Backstage at Louwman Exclusive –Pieter de Vries
Since one year Pieter de Vries makes sure that the technicians and Service Advisors can work much more effectively. As a workshop coordinator he makes sure that all goes smoothly and even unexpected activities on behalf of customers will be taken care of. Despite that he does not tinker himself anymore he still works in the workshop and that suits him well.
Workshop coordinator is a new function within Louwman Exclusive. Did you put a personal mark on this?
Yes, that is the best part of this company. I have been given the possibility to organize this function myself. That counts for everybody here, I think. If you have a plan to improve one thing you can implement it right away and see if it works. At Louwman Exclusive workshop coordination means literally the coordination of the activities in the workshop and informing the Service Advisors and all the drivers. So that everyone can do his job well and we are able to adjust a planning when activities run out. I make sure that the technicians can continue to work on a car and that a colleague who has some room can take on other jobs.
Do you work on cars yourself?
Much specific knowledge is needed for the maintenance of the cars we have here in the workshop so in principle not. If an exceptional case occurs I can do a minor repair such as to replace a tail light. I worked for thirteen years as a technician at a Ford dealership and ten years as a workshop manager. So for example I am able to think with the technicians when they get stuck on what may be the cause of a failure.
But my main job is to divide the work and to maintain a grip on the planning. I check who is able to assist when unexpected activities occur. So other technicians can continue their work easily and also the Service Advisor can concentrate on his own job and to communicate with the customer. Above all the customer sooner knows where he stands.
Is your task as workshop coordinator at Louwman Exclusive comparable with your former job as workshop manager?
There are similarities for sure, but also major differences. Here the technicians have an independent role. They are in contact with the customer on a regular base. They all speak English very well because they stay in contact with the factory a lot, but there we have only one brand.
And do the technicians and Service Advisors see that the activities are better planned now?
Yes for sure! It took some time getting used to. The moment I arrived here I told the technicians that I wasn’t here to tell them how to do their jobs but that I would like to help to mainstream the process so that they would be able to do their jobs much more better. Now the technicians and the Service Advisors have a contact person and that makes the communication and the planning clear and better.
Do you miss to working on cars with your own hands?
Sometimes I do. My workplace is in the workshop literally between the reception and the technicians. I like to tinker but the reason I became a workshop manager then had to do with the increase of using computers. As a technician that did not appeal to me. That’s why I switched to a job in the workshop where my work has more to do with logistics and because of that I learned many more new things.
Do you have a passion for cars outside your work?
I don’t do much with cars anymore. In the past I did buy cars and fixed them up nicely. Mainly I wanted to do something to do with technique and so I rolled into car technique. I have no preference for any brand, each brand has got its own charmes.
Workshop coordinator / Employed since: 2018 / Age: 41 / Children: 1 daughter / What keeps him busy outside work: Pieter likes to ride his motorbike during the weekends.