About the Author
This month we feature Anna Grubb, ECI’s Managing Director of International Sales for Field Service. We sat down with Anna to learn more about her experience within the field service industry.
Tell us a little bit about your background. How long have you worked in the field service industry?
I started my career in the field service industry in 2002 at a toner cartridge remanufacturing company ‘Multi-Laser’. This is where the idea of PrintFleet was born and executed – driven by the need to know when the customer’s toner supplies were depleted, so that we could deliver replacement toners to our customer at the right. I witnessed this idea become a reality, officially joining PrintFleet in 2010, where I lead the account engagement initially, and later manage the sales and support teams. I continued with the management of both teams after the ECI acquisition and have since been given the opportunity to drive our Field Service proposition forward internationally.
Whilst this role has been challenging, I am really enjoying the ride. The most exciting part of it, and probably most challenging one is understanding customer needs, and continually adjusting our products to respond to customer business issues.
Throughout my career, I have held a number of roles varying from, customer service, procurement, account management, sales and even technical support.
Shortly after ECI acquired PrintFleet back in 2018, I accepted the role to take up the global expansion of our core ERP e-automate. While this shift was a significant one for me, I embraced being able to work alongside new and existing colleagues. I have learned a lot during this time and have certainly broadened my industry knowledge.
I now recognise that taking data from a Device Management Solution, such as ECI’s FMAudit, PrintFleet, Print Audit and Printanista solutions, into an ERP, like ECI’s e-automate, can significantly streamline and automate processes for our customers to help them grow their business. My focus is now on ensuring that ECI has a strong diversified product portfolio that customers can rely on to run their business.
I thoroughly enjoy listening to customers and ensuring ECI products are the best solution in the market at any given time.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in the field service industry?
Be curious. There are so many different acronyms and technologies to get your head around and this can be confusing for someone just starting out in a role. Make sure to ask a lot of questions and get involved in all areas - that way it will be easier to develop your knowledge and understanding.
Always remember to listen and ask questions about how and why things are done. As I have been in the industry for so long I know that assumptions are made, by myself, customers and colleagues. Assumptions are never good.
Since you started working within the field service industry, how has it changed?
Technology is always changing. When I started in the industry it seemed hard to believe that a device would tell us what it needed. Now, we no longer only look at devices, we also consider the whole environment. This includes everything from what users are printing to where they are printing it, so that we can recommend software for improvements as well as provide cost reductions. In addition to this, we monitor the servers and appliances that our software resides on to ensure that data collectors do not go stale - it’s amazing how the MSP and MPS worlds have blurred.
While there have been a number of challenges for some businesses, many were able to adapt and diversify their business, leading to an acceleration in their use of technology. In the long run this adoption of new technology will have strengthened them as a business, as they are able to work far more efficiently.
A need for reliable and instant communication between field agents and customers has become increasingly important and this is an area we have invested in heavily. We’re aware of the constant need to adapt to the sector, and as customers look for more streamlined solutions, we need to be able to provide them.
While most people would say that the biggest changes started since COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, to me this is just what gave business owners the nudge they needed to do what our industry required of them.
What opportunities can working in the field service industry bring?
There are so many opportunities for a person working within the field service industry. For me, the endless opportunities to develop my own career and professional experience have been great.
It’s also compelling to see how technology continues to transform the industry and I’m sure that the next few years will bring some really exciting innovations.
What excites you the most about working within this industry?
My favourite part is definitely the people. In this job, I have the opportunity to meet new people from all over the world, getting to know their business and building long-lasting relationships.
Even better is when we see firsthand the impact of ECI’s software and how it helps to improve their business processes and drive positive outcomes for both their own team and their customers.
What do you find most challenging about working within this industry?
At ECI we engage with a vast range of businesses and at times it can be challenging to understand their own unique requirements. The software is constantly changing and so is the hardware it resides on. This means I must continuously be learning to keep up, not that learning is a bad thing… it keeps me on my toes!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not at work?
I love spending time with my family and friends, going camping in the woods, playing golf and being active. I enjoy everything from jogging and doing weights to taking Zumba strong classes. When I have a quiet moment to myself I love sitting and relaxing with a good book.
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About the Author