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Articles / Case studies

A Lightning Quick Response to Storm Season

13 November 2020

A Lightning Quick Response to Storm Season

Storms have long been part of life in Australia and while the severity and impact of each storm are unique, O’Brien® has its response down pat to repair any vehicles or properties damaged by a storm this season. Hailstorms in particular can damage all types of glass including windscreens, doors, windows and even other glass products like solar panels.

Daniel Lewis, Head of Central Operations, O’Brien® said the response from his team to the recent storms in South East Queensland that created an excess of $60 million in damages, is proof the O’Brien® team is well poised to respond to other similar storms in the coming months.

“Our priority always is to ensure that we can answer the incoming enquiries as efficiently as possible and give our customers a booking or a clear indication of when someone will be back in touch to arrange this for them,” said Daniel.

Although O’Brien® monitors weather patterns and follows the Bureau of Meteorology for weather updates, quite often the most reliable indication that a storm has struck and caused damage is when the phones start running hot.

“Patterns of calls to our Customer Solutions team will always confirm exactly where that storm has struck and gives us the initial indication of its intensity,” said Daniel.

Once that has been confirmed, a task force including the regional and branch managers in the affected areas and the Customer Solutions team is established to ensure calls can be answered and request for bookings made. The effort doesn’t stop there, however, as all departments in the O’Brien® network also step up in times of emergency to support the operations team and continue to provide our expert service to all customers across the country.

“Each of these teams will ramp up their resources appropriately and quickly. Customer Solutions and the Central Administration teams will all pitch in to create new capacity to deal with the volume of calls. At the same time, we open up as much capacity as we can so as to be able to solve as many customer problems as quickly as possible. Then we rally the techs across the country to get as many into the affected area as we can. The central teams work to organise flights, meals, accommodation, tools and admin support to make it all happen.”

Getting the techs on the ground is vital as well as ensuring the additional stock of glass and windscreens will be ready and available in the area. All of this happens on day one. The central team continues to work together to flex resources up or down as needed.

“The most recent storm in South East Queensland hit at around 2 pm on Saturday 31 October. Over the rest of that evening and all day Sunday, we experienced 20 times the amount of calls we would normally. People were calling through to report hail damage to windscreens, building glass and even solar panels! Everyone across AutoGlass, Glazing, Electrical & Plumbing has worked together brilliantly; pulling extra shifts, working overtime and evenings to ensure our customers get serviced.”

Daniel is especially proud of the teams’ response to the latest storm, the first since COVID restrictions.

“I am one on the lucky ones that get to see all parts of a storm response and whilst all of the things listed above are amazing, for me the most impressive thing is that we get to see our entire company work collaboratively for the same purpose but in such a caring way for each other and our customers,” said Daniel.

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