When someone says he is on the night shift, it usually means he starts work in the late evening and finishes in the early morning. An “on-call” shift is a derivative of the night shift that pays a premium to employees for after-hours availability, where they only work if they are called in. Working when you should be sleeping? Why would anyone want to do that? We spoke to SEW-Eurodrive’s after-hours service techs to hear why they do this and what benefits they receive from it.
Was the on-call shift optional when you joined SEW?
Vladan, after hours Tech responds with, “Yes, it certainly was. SEW-Eurodrive gave us the option to work after hours in addition to my regular work days. However, the condition was that if I did not accept to work the after-hours shift, the opportunity would be given to the next qualified service technician, and I may not get the opportunity again until the option was offered to all the other techs.
What is the main benefit to being on the after-hours service roster?
Vladan, an after-hours service tech, replied, “I believe the first is obvious—the shift premium is well worth it. Making myself available at 3 a.m. to repair or replace a broken unit is a top-tier service that our customers need and expect. Every unit we sell comes with after-hours service, and the shift premium is easily justifiable for both SEW-Eurodrive and our customers. It isn’t only the financial aspect that drives me, to be honest—I do get a great sense of appreciation when our customers arrive at the shop and make comments like, ‘you’re awesome’ and ask, ‘how did you do that so quickly?’ I also like coming into the shop when it’s quiet and peaceful. Don’t get me wrong; I enjoy working with my colleagues during the regular shift—there’s just something nice about working in silence. I feel more focused and more involved. It’s just something I like.”
What are the other benefits to working the after-hours service shift?
Taylor, an after-hours service tech, replied, “I don’t know if I would refer to it as a benefit, but I would certainly consider job satisfaction as an incentive to work harder. I am not going to lie—I do get a great sense of appreciation when I see our customers happy and relieved when they show up to pick up their unit in the middle of the night. It’s kind of like when a tow truck driver shows up, hitches your car, and drives you home. Our customers are buying a service that gives them security and ironically allows them to sleep at night.
“You also have to keep in mind that many of our clients run a 24/7 operation, and when they elect to purchase SEW-Eurodrive products, they gain access to all the value-added benefits including our 24/7/365 engineering and technical support. The calls we get are often very early in the morning, and there is a lot at stake for these customers. I can’t even begin to calculate how many dollars are lost every minute their manufacturing application is down. What good is a product without the people who back it up?”
How does SEW-Eurodrive sustain this service? What’s involved?
Scott Gallop, our service manager, answers this one quickly. “We’re the upside to your downtime! Our true value is our ability to ensure an adequate supply of inventory and the unstoppable service to back it up. Essentially keeping Canadian Manufacturing running 24/7/365. This includes replacement drives and millions of parts. We can fix all makes and brands provided that the parts are available. If we can’t fix an off-brand unit, we can configure and build a cross-over unit in the same amount of time. We do what is necessary to get our clients back to business, and we are not talking weeks or even days to get this done; it’s built within hours. This premium, same-day service is available for the companies that can’t afford to be down.”
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