FPG Customer Services - Angela Karauria
Photo showing: FPG Customer Services - Angela Karauria

May 2020

A number of FPG customers in New Zealand were deemed Essential Businesses during the COVID-19 lockdown measures introduced by the New Zealand Government earlier this year.  In order to support our customers in both New Zealand and Australia, FPG was also identified as an Essential Business. Ange Karauria – Team Leader for FPG Customer Services & Maintenance shares insights from that surreal period.

What essential services did FPG provide?
Business continuity was critical at this time. We provided 24-hour Service and Maintenance, Parts Supply, and Technical Support to customers who were deemed Essential Businesses and Essential Contractors in New Zealand (NZ). We did likewise for customers in Australia who were not in a lockdown. These customers included a mix of supermarkets, fuel retailers, c-stores, QSRs, and the technical service providers who support them. We also submitted the required documentation for FPG-engaged NZ-based contractors to ensure they were available to assist over the COVID-19 lockdown.

Our team worked an extended workday to meet the needs of our customers. We were:

  • Logging calls and identifying required parts
  • Quoting parts costs
  • Ordering parts through suppliers in NZ
  • Arranging shipping of parts from our distribution company in Australia.

We also sourced job updates and ETAs to ensure those customers who were Essential Businesses were able to operate as required. We were supported by our afterhours team who were available to take calls 24/7.

How did we provide the service?
The FPG facility was closed during Level 4 so we provided the support remotely from home, by telephone and email.

Which FPG team members were involved in providing essential services?
I looked after Service provision for customers in both New Zealand and Australia, and all parts requests in Australia and New Zealand. My colleague, Toni Ridge, looked after the service provision for BP Connect NZ Service & eMaintenance. Our Sales Administration Team, Kellie Millar and Maree Manning, managed sales orders for parts. We only needed to call on FPG Technical Support Team a couple of times.  Jonathan McIlvenny and Darren Jackson were more than happy to assist.

What was most challenging aspect about being an essential service provider?
It would have to be managing the parts requests in NZ. There were a few parts we couldn't supply in the usual way. Fortunately, in most cases, we were able to troubleshoot to get the cabinets in question operational until the parts were sourced.

Any service partners we should mention who excelled during this time? 
For NZ, I would like to make special mention of Modular Conveyors and Cosell.  Modular were on the case - ready to assist. They understood that the parts they provide were vital in ensuring supermarkets remained able to trade. For example, if an Auckland Technician couldn't collect a part, they would offer to drive to site to deliver it. Cosell was very responsive and quick to notify me of ETA's and Updates. For Australia, MP Commercial and Chatfield Ozcool. Both provided excellent communications, regularly providing ETAs and updates which is always appreciated - and at that time was extremely important.