Palfinger Crane
02 November 2018

Palfinger Service Manager

Most of my experience during my working life has been in or around the mining industry. This has taught me to work safely, structured with set procedures in place. I am always reminded when I reverse park my car in the company car park that this is a part of the company’s emergency procedure. I know before I have reversed parked my car that I play a part along with others working together for an engineering company with different types of procedure and policies that must be upheld to ensure everyone’s safety and quality of products. Generally, I will have one or two people working under me. Now to some, this is not a lot of people but working for Chess in Palfinger division this is mostly fast-paced. If only customers scheduled work in, or even follow the schedule plan set in place and didn’t mind waiting for parts or repairs. If you are not fast enough or flexible enough customers may go elsewhere. I do understand this from the customers’ side of the fence knowing this equipment the ‘loader crane’ makes them money and as we all know TIME IS MONEY. Chess Palfinger offers a service to companies in and around the Perth CBD as well as some remote companies. This service includes all repairs and annual servicing as well as parts, technical assistance, on and off-site breakdowns along with any service a customer requires and more recently fixed mechanic labor hire to sites such as Australia post and Rima TipTop. With all this in mind, it is not often l have a scheduled week of work so keeping technicians busy is my priority in the morning.

As soon as that siren sounds I know the day’s priorities, but I must keep some room open for change. Either unable to proceed further on a job due to waiting on parts, lack of manpower or mechanical aids or simply waiting for customer response. These are just some challenges you must allow for daily as it happens often in the service industry and one phone call can change everything. A loader crane breakdown on the side of the main road is a good example of that.

Once I am happy the technicians understand these changes and know the day’s work ahead of them, I log onto the computer and check my emails (If I have not already done this before work). I mostly always have inquiries or customers requesting parts, So I start gathering information, times and pricing liaising with the office to reply to customers as soon as possible. I nearly always have reports to write and I like to add photos with captions explaining the problems to keep customers properly updated and understanding what work was completed on their loader crane. In between all this I will also be working on my own repairs or assisting the technician making a major priority for everyday getting Annual services, repairs or breakdowns back to customers ASAP and customers love that word.

Everyone within the team from the office to the technicians in the workshop plays a part so information sharing is very important. It is not uncommon for customers to call the office for requests or even drive in the gate and speak to a technician while I may be off-site on another job or working out of Perth for the day. Every day we all come together to share information and I like to ensure all this information is traceable and attached to each job so for every report I write all the information gathered from everyone is in front of me, so everything can be captured to charge the customer correctly.

If I receive a call for a breakdown either myself or the technician is available, and we make the changes to assist the customer in this unlikely event. Understanding that this is unplanned and a part of our service. Everyone is making the effort in growing this business and the procedures are getting better streamlined to focus more on job completion and reaching estimated quote times for better on-time delivery.

Finish time for the day can change based on how the day pans out and the customers’ requirements but the day does eventually come to an end so thinking a plan of attack for the following day is on the mind and discussed with the technicians. Once this is done, it’s time to clean up, wash the hands and jump in the car that is already reversed parked and facing in the right direction for a clean departure.

This is a day in the life of a Palfinger service manager. Forever changing and forever ready for the next challenge…

Brentan Ellison