Introduction

This
career episode pertains to my work as an After-Sales Engineer for John Bean
Technologies (JBT) in the Middle East. The company is located also in the Jebel
Ali Zone in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. 
The firm is a global leading technology solutions provider, and has its
headquarters in Chicago, Illinois in the United States. Its main areas of expertise
are in food technology and air transport. My particular assignment is in the
area of food technology. JBT is able to provide state-of-the-art technologies
for food production processes such as peeling, portioning, refrigeration,
process and line control, powder filling, labelling, slicing, fish processing
and many other processes.  I began
working for this firm in November of 2016, and as of this writing, I still work
for this firm.

 

3.2       Background

My
chief function as an Aftermarket-Sales Engineer is to provide post-sales
technical assistance and advice/support about all our products to those clients
who purchased them. I continue to liaise with our clients with regard to the
use, operations and maintenance of our products, and schedule trips to the
clients’ every so often in order to determine the performance of the equipment
that our company supplied to them.

I
am also in charge of negotiating the after-sales contracts and service
agreements with the clients. If the clients ask for further product training
and education for their staff, I also take charge of doing so. If there are any
modifications that need to be done with the products, I take the lead for doing
so.  This also means that I coordinate
the schedules of our service engineers as they make their rounds and calls to
clients. Attendance in trade fairs where our products are featured is also part
of my job, so that I can immediately liaise with potential clients if they have
questions on the products.

In
particular, I am in charge of the sales, coordination and delivery of spare
parts that are ordered by our clients. If there are large projects that require
a substantial number of products, I am also often on site in order to supervise
the layout and installation of the same. This means that I have to coordinate
with the engineers and other contractors on the project.

As
for the organizational structure of my department, I report directly to the
Aftermarket Manager of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, while he
in turn reports to the Aftermarket Director of Europe, who in turn reports to
the General Manager who is under the CEO. A diagram of this structure is shown
below:

In the food
technology sector, the aftermarket sales engineer position is very important
because all inquiries that clients may have about the products of the company
are answered immediately. I usually visit the client’s venue when there are
queries such that I am able to recommend which products are the most suited to
their needs and the budget. Also, one has to establish long-term relationships
with the client portfolio of the firm. There is always room for getting in
touch with a client who has purchased equipment from the company in the past.
The client may have greater needs this time which may be addressed by a product
of the firm. Also, the client may be able to make referrals such that these
potential clients can be turned into actual clients.

 

3.3       Personal
Engineering Activity

3.3.1    For a certain client, JBT was commissioned
to provide aftermarket services after had purchased certain equipment from the
company.  As an Aftermarket Sales
Engineer, I would first check the original contract between JBT and the firm. I
would make notes of the highlights of the agreement.  I would then go to the site of the client and
look at the equipment that were purchased from the firm, taking note of the age
of the equipment and the level of performance that was currently being
manifested by the same. Thereafter I would begin to map out the Aftermarket
program of the firm. The parts that were going to be needed as well as the
timeline for reordering these spare parts. 
It is always vital that one has the opportunity to talk to the
engineering team of the firm such that both sides are on the same level, and
have a common understanding of the current situation and how the performance of
the equipment can be improved through Aftermarket sales service. I also
normally take the opportunity to present new models of current equipment or
other related equipment that would help make the production processes of the
firm smoother while not sacrificing quality.

In
connection with the above, I also endeavor to maintain excellent professional
relationships with all our clients. I take note of the names of everyone I talk
to and meet with, such that the next time we meet again, I still am able to
mention their names. It is always important to take notes of your conversations
and meetings such that one is able to follow-up on these conversations. For
instance, a client may request for a recommendation on which spare parts to
purchase or which new equipment would be more helpful for the company.  I could easily refer to my notes such that
even the client can recall what has previously been discussed.

My
knowledge of engineering comes in when there are issues on the equipment.
Clients often call to say that there are problems with the equipment or the
spare parts. I always endeavor to apply the correct and the most suitable
engineering technique when it comes to these issues.

 

3.3.2                I
was once sent on a commission to inspect a job site in order to determine which
equipment and parts are to be installed. The initial visit is always a
sensitive part of the commissioning project, as one has to carefully determine
which equipment and parts will be needed. Therefore, the sales engineer must
have a clear picture of what the organization does and produces. The required
quality levels of the finished products must likewise be clear to him. After
all the inputs on the products, the quality of the products and even the skills
of the employees are made known to the aftermarket sales engineer, I would
carefully make a list of the equipment and parts that would be needed for the
plant or shop floor to function most efficiently. Knowledge on the power and
water supplies is also necessary, and these must be taken into account for the
final layout of the equipment and spare parts. Computations on the power
requirements must be carefully made and double or even triple-checked so that
there will be no overloading of the power sources once the equipment become
operational.

                        I am likewise quick to
take note of older or aging equipment while in a job site. By being very
professional, I inquire from the client about the functioning of these
equipment, and if they are still satisfied with the performance of the
equipment. At the same time, I immediately make recommendations to the client
if I see that the piece of equipment is not longer functioning at the desired
level. Beyond the requirements for equipment and utilities, I also look at the
potential overview of the layout of the shop floor.

 

3.3.3    Looking at the potential layout of the shop
floor, I am able to determine if there are possible safety or occupational
hazards that will increase the risk for disaster or injury while I am there.
During one particular commissioning project, I noticed that for an enclosure
for a GC 600, the site did not possess the required 2x scissor lifts that were
needed for installing the roof panels. The client could not produce the
requirement scissor lifts in time for the project. I therefore had to design a
manbox that was to be lifted through the use of a forklift. The box was to be
secured to the forklift with the help of heavy duty ropes. Using this design,
the project was completed at very little cost to the client. There were also no
lost costs due to waiting times. The project was done within the designated
time limit. All safety hazards were likewise eliminated because of the use of
this tool.

 

3.3.4                It is very important for people
in my position to maintain good relations with the clients. This includes the
employees I often liaise with during official trips. If I may say so, I have
excellent professional and personal relations with the employees of JBT’s
clients I find this important as these individuals are able to provide valuable
inputs for the company. They are a great source of feedback for the firm’s
products. Finally, they can also endorse JBT to other firms needing the same
products in the Middle East as well. I manage to maintain good professional and
personal relations with past clients as well. 
Past clients may provide referrals for JBT, and are also potential
clients once more in the aftermarket business. 
This is because many of our past clients’ businesses have become
successful, and so they inquire once more with our firm.

 

3.4       Summary

I
find my work at JBT very productive. I now have a vast list of clients and
acquaintances in the industry. They are very quick to notify us about any new
needs and requirements. I always make sure that they contact us at the firm no
matter how small the inquiry is.  I
believe that this is always part of good after sales service as well.

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