NTS works hard to improve cleaning operations
Mar 1, 2008 12:00 PM, By Charles E Wilson
“Trimac offered commercial tank cleaning at many of its fleet terminals long before we established NTS,” O'Banion says. “We wanted to expand that capacity, and it is clearly recognized within Trimac that NTS is a fully commercial operation that provides the same high level of service to all of our customers. Trimac just happens to be one of those customers.
“We strongly believe that our wash racks and maintenance facilities have been able to build a better quality of service since NTS became a free-standing division within Trimac. Our managers and employees have become more service oriented. We know we have to earn our customers' business every day.”
Building a customer-focused culture was the first project tackled by O'Banion and his management team when NTS was established in 2005. They developed a training program called “It's up to me.”
Every employee at every NTS branch was required to go through the program, and it has become a key component in new-hire training. Focused on behavioral training, the program shows workers how to treat customers. Cleanliness and personal attitude are stressed.
“We want our workers to understand that there are moments of truth anytime they interact with a customer,” O'Banion says. “Each worker will determine in those moments whether a customer has a positive or negative impression of NTS.”
Proper phone etiquette is part of the training. Workers are taught to follow a very strict script when answering the telephone. Further, NTS has modified the voicemail of its telephone system to ensure that a live person answers the phone as often as possible.
New hire training goes well beyond “It's up to me.” Wash rack workers receive a technical orientation that is process driven. It takes a couple of weeks for the new wash rack worker to develop the basic skills needed for the job.
“During this training, we explain why we do things the way we do at NTS wash racks,” O'Banion says. “Mechanics in the maintenance operation receive similar training. We stress ownership of the process, and we want each worker to understand that he is a key part of the operation.”
Moving beyond training, management also makes it clear to new hires that NTS offers an excellent career path. “We work hard to hire very good people, and we tell them that we want them to stay with us,” O'Banion says. “We do everything possible to make this a preferred place to work.”
An advancement route is available for all wash rack and maintenance workers. This includes opportunities to move into other parts of Trimac and to relocate in some instances.
Management stresses to each worker that he is part of a larger organization that encompasses more than just the wash rack or maintenance shop where he works. “This is something we emphasized from the moment we launched NTS,” O'Banion says.
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