E-Service – How Efficiency Drives Succes

19/12/2012

When Mike Clokie set up E-Service in 2005, he thought about calling it ‘The Operators’ Friend’. His vision was to create an efficient repairs and maintenance company, providing personal and helpful service. After 8 years, the company now has 50 employees and continues to grow.

The concept was to be able to provide country-wide repairs of components of all types, so that operators could minimise machine downtime and maximise the life of their equipment. By investing in facilities and training team members, several of whom have been with the business since it started, the company has weathered the recession and is still growing exponentially year on year. A large part of this growth has been service contracts with leading brands, including the influential Shuffle Master automatic shufflers.

A visit to the new premises in Hertfordshire clearly reveals the reasons behind E-Service’s success. Arlet Anjo, the Administration Supervisor, drives her team to meet efficiency targets for quotations, logistics, works orders and customer responses. The factory floor is immaculate, despite the many thousands of tiny components, screws and lock pins, in constant use. The engineers are arranged in rows, each aisle responsible for one aspect of repair, whether they are coin mechanisms or TFT screens.

“Some of our engineers have been with us from school and we offer them ongoing training at Oaklands College, as well as in-house training,” says Tristan Wormell, Operations Supervisor. Many of the engineers go on to develop a specialism in one particular product type – although E-Service will repair components from any manufacturer and even keeps a large number of older refurbished parts in stock, for replacement purposes.

Mike’s experience within service has been at the forefront of the company’s focus to work as efficiently and effectively as possible. With support from Operations Manger Tristan Wormell and QA Manager Hanry Anjo, the 25 plus engineers are certainly kept on their toes and are measured on their performance on a regular basis. Every item is bar coded at point of booking in and work carried out during the repair is recorded. All repairs have the latest firmware installed and are covered by a 90 day warranty. 

Hanry Anjo, Quality Assurance Manager, was quick to point out the advantages of the bar code system in maintaining efficiencies within the workshop and stores area. Hanry continually aims to reduce the ‘Beyond Economical Repair’ rate. This is the number of components which are found to be too costly to repair.  According to Hanry, “We always aim to repair a customer’s order where possible. Nobody likes to say the component can’t be fixed and has to be replaced.”

Reporting in such a methodical manner benefits the company and customer alike. Arlet Anjo highlighted one of many benefits, “Customers have been known to ask for a report on a particular component that we have repaired two years earlier. We are able to give full details of the repair, along with exact time and date the repair was carried out and who repaired the unit – if necessary the customer can then speak with the engineer directly.”

Another benefit of the new premises, which Mike was very keen to demonstrate, is the new “dust free room”. The three-strong team in this area specialise in all areas of TFT and touch screen technology. This has contributed to an impressive number of key manufacturers now endorsing E-Service as their official service centre.

E-Service have recently been appointed the after sales supplier for all Barcrest analogue machines. Naturally, they were delighted to win such business and it was clear to see how this fits in with their already impressive aftersales facility, supporting Games Warehouse, Global VR, Pokertek and LAI Games.

Although, there have been a number of successes and the company has seen steady growth, E-Service most certainly have no thoughts of taking their foot off the gas. This has been highlighted by the expansion of general spares, pool equipment and sales of Hainsworth pool cloth, for which the company became an official distributor at the start of 2012. Paul Smith, Sales Manager, was enthused by the growth within this area and it was obvious that the five-strong sales team all had equal drive.

In fact, the whole company appears driven to ensure the best possible service, offering innovative ideas to the industry in a cost effective manner. Mike’s focus on recording information, keen eye on reporting and enthusiastic approach towards technology has resulted in impressive results; including 98% of advance replacement orders being shipped-out same day. This, along with a team that are happy to think out of the box, has resulted in a company that is proud to be “The Operators’ Friend”.

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