Earlier in 2023, Körber introduced its new Support, Delivery & Operations organisation globally. Its Director of Global Field Services & Robotics, Kurt Seafield, explains to MHD how this new iteration of SDO is helping the company’s clients with their software and hardware queries.
Körber has a long history of delivering cutting-edge tailored software and warehouse solutions in supply chain. But cutting-edge solutions won’t cut it unless there’s the reliable customer support – both before and after sale and implementation – to back it up.
While Körber has long provided such support, recently the company streamlined its support functions by bringing them together in one mission-oriented organisation: Support, Delivery & Operations (SDO).
It’s a new organisation that has evolved out of the best of prior practices and experience. Körber’s SDO combines various cross-functions related to customer support, delivery of solutions, services, and ongoing operations. Its purpose is to provide an integrated approach, and to ensure customer success throughout the entire journey with the company.
Creating today’s effective SDO has involved combining hardware as well as software – such as robotics, voice, and mobility, and its large software portfolio – under a single umbrella. The bottom-line objective for Körber’s SDO is to respond to customer queries and offer them the support they need when they need it.
Whether Körber customers utilise one of the above, or all of them, now they have a one-stop-shop for support.
INTRODUCING THE SDO APAC TEAM
Kurt Seafield, Director of Global Field Services & Robotics, leads all support functions in the APAC region and Global Field Services. He’s responsible for Körber’s AMR/Robotics and voice and mobility business units globally while ensuring the success of its regional software support function.
His team consists of a first line support desk answering inbound calls, engineers handling tickets across products and providing support to customers experiencing issues with AMRs, voice mobility and software.
“Our first line support desk is the first to pick up tickets,” says Kurt.
“They are working cross-functionally, which means whether it’s a software, Robotics/AMR or voice issue, these operators are trained across all business units so they can run basic diagnostics before passing the matter onto an Level 2 engineer who understands the project or the solution in more technical detail. This is all part of our effort to streamline Körber’s processes.”
Support teams have been strategically placed in multiple regions around the globe including APAC, EMEA, and the Americas. Körber adheres to a follow-the-sun-model for its first line support desk operators.
“The APAC admin team looks after all our customers’ daily needs,” explains Kurt. “They conduct maintenance planning, arrange for spare parts to be sent out, and general enquiries. ”
A ticket is generated when a customer calls the first line support desk. Engineers are the first point of contact and respond to their queries – this is all dependent on which business unit is required. These units are Warehouse Advantage, 3PL, AMR/robotics, and voice and mobility. The relevant technician and/or engineers then get involved to support their customers and team members provide them with a resolution.
Kurt’s team consists of several team members. The first line support desk leader is Karren. She’s based in the Philippines and is responsible for the entire APAC first line support desk and is the first port of call when customers need support.
Paul, the AMR/Robotics leader for APAC is based in Sydney and facilitates all functions across that business unit. He works with customers daily on ensuring their AMR fleets operate efficiently. Together with his team, he also drives Körber’s continuous improvement initiatives to guarantee customers are provided with technical best practice initiatives and operational excellence advice.
Eric is Head of Support in APAC. He leads Körber’s software support and voice and mobility support engineers. These teams support all technical tickets generated either by its AI monitoring tool or customer-generated tickets.
USING NEW SUPPORT SYSTEMS
Körber’s support model includes a combination of real-time monitoring, predictive analytics, and AI-driven diagnostics. These help identify and address potential issues before they impact operations.
Post-implementation support involves continuous communication with customers, regular health checks of the systems, and providing updates on new features and improvements.
“We have implemented several solutions to drive customer success with regards to real-time monitoring,” explains Kurt. “Some of these systems include Moogsoft for AIOps, Data-Dog APM, PagerDuty and Logic-Monitor.”
Moogsoft involves AI automatically correlating related alerts from all systems into the same incident, dramatically reducing alert noise and detecting potential outages.
“This tool monitors all our systems, and reduces the level of noise significantly,” says Kurt. “It does this by delving into the underlying cause of a potential problem, removing the fog, to help us clearly see the issue at hand.”
Data-Dog APM is an Application Performance Monitoring tool giving deep visibility into applications with out-of-performance dashboards for web services, queues, and databases to monitor requests, errors, and latency.
PagerDuty provides reliable notifications, automatic escalations, on-call scheduling, and other functionality to help teams detect and fix infrastructure problems quickly. Logic-Monitor is a platform designed for troubleshooting, managing, and maintaining networks, data hubs, servers, cloud storages, and more.
Software problems can be fixed remotely any time whereas hardware issues are usually fixed during the day and can be done either remotely or on-site. Körber’s SDO also helps guide partners – who have been onboarded and undertaken extensive training – when they’re repairing solutions at customers’ facilities.
Teams across APAC, EMEA, and the US can create a seamless and efficient global workflow by capitalising on their geographical time differences. This collaboration strategy enables around-the-clock productivity and ensures that each team can utilise the expertise and resources of their counterparts during their respective night-time hours.
The benefits of this are adherence to quality and standard of providing support, and alignment across the board to ensure a seamless customer experience.
STREAMLINING PROCESSES FOR SMOOTHER OPERATIONS
The operating model for SDO involves collaboration across departments, streamlined communication channels, and a focus on proactive support. Cross-functional teams cooperate to ensure a seamless customer experience, from initial handover to support to daily ongoing operations.
Körber is improving its ticketing, self-service, monitoring, and alerting by enhancing the efficiency of issue tracking and resolution. Monitoring and alerting systems ensure that potential issues are detected early, allowing for quick response and minimising downtime.
“Currently, there are 25 per cent fewer tickets since we have implemented some of our SDO initiatives,” explains Kurt.
“Our average resolution time improved for FocusNow customers by more than 60 per cent. We proactively mitigated 100+ customer high impact alerts in June.”
Since implementing its latest tools, Körber’s average ticket ageing has been reduced by 68 per cent, and licensing queue and first assignment resolution by 80 per cent. The average case resolution time is under a single day, and 20 per cent of backlog growth has been reduced.
KÖRBER KICKING GOALS WITH NEW SYSTEM
Körber’s SDO goals are expertise, responsiveness, proactive support, customer-centric approach, and continuous improvement.
By expertise, Körber is referring to building a globalised support and operational organisation by investing in developing existing talent and adding highly skilled and knowledgeable professionals.
Responsiveness and proactive support are related to Körber’s global support and operations organisation being available 24/7 with “eyes on screen” to respond to customer enquiries quickly and efficiently.
Additionally, they utilise a modern “observability stack” in identifying potential issues and providing preventative measures to avoid them and ensure that their customers’ supply chain systems are operating at peak performance.
Körber’s new processes and systems enable it to provide improved focus and responsiveness at scale. Attributes, configurations, entitlements, knowledge articles, contacts, history and special handling notes are all intelligently integrated in its interactions with its customers.
Its SDO model has significantly improved its customers’ daily operations by ensuring continuous and reliable expert assistance and offering proactive measures to minimise disruptions. Körber is a highly regarded partner in the supply chain industry, known for its innovative solutions, efficient project execution, and reliable support.
For more information on Körber, click here.