Leveraging Learning to Deliver Customers’ Uptime Guarantee

On-the-dot, a very composed Jesse walked into our interview. While you can tell he was anxious to get his hands on today’s scheduled lift trucks, he patiently and pleasantly told the beginnings of his career at SCMH…and much more.

11 Years Ago
Jesse joined SCMH as an apprentice technician in November of 2006. Armed with experience from the automotive industry and from working as an overall technician and in charge of facility upkeep, Jesse easily bridges customers’ needs with the services SCMH readily provides. “Having been on the customer side, I understand the level of urgency our customers have. If they are down one truck, even just for a single day, I know the burden can be costly. They may need to extend hours of warehouse operations, put in extra man hours, and pay for rental.” That’s why Jesse’s main goal is to maintain lift trucks as best he could and make the proper recommendations long before a piece of equipment breaks down.

“On one forklift I maintain, there were electrical issues. I told the owner he needs to get this done otherwise it would damage the motor. But the customer kept postponing. A few weeks later, the forklift breaks down, and true enough the motor suffered extensive damage, needing replacement. What would have been a $300 “brush job” became a nearly $2000 expense.” From that day on, whatever Jesse recommended, the customer knew to facilitate immediately. “My goal is not to make customers spend money. My goal is to extend the life and use of their equipment and ensure their uptime.

Today: Journeyman Technician
Jesse’s proven expertise and genuine concern for customers has earned him the rank of journeyman technician today. Jesse specializes on maintenance and repair of electric equipment, particularly the Jungheinrich brand. “I find electric forklifts very challenging. With AC, you cannot be left behind. You have to be constantly training and that’s where SCMH is best at—keeping techs up to date with the latest developments on modern equipment.” Jesse is successful in his specialization because he is able to map out a comprehensive process “Because technology changes so fast, I have to develop work habits where information is always available to me when I need it. System checks need to be done on a regular basis because minor things in electric forklifts affect the entire equipment. The battery is another component that we always need to keep an eye on because it is part of the electric structure.”

As a result of his vast experience and attention to detail, many customers have lauded Jesse for his hard work and honesty. It was hard for Jesse to pick just one when asked about his favorite. “There’s so many! But top-of-mind customer is See’s Candies. They treat me like family as if I belonged to their team.” Eight years servicing See’s Candies’ forklifts has earned for SCMH trust and confidence with the established candy manufacturer whose motto is quality without compromise—and Jesse delivers for See’s the same commitment to performance.

Commitment to Performance
Among the many customer experiences Jesse shared, one stood out. “It was a late, rainy afternoon and I was scheduled to repair an electric forklift. I got to the customer’s location and found the truck was left outside drenching in rain. The owners said it would not start and could not be taken inside. They said to leave it there and just come back when it stops raining.” But Jesse did not leave. Knowing the consequences would be much more severe if the AC forklift was left outside to soak. He could have rescheduled this repair given the weather conditions, but Jesse worked on it until it roared back to life. “I just couldn’t leave it outside. I didn’t want it to incur further water damage.” He drove the machine back inside covered grounds. And the customer couldn’t believe Jesse worked on it under the rain. The customer was speechless and very, very thankful.

“People are not perfect. They make mistakes.” Said Jesse humbly when told all customer feedback of him were always positive. “But what makes me avoid mistakes is being thorough and following the process. I never take short cuts.”

If Jesse were to share his two-cents with customers, his advise would be:

1. Keep the people with experience. They will take good care of you and your equipment.
2. Maintain your service. This will keep your equipment healthy and have lesser chances of breaking down.
3. Train your operators to properly use your equipment, maintain cleanliness, and prevent damage.

“The last one is perhaps the most important.” Jesse shares a specific example when operators are not trained properly, misuse and abuse occur more frequently.“I have two different customers who bought exactly the same brand new lift trucks about the same time. The first one operates in a very clean environment under the hands of very responsible operators. In the last three years, I have only seen them and their trucks during PM (planned maintenance) and no more.

The second customer’s working environment is unkempt—you will see debris and dirt everywhere. Operator negligence is written all over the unit. They call us very often for stuck rocks and minor repairs that could have been easily avoided.”

Jesse is very proactive in recommending preventive service so that zero-breakdowns are guaranteed. “If your lift truck is due for a 1,000-hour or a hydraulic service, I will keep reminding you need to do it. Because trust me, it will save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars in the long run.”

Fast Forward: In 10 Years
“I still see myself working at SCMH doing what I love best.” Jesse would like to maintain a simple, well-balanced life with his wife and children, ages seven and five. “They’re into ice skating, but our weekends are not fully occupied with sports.” Jesse believes in quality family time and tries to keep his weekends open just being with his family. “I used to bring work home a lot. I would turn on my computer on Sundays and check what schedules I have for Monday—schedules can change easily especially if there are urgent repairs—but I’ve managed that better now, keeping my weekends strictly for family, going out on hiking trips, or just doing nothing with the kids!” Jesse has now developed the habit of reading his Email messages and checking his dispatch schedules early Monday mornings instead.

Jesse believes the future of lift trucks will only get better through the years, heavily reliant on advanced technology. “I am very proud of our products, especially CAT and Jungheinrich. I can see myself working on these equipment ‘til I retire.” Jesse laughs and shakes his head thinking out loud “but that’s still far ahead. For now, I just want to keep doing the right thing, never stop learning. This is what I tell my kids too. You have to go to school because knowledge is everything.”

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Mara Gaborro

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