PON POWER NEWS

The online magazine of Pon Power, the Caterpillar dealer for diesel and gas engines and generators. In this magazine we keep you up to date on the latest projects, new products & services and technical innovations.

“WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER”

Service director Joost Giesberts about the impact of the COVID-19 measures

INTERVIEW

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS OF THE NEXT PERIOD?

We’re about to complete the jobs we had and we’re slowly running out of international service jobs. Fortunately, we still have a lot of jobs in the Netherlands but it's obvious to us that those numbers are falling as well. Customers are nervous about incurring costs in uncertain times. They prefer to wait until they know what they’re up against. We now strongly focus on our contractual obligations, which we want to fulfil faster. If our engineers are sitting at home, we give them online digital extra training or E-learnings. We’ve noticed that, in particular, communication with staff and customers is a critical success factor. As long as we continue to clearly communicate our policy, there will be a lot of understanding and support. Ultimately, we have to do this together. Share the pain with the company, the staff and our customers and fight our way through this crisis on the basis of creativity, teamwork and compassion.

JOOST GIESBERTS 

Director Parts & Service

'We have to do this together'

CAN EVERYONE WORK VIRUS-PROOF?

Service engineers often work on-site, usually with a colleague and sometimes with other suppliers. Not everyone applies the same strict safety rules as we do and that can be quite tricky. So we have to be very clear to our customers about what we expect from them in terms of safety and, specifically, the measures we have taken in connection with the coronavirus. If our engineers don't feel safe and/or experience health-related risks, we’ll allow them to stop the job; the step-back principle.

HOW QUICKLY DID YOU GET USED TO THE NEW SITUATION?

Amazingly fast. The entire company was - and is - in cooperation mode. Everyone made herculean efforts and went digital in no time at all. All field staff was immediately observant about the measures. They identified and avoided unsafe situations. The level of adaptability is amazing. One concern we had was if the bandwidth of the IT network was big enough but so far, it has all gone well, fortunately. Our IT backbone has been tested and passed with flying colours.

WHAT DID IT MEAN FOR STAFF ABROAD?

We immediately instructed all our international engineers to return to the Netherlands because we realised there were going to be a lot of restrictions. We wanted to spare both our staff and their families any uncertainty. It was quite an operation because we have staff in Indonesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Curaçao. Most of the engineers were back in the Netherlands within a week and the others followed a week later. Where possible, we’ve made arrangements with local service parties to complete any pending jobs so that our customers can, at least, continue their operations as soon as possible.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN MARK RUTTE ANNOUNCED THE DRASTIC MEASURES?

The management team immediately understood the enormous consequences. That evening, we held a digital meeting to discuss how to steer our company through this period. We set two priorities, namely staff health of our staff and business continuity. Anyone who can work from home, does so. Some work, in the lubrication lab and the workshops, for instance, cannot be done from home and that is still done at the company but in accordance with the precautionary measures to safeguard the health of our staff. Staff in those departments now work in shifts. The first shift runs from 06:00 until 14:30. Everything is then cleaned and the second shift runs from 15:00 and 23:30. The policy aims to safeguard the 1.5 metres distance and to limit any spread, if infection does take place for some reason.

JOOST GIESBERTS 

Director Parts & Service

“WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER

The fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus has an enormous impact on how Pon Power operates. With about 400 members of staff at home and abroad, the government measures require flexibility and creativity. We asked Joost Giesberts, Parts & Service Director at Pon Power, about how these measures affect Pon Power’s battle plan.

In that case, the account manager or the service coordinator will contact the customer. Our staff’s health and safety comes first. We also have to be creative and innovative during process changes or the development of tools that help us to safeguard a distance of 1.5 metres when we do our jobs. It’s quite extraordinary to see the amount of creativity in situations like this.

JOOST GIESBERTS 

Director Parts & Service

Most of the engineers were back in the Netherlands within a week and the others followed a week later.

INTERVIEW

“WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER”

Service director Joost Giesberts about the impact of the COVID-19 measures

The fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus has an enormous impact on how Pon Power operates. With about 400 members of staff at home and abroad, the government measures require flexibility and creativity. We asked Joost Giesberts, Parts & Service Director at Pon Power, about how these measures affect Pon Power’s battle plan.

WHAT HAPPENED WHEN MARK RUTTE ANNOUNCED THE DRASTIC MEASURES?

The management team immediately understood the enormous consequences. That evening, we held a digital meeting to discuss how to steer our company through this period. We set two priorities, namely staff health of our staff and business continuity. Anyone who can work from home, does so. Some work, in the lubrication lab and the workshops, for instance, cannot be done from home and that is still done at the company but in accordance with the precautionary measures to safeguard the health of our staff. Staff in those departments now work in shifts. The first shift runs from 06:00 until 14:30. Everything is then cleaned and the second shift runs from 15:00 and 23:30. The policy aims to safeguard the 1.5 metres distance and to limit any spread, if infection does take place for some reason.

HOW QUICKLY DID YOU GET USED TO THE NEW SITUATION?

Amazingly fast. The entire company was - and is - in cooperation mode. Everyone made herculean efforts and went digital in no time at all. All field staff was immediately observant about the measures. They identified and avoided unsafe situations. The level of adaptability is amazing. One concern we had was if the bandwidth of the IT network was big enough but so far, it has all gone well, fortunately. Our IT backbone has been tested and passed with flying colours.

WHAT DID IT MEAN FOR STAFF ABROAD?

We immediately instructed all our international engineers to return to the Netherlands because we realised there were going to be a lot of restrictions. We wanted to spare both our staff and their families any uncertainty. It was quite an operation because we have staff in Indonesia, Namibia, Nigeria, Cameroon and Curaçao. Most of the engineers were back in the Netherlands within a week and the others followed a week later. Where possible, we’ve made arrangements with local service parties to complete any pending jobs so that our customers can, at least, continue their operations as soon as possible.

CAN EVERYONE WORK VIRUS-PROOF?

Service engineers often work on-site, usually with a colleague and sometimes with other suppliers. Not everyone applies the same strict safety rules as we do and that can be quite tricky. So we have to be very clear to our customers about what we expect from them in terms of safety and, specifically, the measures we have taken in connection with the coronavirus. If our engineers don't feel safe and/or experience health-related risks, we’ll allow them to stop the job; the step-back principle.

JOOST GIESBERTS 

Director Parts & Service

'We have to do this together'

WHAT ARE YOUR VIEWS OF THE NEXT PERIOD?

We’re about to complete the jobs we had and we’re slowly running out of international service jobs. Fortunately, we still have a lot of jobs in the Netherlands but it's obvious to us that those numbers are falling as well. Customers are nervous about incurring costs in uncertain times. They prefer to wait until they know what they’re up against. We now strongly focus on our contractual obligations, which we want to fulfil faster. If our engineers are sitting at home, we give them online digital extra training or E-learnings. We’ve noticed that, in particular, communication with staff and customers is a critical success factor. As long as we continue to clearly communicate our policy, there will be a lot of understanding and support. Ultimately, we have to do this together. Share the pain with the company, the staff and our customers and fight our way through this crisis on the basis of creativity, teamwork and compassion.

“WE HAVE TO DO THIS TOGETHER

JOOST GIESBERTS 

Director Parts & Service

Most of the engineers were back in the Netherlands within a week and the others followed a week later.

In that case, the account manager or the service coordinator will contact the customer. Our staff’s health and safety comes first. We also have to be creative and innovative during process changes or the development of tools that help us to safeguard a distance of 1.5 metres when we do our jobs. It’s quite extraordinary to see the amount of creativity in situations like this.