What began as a dismal foggy morning in Bristol for Managing Director of AC Services (Southern), Helen Hagger ended up with beers and an oompah-pah band in Munich. No, not the annual Christmas shopping trip to the German markets, but the annual Rational Service Partner event!
Around November of each year all UK-based service partners are invited to attend the team building exercise, with venues ranging from Peckforton Castle in Cheshire (which comprised flying birds of prey in the great hall, competitive archery and laser clay pigeon shooting, wine tasting and bizarrely making a golf ball run out of pipe and bamboo to get the golf ball from A to B finishing with shutting the toilet lid).
This year Rational AG organised for all service partners to attend Rational AG in Landsberg am Lech in Bavaria, Germany.
Beer and Tour of Rational AG plant
Accompanied by one of the ACS engineers, Jon, Helen took the flight to Munich and after settling into the Munich Holiday Inn Express, they travelled into the city that evening via train to visit the Hofbrauhaus which seats 5000. It would have been rude to the hosts not to sample the local Weissebeer.
However the serious business began the following day where the delegates were picked up by coach and travelled the hour journey to Rational AG. Splitting into two groups, they were given a guided tour of the two plants, by Wolfgang Bauer and Leonard Ring, where the Rational appliances are manufactured before a welcome lunch at the Rational staff restaurant.
As Helen explains, the tour was informative and fascinating: “It was interesting to see all the ovens from the very beginning in 1973 up to the present SCC Five Senses. On the factory tour we saw the cutting machines, bending machines, welding machines and thorough testing, visiting the spares department where our orders are picked, packed and dispatched,” she comments.
The afternoon was begun with a motivational talk on ‘Rational Service Strategy’ from Peter Klock then the attendees broke into four groups carry out some workshops for new ideas.
More Beer and Sharing Rational Oven Knowledge
Finally the day culminated at the Klostergasthof Andechs a monastery that makes beer where centuries old Benedictine brewing traditions and ultra modern brewing technology meet and six varieties were on offer to sample.
The visit is an annual event for Rational Service Partners and the culmination of annual auditing to enable each company to carry on working on warranty ovens. Initially the AC Services office team and the engineers were checked for tools, equipment, van stock/parts they hold, customer service, health and safety, pricing, etc. All engineers attend an annual update training, sit a test and are issued with new warranty cards and certificates.
The event is an excellent opportunity for the National and Regional Service Managers to pass on important information to the Service Partners and it gives us as Service Partners the opportunity to talk about problems we have come across and to discuss.
Awards . . . Followed by Beer
1st place Normanton Catering Technicians 98.59%;
2nd place South East Catering;
3rd place Keeling Catering Engineers and
4th by a 1.7% difference with a fantastic score of 96.89% to first place was A C Services (Southern) Ltd.
Proving again that we are one of the top five Rational Oven service partners countrywide.