The IFS Champions program shines the spotlight on exceptional individuals that work for IFS customers, making use of their IFS solution in the best way to enable Moments of Service™. The program is now in its third installment, and we are pleased to announce that Minna Ingram, who works for global coatings company Teknos, will be our next IFS Champion! I sat down with her to learn more about her day-to-day at the company.
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
My name is Minna Ingram and I work as the ERP Application Manager for Teknos, based in Helsinki, Finland. I live on the west coast of Finland and work remotely from a small, rural municipality with lots of lakes and beautiful nature. I have worked within production and service companies in a technical/IT role for my entire career, seeing much change and development over the years.
Outside of work family life takes priority, and living in a property that used to house stables and a riding school there is always something to do—especially with the four quite different seasons we can experience in Finland. From our garden almost everything is nearby—swimming in the lake, picking berries in our forest, skiing on land or on sea and so forth. Going out can be in search of good food, an interesting find for my collection of Arabia porcelain or just to spend time elsewhere, whether local or further afield, such as my former hometown of Oulu in northern Finland or something involving an airplane!
I also find time to be the Finnish chairman of IFSiders, the IFS user group for the region and other society-focussed activities.
What does a typical day look like at work?
No one day is the same as the company’s IFS administrator. I have the luxury at being able to work from home in a lovely rural area, so I usually start early and get a global position of our system and anything that needs prompt action. This early start means that I may get a mix of easier support queries raised overnight that affect the entire system, or responses to more detailed, involved development process that is ongoing. Throughout the day we have frequent contact between ERP team members, as well as partners both internal and external. Time is divided between the system that exists today and the enhancements planned for tomorrow.
What would you define as your company’s Moment of Service?
I see ERP teams as the invisible spider’s web that connects the company together. Invisible insofar that the external customer may never know about it – even if there is a rare problem – and internal users all undertake their work that can impact on other departments. Like electricity to the computer, it is just there, taken as being essential, with very few wondering about how it gets there. Internally the ERP team works to let the company work better and efficiently, whilst observing, discussing, and implementing possible operational improvements throughout the enterprise. I see this as everything coming together, for us to deliver great Moments of Service to our customers.
In a literal sense, I see Teknos’s Moment of Service as the moment when our customers, whether they be a business or a consumer, receive their order from us accurately and on-time, see the finished result looking just the way they wanted it on the wall.
What does great service mean to you?
Great service is a concept where an end-to-end process is possibly invisible to an individual, whether company insider or an external party. It just works. It should be seamless, with complexity or complication removed or significantly reduced. Everyone is a ‘customer’ in one way or another, and a good service provider works to make their customer’s life easier, giving them more time to focus on their needs rather than an underlying process. Customers can get used to great service—it can be addictive and become second nature, so they notice more readily any service deviations.
I think that if a company can achieve this level of service and understand the concept of everyone being a customer, then they are on the path to continued success and ultimately, more growth as a company and happy employees and customers!
Tell us about a time you experienced great service.
I remember a time I hired a landscape gardener. The consultant that visited us immediately understood what we wanted to achieve, and helped guide the process for us, without it feeling like a typical sales process. This is a further concrete demonstration of service as it should be.
About Teknos and IFS
Teknos uses IFS throughout the entire product and customer journey, from the acquisition of raw materials right through to getting its paint in various forms to the customer. The same suite of applications is used by Teknos locations around the world, delivering world-class benefits both to its internal and external customers. One enhancement suggestion from one employee in one country can easily be taken and rolled out worldwide for universal benefit.
One example of IFS being of benefit to Teknos’s customers is their implementation of the IFS Warehouse Data Collection module, that allows the use of a handheld barcode reader and mobile device within the logistics chain. This directs team workers to efficiently pick products or components from our high-storage warehouses for onward delivery, whether internally or externally.