We reach Ibrahim Top in the field. He is at a customer's in Recklinghausen and takes a moment to talk to us on the phone in the car park. After that, he continues working immediately. Ibrahim Top is one of the approximately 50 technical field service representatives of the Stiegelmeyer Group in Germany. And in addition to his outstanding specialist qualities, he has another great strength: you can rely on him, just like you can rely on his colleagues. Therefore, Mr. Top and our entire service team represent the important corporate value "Reliable" particularly well.
For the Stiegelmeyer Group as a supplier of comprehensive solutions, good service worldwide is crucial. Internationally, it is provided by our subsidiaries on site or by experienced sales partners. In Germany, a dense network of technicians works throughout the country, coordinated from the headquarters in Herford. The service centre with 9,500 different spare parts is also located there.
Ibrahim Top lives in Waltrop, a town in the district of Recklinghausen, which is widely known as an excursion destination because of the Henrichenburg ship lift. From here, as a service technician, he has been looking after the Ruhr region, Germany's largest urban population area with over five million residents, since 2006.
Mr Top carries out inspections, maintenance, repairs and training in hospitals and nursing homes. In the densely populated cities, he drives his Multivan "from building to building" and has to deal with many bed models: "That's why I always have almost everything with me that you could need," he explains.
The maintenance of our beds usually takes place once a year. "When an appointment has been made in our scheduling department in Herford, I call the customer myself and ask again to be announced to the wards," says Mr Top. "On site, I discuss with the in-house technician the order in which I should visit the wards. Then there are some questions to be clarified with the ward managers: Are there rooms with infectious patients that I am not allowed to enter? Are there residents or patients who cannot get up on their own and need the help of the nursing staff? Depending on that, someone then accompanies me on my rounds, but I usually go from room to room by myself."
On the bed, Mr Top carries out the visual inspection, the functional inspection and the electrical inspection. If maintenance is required, the moving parts are greased at the necessary points. The high quality of the Stiegelmeyer beds is noticeable during the inspections: "Maybe in five percent of the inspected beds, small things need to be fixed, otherwise everything is fine," explains the technician.
What happens if a bed is defective outside the inspection cycle and needs to be repaired? "When a customer reports a defect, we are usually on site within the same week," says Mr Top. "If I don't have the necessary spare parts in stock myself, my dispatcher will send them by express from Herford if necessary, so that they arrive at the customer's site the very next day." In some houses, there are also fixed appointments for bed repairs at certain intervals.
Speaking of spare parts: Stiegelmeyer makes the quality promise to be able to provide spare parts for 15 years after the purchase of a product. Can this promise always be kept in everyday life? "Absolutely," says Ibrahim Top. And not only that - our service team in Herford also tries to fulfil customer wishes that go beyond that. For example, the colleagues rebuilt the backrest of a 20-year-old bed according to old plans after the customer asked for it.
17 years of service for Stiegelmeyer in the Ruhr region: After all this experience, how is the relationship with the customers? "Very good," says Ibrahim Top. "Some of the in-house technicians are even classmates who attended the higher technician school with me." And if frustration does build up, Mr Top is an attentive and understanding listener who reports problems to Herford and finds solutions.
"In all the years since 2006, many nice things have happened to me and nothing bad," says Ibrahim Top. "I like my work and the contact with our customers." Reliability is more than just a word in the Stiegelmeyer Group, it grows from the people who stand up for our goals with heart and soul.