Introducing Frank McNeil, the new DRAMS Service Delivery Manager. Having recently joined the DRAMS team, Frank answers some questions about his time so far with DRAMs and his plans for the Professional Services team.
Frank, welcome to DRAMS. You’ve had a few weeks to settle into the role now, how have you found it?
Thanks! The first few months at DRAMS have been good. Lots to learn and lots to get stuck into of course, but it’s been a really positive experience.
The onboarding processes of DRAMS has been a big help. It’s been really structured and the materials available for learning are outstanding – especially for someone new to the distillery and spirits industry.
And of course, the knowledge and experience which exists already within the DRAMS team is huge. The help and support I’ve received from the team as I’ve been getting up to speed with the DRAMS product, our customers and the processes has been invaluable.
Everyone is busy with their own jobs, but no-one is too busy to answer questions or to spend the time going through things with you. No question is too big or too small and you learn so much just talking with various people across the different teams.
You came to us from a Service Delivery role at Education Scotland, how has the transition been?
The roles are quite different but there are definitely some past experiences – not just from Education Scotland – which will stand me in good stead here at DRAMS.
Looking at Education Scotland, there, I was the customer working to manage the various relationships and projects with the supplier. I was in the position all our customers are in as they work with DRAMS, and I think this creates empathy. I can understand the challenges and expectations the DRAMS customers are likely to have and from that, I know what needs to be done to deliver a good service and build lasting relationships.
From a more general point of view, I’m hoping to bring my past experiences of project management and service delivery together to build on the structure DRAMS already has in place and grow a strong Professional Services & Implementations Team that can deliver the services our customers need.
A focus for me has been growing the department, over the last few months we’ve added two Implementation Consultants to the department and will soon be joined by a Technical Support Analyst.
Gillian and Katie, our Implementation Consultants, both come to DRAMS with different experiences and backgrounds. But both bring something unique to the role and to the wider DRAMS team. It’s been really exciting to watch them working together, to bounce ideas off of each other, share strengths and to make the most of all the learning opportunities DRAMS has to offer.
You were recently onsite for one of your first Customer visits, what were you able to take away from the experience?
I’ve been on whisky tours before, so I thought I knew what to expect but even then, it was quite something to see all of the things we talk about on a day-to-day basis in practice. One of the things that you can’t quite grasp from simply looking at figures on a screen – or even from the public tours – is the absolute size and scale of some of our customers. The sheer number of barrels they are managing and the volume of transactions which need to process on a daily basis is astounding.
The site we visited also had an on-site cooperage – that was fun and a definite highlight of the visit.
The purpose of that specific customer visit was to demonstrate DRAMS new User Interface, one of our ongoing projects which is of particular importance to both us and our customers. We’ve had a number of these sessions with various customers over the last few months and the feedback we’ve received as a result has been invaluable.
These sessions have been amazing, not just from the perspective of taking DRAMS new User Interface forward, but also just getting the opportunity to spend time with our customers and talk to them about their day-to-day activities. What with Covid being around for the last few years, that face-to-face interaction with our customers is clearly something that has been missed – by both us and them!
I’ve not had a chance to speak with all our customer yet but part of what I’m implementing just now is a more structured account management process, and a key part of this will be taking these initial site visits one step-further and establishing consistent and meaningful conversations with all our customers.
Now you’ve had a chance to familiarise yourself with DRAMS and our customers, what do you most hope to achieve in your role as DRAMS Service Delivery Manager?
I’ve already mentioned a few of my priorities but some of the things I’m currently looking at on include improving the day-to-day experiences of customers and making sure DRAMS as a whole is as easy as possible to interact with.
We carried out a Customer Satisfaction Survey a few months ago and it’s been useful to have that baseline of feedback so that we can identify where and how we need to focus our attention. The goal is to make the surveys a regular occurrence and to build them into the standard DRAMS/Customer interactions. Its something I hope all our customers will welcome and get onboard with as it’s the one way we can be sure we listening to and responding to our customers needs.
Similarly, I’d like to make sure we are always improving upon our customer communications and service delivery. To make sure we achieve this I’m working with the team to make sure we expand upon the solid foundation we have and build scalable processes and structure around what we do. This is especially important as we continue to grow the team. The Technical Support Engineer, I mentioned earlier will have their part to play in helping us achieve that. This position isn’t one we’ve really had up until now and having someone with the skills and experiences take on those responsibilities in a dedicated fashion will really allow us to streamline some of our internal processes and the services offered to our customers.
Like I said earlier, the ultimate goal is to build good relationships with our customers based on regular communication and to deliver what the need exactly, how, and when the need it.
We, at DRAMS, would like to welcome Frank to the team and to thank him for the contributions he has made so far. We can already see the benefits he has brought to our Professional Services team and hope that our customers do too. As Frank settles further into his role we have no doubt that the positive influence Frank has had on our service delivery and customer relationships will continue to grow!
For more information about any of the items discussed in Frank’s Q&A session, including details on any of the services offered by our Professional Services team, reach out using the DRAMS Contact Us page.