Life after sales with Bürkert aftercare
As part of our ongoing series of articles spotlighting the people behind the brand at Bürkert UK, Process Industry Forum spoke to Polly Betteridge, who heads up the fluid control expert’s Quality and Aftersales. Here, Polly gives us an insight into how she helps Bürkert to maintain the highest standards of quality internally through cast iron processes and externally through responsive customer service.
Hi Polly, thanks for talking to Process Industry Forum. Can you give us an idea of what the Bürkert aftersales UK team does?
The main task within the Aftersales department is looking after customer returns. This covers faulty parts and parts ordered in error. We log all Burkert non-conformances and review them, implement corrective actions and monitor success going forward.
I also oversee Quality at Bürkert UK, which includes creating, maintaining and distributing our certification and policies in order to demonstrate and uphold our ISO 9001:2015 certification. Our internal processes are written up by myself and maintained under the umbrella of Quality.
In what ways do you add value to the customer experience?
I like to think that I add value to the customer experience, when it comes to returning products, by taking away the stress. I try to be as proactive as I possibly can be and endeavour to keep the customer updated with progress at any given opportunity.
We are very open with our customers about our processes and terms, which allows us to have a trustworthy relationship. We openly admit any failures by Bürkert and endeavour to get to the root cause. I feel our customers appreciate and respect this way of working.
What makes Bürkert’s UK aftersales better than that of your competitors?
Our commitment to making the experience as smooth and quick as possible. There will always be someone available to speak to if required. The process is all SAP driven and monitored to ensure that KPIs are met.
What does a typical day (if there is one!) involve for you?
It is tricky to say because the Aftersales requirements can be very irregular. For example, there can be days when there are no requirements for new returns, parts that have been returned are in hand with engineers being tested and everything is running as it should be. The next day, there can be multiple valve failures reported where a production plant is on shutdown – all because of one failed part!
I follow up each return daily (we typically have about 40 open at any one time). Depending on what stage it is at this could be chasing the customer, our engineers or the factory. Other standard tasks in a day would be to write up engineer test reports and relay to the customer, produce quotations for chargeable repair work, complete supplier forms and produce certification.
The Quality side of the role includes mapping our department processes and maintaining our internal documentation to conform with ISO 9001:2015. This is ongoing and requires a lot of attention and constant review.
What’s the most satisfying part of the job?
Providing the customer with a satisfactory outcome to a problem. Also, when you can see that a process that has been agreed on is followed and works efficiently.
What sort of challenges do you overcome regularly?
Customers’ expectations or needs for replacements before a part is returned and inspected. We are unable to offer this until the part is inspected. Lead times for replacements are often an issue. If a part has failed, the replacement is more than likely required urgently. Our repair orders take priority, but it is all down to available parts because they are made to order.
If a customer needs Bürkert aftersales UK support how can they contact the team?
Phone 01285 648742 or email [email protected].
For more information, please contact Bürkert today.
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