Less than a year after joining JLG Industries as general manager, Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Satterley has the access equipment company’s major expansion and improvement program well advanced. Excited by the infrastructure changes that have been implemented, Satterley points to the renewed passion and commitment of the JLG staff that has made all the difference in the expansion process.
“We surveyed our customer base at the start of the year and we got some feedback that indicated we were becoming a lazy market leader,” Satterley said. “Our first step was to get our attitude right. It wouldn’t have mattered how much money and people we threw at problems if the underlying culture wasn’t right.
“We had a real honest look at ourselves and how we were treating our customers and knew that we had to get some passion and good old fashion customer care back into the place. It was as simple as never taking anyone’s business for granted. Our current re-survey of customers is suggesting we have definitely changed and are heading in a direction that ensures we offer more than just the leading product.
“I am confident now that when new employees join us as part of our expansion program, they experience a culture that has a ‘can do’ mentality in an environment that demands a passionate approach to all elements of customer service,” added Satterley.
The expansion program is designed to give JLG industry leadership of customer support activities; address sales, service, training and replacement parts activities; and cover personnel, equipment and facilities. A major upgrade and reorganization of existing facilities has created a state-of-the-art service and parts center in Sydney and new branch premises are already open in Adelaide, with Perth due to follow in July.
The expansion will give the JLG branch network the capacity to cope with growth in the company’s customer base. In Perth the establishment of a new replacement parts center will improve delivery performance throughout the west.
“We’ve accomplished much in the last few months, but the best thing we’ve achieved is to really learn how to listen to our customers,” Satterley said. “That has given us a better understanding of the pressures that they are under to perform, to provide a safe working environment and to be profitable.”
JLG’s response has been a major investment in all areas that impact on customer support, including training, field service and replacement parts support.
“We recognize that servicing is absolutely vital for access equipment,” Satterley said. “One of my first moves was to appoint a national service manager to coordinate activities and raise standards throughout our branch network. We promised to double our field service technician numbers around Australia and that will take effect early in 2008.”
Improving the quality of product support has also been central to planning for the new JLG facilities in South Australia and Western Australia. Opening of the new branches in Adelaide and Perth will complete the establishment of a national chain of permanent training facilities where maintenance staff employed by customers can be brought together for specialized tuition.
JLG is also increasing the number of technical support staff who are available to provide telephone assistance to customers and who form an additional level of support to field service technicians.
“All of these moves are part of a renewed commitment to a ‘customer first’ culture, which has energized our staff and is already producing benefits for users of JLG equipment,” Satterley said.
“Our customers will also benefit from a sophisticated software system to be commissioned in April 2008. It captures customer and equipment information with a level of detail designed to ensuring a uniformly high level of service when customers need to contact JLG for sales, service or replacement parts.