A view from the front line
19 January 2012
Hello! My name is Frances Clark, and I've recently started my new role as 'Field Logistics Operational Manager' working to improve Virgin Media's supply chain. Basically, this means working with all the warehouses across the country to make sure they are getting equipment to customers in the most efficient way possible.
I first started working for Virgin Media as a technician just over 3 years ago installing our products and services in customers' homes. During the 18 months I was in the role, I met thousands of customers and learned a huge amount about the issues that really matter to them. Sustainability was something that cropped up quite often – a fact that I mentioned to the sustainability team recently during a chance meeting at the Big Red Shed.
As well as learning about what customers are concerned about, the frontline is a really good place to see opportunities for Virgin Media to become more responsible. So I'd like to share the top 3 issues that, from my experience, matter to our customers:
For a start, on customers' doorsteps I was often greeted with 'Oh wow, a woman technician!' This kind of comment became a bit predictable, but it didn't really bother me, as it's true that there aren't many female technicians. I'd like to see more female technicians in the business – something I know Virgin Media is working on as part of our diversity agenda.
A very popular topic of conversation with customers was around power consumption. Our TiVo box has been really popular with our customers and we're proud to offer them a next generation product, but lots of customers wanted to know how much power their new box would use and if there was any way of reducing this. I think Virgin Media could be doing more to help people like me talk about this.
And finally, waste and recycling. In my new role, I now get to look behind the scenes, and see how all our boxes, modems and other pieces of equipment get from the warehouses to the customer. It's definitely what you call a 'slick' operation! Whether it's the cable we use, or the cardboard we send boxes out in, we are recycling. We even have a system in place that allocates technicians jobs near their postcode to reduce unnecessary travel, which is great from a customer and environmental perspective.
If you have any ideas for how we can make our supply chain more sustainable, let me know. And, to all the technicians out there – let me know if there's a particular issue that the customers are shouting about (even if it is just 'Wow! A woman technician!')