18.02.2020 / Marie-Theres Hilpert

In an emergency, I double- and triple-check everything

I am 25 years old and have been working for Muller Martini since 2011. As an employee of the Spare Parts Service Center (ESC), I help to ensure 24/7 availability. That means regular night and weekend assignments for me, with the occasional "unforgettable" experience.
Muller Martini's on-call cellphone has a very loud and unmistakable ring tone, which ensures that I'm immediately wide awake even in the middle of the night. If the emergency phone rings at night or at the weekend, I'm required to be on site within the next half hour. That's not a problem for me, as my home is only a few kilometers away from the ESC.
I receive the key data for the order during the telephone call or by e-mail, and I'm even able to check the availability of the required spare parts from home on a notebook. When I arrive on site, I enter the order, if it has not already been opened via the web shop, and prepare the necessary documents, such as the delivery note, invoice, export list or waybill. I then select the material in the spare parts service center, pack it and notify our transport partners.
Most of the urgent cases are for customers in the US and Germany. Deliveries throughout Europe (with the exception of Scandinavia) are made by courier by road, deliveries overseas are taken by taxi to the airport and from there to the customer as quickly as possible. If there's an emergency when I am on call, I do everything myself. There are exceptions for large, heavy parts, when I can call on someone from the warehouse team. They then take care of the internal transport and packaging.
Contacts for customers around the globe
I'm only in the warehouse during on-call emergencies, otherwise I'm in the office. There, I'm part of a team of seven people – including our boss and a trainee commercial clerk. I already spent six months at the ESC during my apprenticeship as a commercial clerk. I never lost contact to it after that, and after completing my apprenticeship I jumped at the chance to fill a gap that had arisen in the team, which has worked out well.
The correct title for my role is ESC Export Clerk. I have now been working in this department for five years and I still really enjoy it. We are allocated to specific areas, but support each other whenever necessary. I serve Latin America as well as direct customers in Africa, the Middle East and various island states such as Mayotte, French Guiana, Guadeloupe and Malta.
Every day I receive e-mails with price and availability inquiries, which I either answer myself or with the help of the technicians in charge. Usually, customers log in to the web shop first, which already provides various information and photos. Then they contact us to make a precise inquiry and request a quote. The more information I can get, the faster we can deliver. If I receive a picture of a defective part as well as the machine type and machine number, I can easily retrieve the information. Of course, it's even faster if the article number is also available.
First quality checks, then dispatch
The majority of our operations in the spare parts service center are handled during normal daily business hours. We commercial clerks in the office place the orders by drawing up the picking lists, printing them out together with all the necessary documents and taking them to the spare parts warehouse, so the warehouse staff can do their job. We walk this route from the first floor to the basement three or four times a day.
Some 110,000 different spare parts are kept by Muller Martini in its warehouse. When you are dealing with these matters on a daily basis, you automatically get to know the designation and intended use of many parts – for example, of wear parts such as rubber suckers or certain screws and nuts. Each spare part is allocated to a specific group and its classification indicates how often it is requested.
90 percent of parts orders are dispatched on the very same day. If a part is not in stock, we immediately organize its procurement from one of our suppliers. After production, all externally manufactured spare parts are sent to Zofingen, where they are subjected to quality checks. They are only dispatched once these checks have been completed.
Marie-Theres Hilpert, Export Clerk in the Spare Parts Service Center (ESC) at Muller Martini in Zofingen

I'm happy in my job at Muller Martini
From today's perspective, I made the right choice when I trained as a commercial clerk at Muller Martini. The technical environment of print finishing is fully in line with my interests. I also find the graphic arts industry to be a very exciting area. The fact that I've spent my entire professional life to date at Muller Martini clearly speaks for the attractiveness of my employer. It has always worked out well for me, I'm happy working here and experience Muller Martini as a very socially-minded company that has a great relationship with its employees.
I have never experienced a problem remaining unresolved or not being discussed. Of course, the difficulties of the graphics industry in recent years have also had an impact on me. We can't expect a boom in our industry in the near future, but I certainly don't want to be pessimistic. I'm guided by the positive aspects instead of poring over any negative thoughts. Making the best of things, even in difficult times, is my motto.
Training as management assistant
My job at the ESC is varied, it offers variety and, with contacts all over the world, the opportunity to improve your language skills. The Group language is English and is also an important part of the further training I'm doing to become a management assistant. Project management, communication, entrepreneurial thinking and IT applications are the other topics on the course, which keeps me busy two evenings a week.
Those are long days, and I have a lot to learn. In return, the prospect of a new role is highly appealing. I think working in management will be extremely exciting: organizing, writing, taking minutes of meetings, preparing events and so on. Of course, it would be nice if I could make the transition to management assistant at Muller Martini – we'll see what happens.
When the night watchman comes around the corner...
For the time being, I'm happy and satisfied at the ESC, where we are called out to an average of 6.5 emergency/on-call assignments per month. In compensation, we receive a lump sum as well as a supplement per emergency on top of the time credited. Each team member assumes the one-week on-call service seven to eight times a year. That adds up to quite a few assignments and every so often something happens that you don't easily forget.
For example, we once had to call in additional employees to count certain clamps. And, lo and behold, the night watchman came around the corner and gave us such a fright that we had to start all over again. Sometimes my father comes with me on my night-time assignments, which is nice and gives me the necessary peace of mind and backup to complete my task quickly and well.
By the way, it has never happened that I sent the wrong spare part. Fortunately. I double- and triple-check everything, I'd be really annoyed if I made a mistake in this respect.

Figures for Muller Martini's Spare Parts Service Center


different spare parts are in stock at the Muller Martini warehouse.
100 million
Swiss francs is the total value of the spare parts at the warehouse.
Muller Martini staff are working worldwide to ensure the prompt delivery of spare parts.
Over 90%
of ordered spare parts are dispatched on the same day.
6.5 assignments
a month are recorded by Muller Martini in the emergency/on-call service.
is the success rate for the emergency/on-call assignments.

Marie-Theres Hilpert
Export Clerk in the Spare Parts Service Center (ESC) at Muller Martini in Zofingen