We recently asked employees through an online intranet poll, “If you could try a different role at Plug for a day, which of these options would you be most interested in?” Supporting our customers on-site as a Field Technician was the clear winner, beating out a chance to be CEO! As a follow-up, we interviewed several members of our global Field Service team to better understand their role and how important it is to Plug’s success.
The Day May Start Typical…
While our Field Technicians aim to start each day the same way, it isn’t long before the day’s priorities are identified for them. Most technicians arrive on-site, meet with the customer, and conduct rounds and equipment inspections. “My shift begins at 5am, and I’m there around 4:30 doing inspections,” said Michael Mendoza, Master Field Service Tech, Lead supporting Amazon in Las Vegas, NV. “This is the end of Amazon’s night shift, so I come in between shifts to service the trucks. I have about 2 hours to ensure all trucks are in service before the next shift begins,” he commented.
Mendoza has been with Plug since 2019, supporting the same Amazon facility since Day 1. He recalled his early days in the role where he’d show up on-site with 30 trucks in need of repair, and not knowing where to start. “You learn from experience,” Michael said, crediting both his previous 20 years as an auto mechanic and becoming more familiar with the customer and their needs.
“It’s like spending the day at your family’s house,” Steve Lucas, Master Field Service Tech said, adding “You work side-by-side with the customer, solving problems. It’s not just about punching in.” Steve, shown on the right, services Walmart facilities in Harmony and Cornwall, Ontario (Canada) and said he feels like a superhero most days. During his six years with Plug, Steve has helped start up each of Plug’s four Canadian sites, everything from supporting the construction process to installing the hydrogen tanks and fuel cells, and learning the equipment. He currently oversees three distribution centers at Walmart, all operating at different temperatures with Plug equipment working in different environments.
Logan Weiss, Sr. Field Service Tech, Lead in Ohio, who also supports Walmart, commented, “Walmart sites with freezers and groceries have dry temperatures, and our GenDrives work a little harder than in warmer temperatures.” Logan covers various customers across Ohio, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and Indiana. We asked if it was confusing to jump from Amazon to Walmart to Kroger, and Logan said each customer has similar sites, but the issues and problems vary on any given day.
More than Solving Problems
In most cases, our techs are diagnosing technical issues and finding solutions before the customer is ever aware. This can include broken parts, issues with infrastructure, or providing general maintenance. A critical component to problem solving is also teamwork, working with the broader Plug team to troubleshoot and provide solutions. “Providing feedback to engineering helps improve the product,” said Vincent Dore, Service Specialist in France, adding “we are the interface between the customer and the product.”
Several of the techs we spoke with were currently training new technicians, and valued Plug’s combination of in-person, online, and on-the-job training. Ramiro Soto, Sr. Field Service Tech, Lead in California said that while training can be time consuming, it is also one of the most rewarding parts of the role. “I enjoy sharing my knowledge with others, so they have the same experiences.” Ramiro has been with Plug since 2020, providing site start-up training for Walmart sites in Apple Valley, CA and Utah. Most technicians receive two to three weeks of training before they are deployed to a site. From the start, it is essential for field techs to build customer relationships at all levels, including forklift technicians, regional maintenance managers, operations supervisors, and reliability engineers. “We carry walkie talkie radios for instant communications,” noted Steve, adding, “It is important to maintain 100% customer satisfaction at all times.”
Each Tech Lead we spoke with talked highly about the rewards of the role. “There’s satisfaction in helping out,” Logan stated, simply. Wesley added, “It’s rewarding working with the customer. Seeing the product move at a site like Walmart, knowing Plug had a part in that. It’s impressive.”
Another benefit of being a Field Tech is traveling. Ramiro mentioned he takes a photo at each of the site locations he visits, including the mountain ranges in Salt Lake City, Utah, as shown below. Vincent also travels weekly, from Paris to Barcelona to England.
“It’s intense work, proving to the customer that everything is right,” Vincent said, “but there’s pleasure in the result.” He continued “It’s good for the whole organization; we are representing Plug, and it’s a team between me, the customer, and Plug.”
Special thanks to Steve Lucas, Wesley Garrison, Ramiro Soto, Logan Weiss, Vincent Dore, and Michael Mendoza for contributing to this article.
Plug is currently hiring Field Technicians globally; if you or someone you know is interested in exploring these opportunities, please visit our Careers website or contact our team at email@example.com.
The post GreenH2@Work Employee Spotlight: A Day in the Life of a Field Technician first appeared on Plug Power.
The post GreenH2@Work Employee Spotlight: A Day in the Life of a Field Technician appeared first on Plug Power.