To promote product knowledge improvement, Babcock recently conducted a survey-based test to identify top artisans from Babcock’s equipment business. The top five were rewarded with a trip to Sweden for a tour of two Volvo Construction Equipment (CE) factories in March this year.
Ben Buys, Technical Director – Equipment, says the online test was made available to all qualified artisans within Babcock’s southern African territory, including South Africa, Zambia and Namibia, among others.
“We put together a test that covered all the Volvo CE products. The top five artisans – Luneta Mweze (Zambia), Avanyisani Mthombeni (Johannesburg), Shane Koppel (Johannesburg), Sympathy Ndwandwe (Johannesburg) and Nkosi Cebekhulu (Rustenburg) – were rewarded with a trip to Sweden,” explains Buys.
Prior to departure, Babcock assisted some of the travelling artisans to acquire their first ever passports and also catered for their visas. The team, led by Babcock product specialist Wayne LeGrange, spent a week in Sweden, where they had unhindered access to Volvo CE production lines at the articulated hauler and engine factories, presenting them with a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness production processes.
With the support of Volvo CE, the test will in future be conducted on an annual basis. The aim, says Buys, is to encourage the 100+ artisans within the Equipment business ranks to keep improving their product knowledge levels in critical areas of their specific job profiles.
“The idea is to encourage our artisans to make voluntary use of available training resources such as the Learning Management System to sharpen their product knowledge,” he says.
Suitably qualified artisans, adds Buys, are the lifeblood of the capital equipment industry and this initiative is part of Babcock’s concerted efforts to ensure continuous improvement of its technical aptitude.
“A business like ours is heavily dependent on knowledgeable artisans. Better product knowledge translates into high levels of customer service and ultimately better customer experience and success,” concludes Buys.