So you think you know what IT is? Think it’s all super chic geekdom from behind a big desk with so many monitors it looks like you work for the NSA? Pocket protectors? Thick glasses? Yeah, we’ve got that.
Think it’s the symphony of multiple mouse-clicks and super fast keyboard typing of engineers making updates and firewall changes? Or the beauty of a well-organized network closet with all colors of cables and lights blinking in unison? Yeah, we do that.
Being fanatical about customer service? At Infinity, Inc., we LIVE that.
But since I don’t expect you to simply take my word for it, I’ve got some examples. You can call them ‘Notes from the field.’
At the Core
One of our Core Values is to provide fanatical customer service. This isn’t something we take lightly. We bring our “A” game here, and that’s not just lip service. It is literally written on the wall in our office.
I’ve been at Infinity for almost eight years, and it is hands-down one of the best places I’ve ever worked. Sure, we have all the latest technology, and we are great about staying ahead of the curve (another Core Value is to “Continually improve”). But one of the best things about working at Infinity is our clients. They are the best. They allow us to manage all their cool IT stuff and make their lives easier. Part of my job is to learn about our clients and then think outside the box for ways to serve them even better. (Yes, it’s a cliché, but stay with me and you’ll see how far outside we go.)
A ‘Fresh’ Perspective
The first time I approached my boss with an “outside the box” idea I was slightly skeptical that he would agree. But in true Infinity fashion, he was all in. One of our clients delivers fresh produce daily. This wasn’t a typical client for us and I wanted to see how they worked. What did they do to make everything run smoothly? Maybe I could learn something from them. I decided I was going to go onsite and load trucks for a day with the crew at our client’s warehouse.
The owner of the produce delivery company was a little hesitant that the “IT people” could do anything to help with the loading docks, but he agreed to let me give it a go. Showing up to the dock in work pants and steel-toe boots (an investment that will come in handy later on), the guys there were a little taken aback. I mean, seriously, what is the girl who fixed a network switch last week going to do on the loading dock? I quickly found the manager and asked what I could do to jump in. We worked furiously loading trucks, checking each box of produce one by one to ensure it met standards, and did a whole lot of running all over the place. What I quickly noticed was that the manager had to leave the floor. A lot. He had to go print orders, update orders, change orders for restaurants and the like. Every time he left the floor, guess what? People stopped moving. Not being lazy, simply awaiting the next step. This happened all day long.
I made notes, did some not-so-fancy math, and went to the owner with a solution: let’s get the manager a tablet. Let’s connect it the server so he can make changes out on the warehouse floor and…wait for it…air print! Ah, the glory of geekdom. The company agreed to implement my suggestion and was able to be much more efficient with just this one small change.
Taking Out the Trash
The second time I had a great “outside the box” idea was even more radical. I wanted to ride a garbage truck for a day. Yes, you read that right–the IT lady riding garbage trucks.
We had another new client at the time, and I wanted to see how things worked. How are all these trucks coordinated to move across Savannah and the Low Country area, and what is a day like for the “boots on the ground” people? Well, let me tell you one thing first: those people start early. I mean 2:00 a.m. early. And as I was certain the person I was going to ride with was none too thrilled about the IT girl coming to work with him, I softened the blow with some doughnuts. (The local doughnut shop staff looking at me crazy when I bought 10 dozen doughnuts at 1:00 in the morning is a story for another day.)
Prepped with my steel-toe boots once again, work pants, and a trusty pair of gloves, I set off for the day. And as I hopped in the truck when my assigned driver showed up, he did note that I at least looked the part. We drove from stop to stop picking up containers and then taking them to the dump to empty their contents. Unfortunately, the geek gods were not smiling on me that day and we worked through a practical monsoon of rain. Those steel-toe boots came in handy though when I had to get out of the truck at the dump each trip to help hook up the heavy equipment to pull us out of what I will just keep telling myself was a mud-like substance.
Because of the weather, my experience wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for that day. But what I loved about it was seeing the camaraderie of the employees at this client and how everyone pulled together to make things happen. So what could I do to help make it better?
They have tablets in their trucks that run their scheduling and routing software. Biggest complaint? It’s down an awful lot and when it does work, the information is oftentimes wrong. Sounds frustrating but not too big of deal, right? It’s just a garbage truck – how complicated can it be? Well, when your entire day’s route is on this tablet and Dispatch has to make changes on the fly to accommodate customers’ needs, that software better work, buddy. When it doesn’t, you lose time and money with with every truck and driver that goes to a pickup that has been changed. You tie up the radio communicating the changes and may have to take extra time to check directions. So I made some notes, and we went to the software developer. Guess what? We discovered some compatibility issues and some updates that had not been maintained. Enter the geek with the pocket protector and super hero cape, and a couple of weeks later the issues were resolved. Happy drivers make happy customers, and happy customers make happy bosses.
The Infinity Difference
So what’s the point of all my nostalgia about these experiences?
It means I think it’s time to broaden our definition (and expectations) of IT.
It means that our company is different. And not just on paper. It means that Infinity is all about trying different things to help our clients and that we’re not afraid to get our hands dirty.
It means that our clients are different. They are more than clients: they are friends, partners, and people in this community who are invested in growing together. It’s exciting to be a part of that community.
What we do is more than IT work. Infinity and its people make a difference. And at the end of the day—with lettuce in my hair and “mud” on my boots—there is no better place to work.
If you want to experience the Infinity difference, give us a call. We’d be happy to see how we can make your technology work better for you.