Chris Heeg 08.12.2015
For years in the Support Center at Okuma, I’ve had two things hanging on my cubical wall: my nameplate with my name on it, and a nameplate that says “Hotel California.” In part because it’s a cool song, but mostly because for those of us who work in Service we can “check out any time you like, but you can never leave.” We have a passion for supporting our customers and fixing their CNC machines, and each of the over 300 Okuma and Distributor service technicians share that passion. We may go home at night, but we still think about the people and machines and try and think of better ways to convey how to fix a machine and better methods for fixing the machines.
Sometimes, It’s a Merry-Go-Round
Of course live support doesn’t end at 5 pm. For a select group we also go home and continue to actively support customers. And this can sometimes take place in the most unusual places. I remember one time I was at the Cleveland County Fair (NC) on a Saturday morning when one of our other service guys was on-call. A customer with a LAW-2S with a 7000 control had a down machine. One of our distributor service techs was onsite working on getting his machine software loaded and memory board replaced. Our on-call guy had some questions about the loading process and called me for advice. I had him give me the phone number of our distributor service tech because the 7000 control is an older control and I think of myself as the “old guy” (at the ripe old age of 36 at the time) who knows that control pretty darn well. I called the service guy and he explained the issue. I explained what he was missing and stayed with him on the phone while I rode the merry-go-round with my family. He got it loaded and got the machine back up and running and the customer had the machine back in production by lunchtime.
After Hours Support
The example I just described is possible due to a program called Okuma CARE (Constantly Available Resource Experts), which ensures Okuma and our Distributors have people and systems in place to provide technical support after normal business hours, as well as being able to ship parts any time of day or night. We truly support our customer and machines 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Distributors + Okuma = Two Layers of Support
Our Distributors have seasoned service technicians manning their call centers ready to take your call and help you fix your machine. Okuma’s Support Center is staffed to provide backup support to our experienced distributor service technicians. At Okuma we provide a second opinion and independent review of the problem to help our distributor service technicians work through machine problems. When we have customer tours I always tell people that if my group has done our jobs well the customer doesn’t know we exist. But we’re here, always, sometimes quietly humming a favorite tune.
Chris Heeg is Support Center Supervisor, Okuma America Corporation.