffed by one, who held all responsibilities of the present-day department. Responsibilities include monitoring their PSEARCH (assigned parts) board all day. The tech team facilitates getting parts ordered, putting them on will-call at supply houses/providing a PO, completing requested customer quotes, and collecting deposits from customers on special order parts – when necessary. They also answer the group phones all day, mostly calls from technicians who are trying to multi-task while servicing our customers. This helps EMR avoid unnecessary delays in providing estimates, assist with technician parts queries in a more efficient and productive manner. Management and customers alike can rest easier knowing that that there are dedicated team members keeping jobs moving and tackling issues as they inevitably arise.