Hi! My name is Rik Geuze and I am a Service Delivery manager at IPknowledge. What does that mean, you ask? When a line has been ordered with IPK, it is my task to make sure that this line is delivered to the ordered location in the best possible time.
To make that happen, I’m all about constant communication. Calls, emails, and tasks are all part of a steady delivery diet and take up a considerable part of my day. But let’s start at the beginning, shall we?
In the morning
My mornings start around 08:15. The office is still mostly empty, aside from some of the die-hards in our Assurance and Marketing departments, so there is no line in front of the coffee machine. With coffee in hand, it is time for me to prepare for the day.
As deliveries are the core of my work, my day starts in our internal systems. One of them: the NRS, or Network Registration System, is built internally by our development department in order to facilitate the registration and delivery of our internet lines, so it also allows me to see what lines are in need of some attention. I make sure that I check in on all the pending deliveries so that none of them fall through the cracks. Every delivery is important!
It is 08:30: now that I know that there is no delivery crisis, it is time to check the inbox. The Service Delivery inbox is the central nervous system for communication to and from customers and vendors. Since we deliver internet access to organizations and locations all over the world, emails arrive at all times of the day and not only during business hours. I check for any new emails since the previous day and respond to any important messages. This is also the perfect time to catch up on any last-minute changes to our delivery schedules.
My colleagues start trickling in around this time, and there are the necessary social obligations. The IPK office is a social place, and it is always good to start the day with some banter and by checking in on what is going on with the people around me. We are in this together, after all!
Finally, at 09:30, the day officially kicks off with the Daily Huddle. We take a cue from the Agile work philosophy, and every member of the team briefly explains their goals of the day and any bottlenecks that they are experiencing.
I inform the team of challenging deliveries that really require my attention that day, ask for support if necessary, and check if my colleagues know about deals that are soon to be ordered, which will end up on my plate soon. It’s a great way to stay on the same page and help each other out.
Now, I enter my first block of focus time. During this period, I start updating, calling, and writing emails. I chase ISPs for updates where necessary.
An important factor in this daily business is the constant contact with our vendors and the local contacts of our customers. As I regularly spend a long time talking, mailing, and discussing with them, a real relationship starts to build up between me and these contacts. Not only do we get to be more comfortable around each other, but we also learn from each other what we can and can’t say, and more often than not we have a pleasant conversation before getting down to business.
A lot of these conversations circle around planning. IPK is officially the vendor and the customer, we are the ones who align plans and possible dates between the ISPs and the local contacts of the customer. These relationships help me effectively plan appointments.
Of course, whenever an update is relevant for the planning of delivery, this should also be reflected in the NRS. That way, our internal system can always be relied on to contain the most up-to-date information available.
At 12PM, I take a 30-minute lunch break. I usually bring a meal I made at home, which I made in typical meal prep fashion on Sunday, and store it in my fridge for every working day of the week. We have a kitchen available in which we can cook, and microwave our meals. The company fridge is well-stocked with healthy lunch options, including eggs, fruits and vegetables, and several choices of salads and bread. I sit with the team and relax as we eat our meal. It’s a good 30 minutes.
After lunch, my work becomes hybrid. While I keep chipping away at priorities and maintain ongoing communication with our customers and vendors, I also set aside time for administrative tasks.
As I mentioned, our Service Delivery inbox is the hub of all communication between the IPknowledge delivery team and our contacts. It can quickly become overwhelming and become difficult to navigate. That’s where I come in: to counteract this, I make sure that emails are acted upon and stay organized by archiving emails that no longer require our attention. All emails get automatically tagged by the system, assisting me to send them to the correct boxes. With this system in place, we can focus on the emails that need our immediate attention and stay on top of everything.
As the day winds down, I eventually get to the point where it is time to go back home. A healthy work-life balance means rounding off existing tasks, planning new ones, and finishing or escalating priorities before heading home. With a content heart, I shut down my laptop and prepare to return the next day to resume my work again, working hard as a service delivery manager to give the best possible experience for our customers.