Tennant, one of the larger players in the cleaning equipment industry, decided to look for ways to improve the business and to align it across all country organisations.
With this in mind they offered the position of Service Director EMEA to Mr Toin Jansen, who was previously dealing with acquisitions and partnerships, expecting him to bring his structuring knowledge to the business.
Mr Jansen told us, “Because I was new to the service business I was looking for something that could give me an overview. I bought a lot of books and started reading, but I wanted to at least have some knowledge and background. I wanted something not technical, but more business driven. When I joined the department our revenue and profitability were below expectations, so I had to break the trend on revenue and significantly improve profitability while maintaining customer satisfaction.”
Based on what was expected from him and his eagerness to learn more about the service business, Mr Jansen joined the Leadership in Digital Service Transformation Training.
“I was really enthusiastic about the course because it had a sound business angle, a good structure and it covered the service business from different perspectives. It also had a very good balance between theory and practice”, said Mr Jansen.
According to Mr Jansen he particularly liked the topic about the customer - understanding the customer needs and the whole customer experience. “This angle about intentionally organising the experience of the customer was very interesting, because we, like many other service companies, were sometimes more focused on the technical aspects of machine repair rather than on delivering an intentional customer experience. Designing the customer experience is one of the angles that we’re pursuing at the moment”, he stated.
He went on to say how he also enjoyed the strategy part of the training as it helped him with developing his plan of actions.
Mr Jansen is in charge of a small team operating at the EMEA regional level, but he also must work with individual, country service organisations in the UK, France, Germany, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Because of his experience with the leadership course, he encouraged his service managers to attend as well.
“I really liked the training so much and it contained a lot of ideas about which areas we could improve and what targets to pursue. I thought it would be much easier if my team would also experience this. I saw this as a way to get people to grasp certain concepts”, said Mr Jansen. He continued by adding that the training proved to be attractive and useful to people with less experience, as well as to those with a much longer experience in the field.
Moreover, he stated, “I believe a lot of trainings are a waste of time because people go to a course, they sit back and then they return to work and they do nothing with what they learned. In this case I felt that it was time well spent, as the course is not covered on a single day and gives people the time to absorb information. Also, the assignments throughout the days prevent you from sitting back. You are actually challenged to apply what they’ve tried to teach you”.
Mr Jansen added that the combination of theory with real life examples helps to overcome the issue raised by sceptics about applying certain practices. People want to see how a nice concept can be applied in real life and also understand the challenges they might face in their attempt to implement something new, as well as how these challenges can be overcome.
Mr Jansen pointed out that the course had brought him what he was looking for: an overall structure and a number of ideas and concepts that could be part of Tennant’s future plans. He, in fact, encouraged his team to also attend the course and they successfully reached their original targets.
The team has actually been working towards their target in the past year, bit by bit, armed with knowledge from the course. “We picked pieces that we could build ourselves and started building the ship in pieces, instead of from a grand design. You can still get a lot of results with this approach. You don’t need the big bang approach”, concluded Mr Jansen.
Lastly, Mr Jansen’s company project within Europe was very successful. He and his team actually exceeded their own expectations on profitability improvement and managed to initiate growth.