“Service is the foundation of all successful organisations”, Denis Peacockce

It’s a week before lockdown and a client needs an urgent service in Angola. Upon investigation, it becomes evident that with the current pandemic, it will be virtually impossible to send someone in Angola to service the client and return before the lockdown period commences. This does not hold true for the SMD Namibia team. They forge ahead and make preparations to send one of their service supervisor (Edson Almeida) to the vessel offshore in Angola. Edson books a one way ticket to Luanda prepared to go onboard not knowing when he will return to his home land again. As most Southern African countries go into lockdown international flights are cancelled boarders are closed, Edson remains in a foreign country offshore serving clients. Once the jobs are complete, it becomes evident that there is no way to get back into his home country. Weeks pass and eventually the vessel is commissioned to sail to Namibia for repairs. Edson breathes a sign of relief and sails home with the vessel. This not the end of the story, as he has to stay in self-quarantine in a hotel for 14 days before he can be reunited with his loves ones.

A month later, the number of Covid-19 cases increase in Southern Africa forcing governments to implement more stringent measures. One of our clients in Luanda calls for an urgent service. Edson who had recently spent time offshore in Angola raises his hand to take on the job. He mobiles his colleague (Christian Mostert) and through internal arrangements the client agrees to charter a one way flight to Luanda as international flights are cancelled. The image above displays the two engineers as they are about to board the aircraft to Luanda. In the next few days, they will have to go through several days of self-quarantine before they can resume their services.

It has been said that, he who serve truly leads. Sometimes we mistake this as leaders need to be served but the reality is true leaders are those that serve the most. This service in organisations can take the form of internal service between employees, the leadership and investors or shareholders. When this is done properly it culminates in external service to clients and therein lies the value. Client service is therefore not the objective but a result, a result of how those that operate internally in the organisation serve one another. This beautiful display of true client service ensures that our clients are therefore not merely paying for our goods and services, they receive actual value for the service we provide and in exchange, they willingly give more of their resources. For our organisation to succeed, we need to constantly ask, where are we serving one another and thus where are we serving our clients? If we fail on this, our clients will vote with their feet and move to another provider who will serve them better. Service is therefore truly the foundation of all successful organisations and the one who serves truly leads.

Serving requires one to be specific. One is therefore required to know exactly what is one’s goods and services are. By the way, are we clear about, where we play, where we will not play, why do our clients buy our goods and services and more importantly how do our clients use our goods and services? Do these goods and services add true value to our clients and their businesses? As we can see, success requires the whole organisation to be obsessed with knowing where the true value is and are we providing true value to our clients?

Understanding this value proposition has never been more urgent than during this current pandemic. Everyone single client is relooking at their budget and taking away items that they deem to be not of value. We must ask ourselves if we are on the list of value or on the other list of no-value, as this will determine our sustainability going forward.

We are fortunate to have a dedicated team that is willing to go above and beyond to add value to our clients. The above example of our Namibian team is but one such display. What goes untold is the behind the scenes serving that happens internally to ensure that the successful delivery of the service to our clients. These teams serve one another internally and the result of this service this quality internal service our clients experience excellent service. Indeed service is the foundation of all successful organisations.

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