Hi Manuel! You’re Infraspeak’s Head of Customer Success. Tell us a little about yourself.
I have a background in Mechanical Engineering. I started in Process Engineering in the automotive industry before moving to work offshore building pipelines. Throughout that period I kept track of Infraspeak’s project and progress, a lot of it down to being friends with Luís, and I even kept myself in the loop (with some degree of involvement) on new product features, the relationship with investors and the general development of the company.
At a certain point, the logical step was to move ahead with what had already been planned. I joined the project and turned my career around a bit, even if it wasn’t exactly what I had in mind originally. It was, however, the most logical step, since I finally managed to started doing exactly what I felt comfortable doing. Working in technical training, customer relationship, support and consultancy.
I already knew most of the platforms available in the market at a user level and I also knew Infraspeak both web and as an app so I didn’t need to go through a massive learning curve or adaptation.
Many people don’t know this but the “Maintenance Dude” stamped on Infraspeak’s tshirts is based on you and your glorious mustache. How would you describe THE maintenance dude?
I didn’t even know this myself! If it’s based on me then it’s someone who likes to help and smiles while he does it. We’re very similar. Maybe our DNA comes from the hospitality sector. It’s why we wake up in the morning and leave for work. Always with an informal posture, relaxed and laid back. I love the fact that the Maintenance Dude is a tshirt and not a shirt and tie, even more than the moustache or the silhouette.
In practical terms, we need to acknowledge that both technicians and maintenance managers are people that are always there to fix other people’s problems.No exception. If there aren’t any problems then typically, these teams don’t exist. Naturally, if we think about preventive maintenance, teams are there to avoid problems happening in the first place. However, they’re always there for other people and that’s why their service culture exists. It’s second nature.
You recently started working on a multimedia project with Infraspeak. What benefits do you expect that project to bring the community?
I think I’ll start by talking about the advantages its brought me and why I was so excited to start working on this project. It was yet another unlocked skill, among the many skills I’ve managed to unlock at Infraspeak. Since we started working on this project, this was my main personal drive.
In terms of what it brings to the community, it’s finally the transformation into video of what our Customer Success teams does daily, except now it can be easily viewed by any user without necessarily needing our presence on site or direct interaction with clients. Oh, and obviously, because the examples we provide cover several of the different areas our clients work in.
It also helps Infraspeakers or anyone that comes into Infraspeak’s orbit to understand a little better the importance of CMMS (Computerized Maintenance Management Systems) in managing maintenance operations both for those who need to make sure their facilities are well maintained, to those that provide those services.
…and in the meantime, you’re becoming a maintenance influencer. How has the transformation into someone that speaks to a community and influences it been?
Turning into a “maintenance influencer” was almost the follow up of what I was doing with my team. The Customer Success guys work every day basically consulting for our clients which I guess, makes them maintenance influencers! Sort of.There’s actually a number of different clients than run their operation based on the advice we provide them.
Working into turning all of this into an on demand video was just another natural step.
A little birdie told us that you spend a great deal of time at home watching DIY (do it yourself) videos. Have you ever considered doing something creative like that on a personal level?
Several times! I’ve thought about getting involved into a few projects based on what I do at home. It might be my little garden, the wooden vases I build out of deconstructed crates, interior decoration, home improvements, even small tools. Right now, even if this project hasn’t made it out my head, I’m getting ready to build a knife from scratch!
Finally, Customer Success often requires our team to be on site with clients. With technicians and facility managers working remotely, do you envision any challenges or opportunities in the future?
Many of the interactions we have with our clients were already conducted remotely. Much of our training is remote and then there’s always an onsite visit. That visit is usually associated with how to manage the changes in the team and that was the main challenge we found: How to support those changes while remotely.
The challenge itself wasn’t terribly hard to overcome because the way was always going remote or virtual. There wasn’t any other way. It was extremely interesting seeing our clients working and providing their own training like Infraspeak does – using video conferencing tools. for example.
In terms of opportunities, we need to remember that the maintenance industry, not unlike other industries, has its daily schedule completely filled with preventive maintenance, corrective maintenance, you name it. This slightly slower period allowed teams to do the things they wanted but never had the chance to do, much like me and the new project we’re launching. I’m doing it now because I have the availability for it and our clients are finding the same kind of opportunities.
On the other hand, we can’t forget many maintenance sectors such as HVAC or fire safety are just as important (or more!) while facilities are closed. The crisis we’re currently experiencing actually intensifies some of the precautions we were taking while managing facilities.
Manuel Ramos is Infraspeak’s Head of Customer Success and this week’s Inside Infraspeak guest. Thank you Manuel!