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Laughter is at the heart of the FMC Customer Service Team

Creation date: 06 July 2020

A day without humour just wouldn’t be a day in the presence of the FMC ANZ Customer Service team. On most days, the renowned cackle of Karlien Slot, Customer Service Manager, or the witty remarks of Arnie Tapiki, Customer Service Representative, can be heard billowing through the Sydney Head Office, extracting laughter from one corner to the next.


Support Karlien Slot, the FMC ANZ Customer Service team consists of seven Customer Service Representatives; Arnie Tapiki, Daniele Medina, Joanne Cross, Jocelyn Zhao, Mansi Samani and Pranav Shiledar based in Australia, and Sandra Read based in FMC’s Auckland office.


Alongside the unique personalities that form this awesome team, each member brings a diverse perspective to the table following their extensive experiences in customer facing roles. With backgrounds in Production Engineering, to International Trade, to 20+ years in Customer Service, Karlien has created a working environment that not only allows, but encourages, her team to constantly collaborate and learn from each other’s diverse experiences.


Building on Foundational Experience

“I have worked in many different industries and under different leadership styles and for me, I work best in a workplace like FMC as they are all about inclusiveness. You can get a good sense of this, whether it relates to individuals, our team or the whole workplace” explains Joanne Cross.


“We all know that without our customers, we wouldn’t have a job, and so we’re all extremely customer focused and driven. If someone in the team is faced with an issue, they will always have the full support of the rest of the team to resolve it as quickly and efficiently as possible” Joanne continues.


With over 20 years’ experience in the Customer Service arena, Joanne started her career in Technical Support in a government organisation and joined the Ag industry in 2017 with her commencement with FMC. “All of my working experiences are extremely different to each other; however, they have all provided me with a unique set of skills and experiences that have led me to where I am today.


Our team is extremely diverse, we represent six different countries and we love it! We have learnt so much about each of our cultures and this in turn has made us a very close-knit team.” Joanne continues, “we all possess different work styles which Karlien has explored to the fullest, investing time in knowing what each of our work styles are, and helping us to understand how we like to operate in our day to day tasks. This, in turn helping us to support our customers further as a cohesive and collaborative team.”


Benefits of Global Exposure

Reiterating Joanne’s comments, Daniele Ferreira says, “our cause is clear and compelling - providing the #1 customer experience. The inclusivity of FMC and the encouragement to collaborate cross-functionally provides the competitive advantage necessary to outperform in today’s highly competitive market.


To perform at my best, it is crucial for me to work in an inclusive environment where leaders embrace, value, and provide a sense of belonging to all people. This is FMC,” explains Daniele.


Joining the team in May 2019, alongside degrees in Supply chain and Logistics, and Project Management, Daniele is a Production Engineer by trade, holding over 20 years’ experience in Quality Management. “Over my career I have been covering a range of roles within the end to end of Supply Chain in several multi-national companies, all of which have provided me with a great deal of experience to carry on any challenge.


Agribusiness is a global industry of continuous expansion, I joined Syngenta Brazil in 2013 and during my five years in Ag in Brazil, I was exposed to the fifth largest Agribusiness revenue in the world. Upon moving to Australia in 2019, the opportunity to join FMC presented itself, having existing knowledge of the FMC portfolio and future pipeline, I didn’t think twice about accepting the role” says Daniele.


With the expanding team, Karlien has dedicated her time to ensure each member is assigned an area best suited to their working style, leveraging their strengths, and providing ownership and accountability to each individual. Taking on the Open Orders process, Daniele explains “after nine months working on this process, I have delivered a structured management system which provides a better service level to FMC’s customers, something I am immensely proud of.”


A Friendly and Familiar Voice

“Customer service has evolved quite rapidly over the past decade” explains Mansi Samani. With almost ten years’ experience in Customer Service and Sales roles, Mansi has seen first hand the evolution of this business function. “As a team, we are acutely aware of the need to be a highly motivated, collaborative and dependable unit to not only capitalise on our individual strengths, but also to meet our growing customer expectations.”


“To make a business a success it’s imperative to have quality customer service, and FMC is unique to have a full team to service our customers every need, right here in Australia and New Zealand.” Explains Pranav Shiledar. With a background in Supply Chain projects and International Trade in the manufacturing industry, Pranav provides the team with valuable knowledge of stakeholder management.


“We understand the need for great relationships with our customers; suppliers, distributers, and of course our colleagues,” continues Arnie Tapiki. “We are more than just a call centre, we are heavily involved and engaged cross-functionally with our colleagues in Supply Chain and Sales. Our strong relationships with our Regional Sales Managers, ensures we can provide quality service to our customers.”


Understanding Global Manufacturing on both sides of the Tasman

As the team continues to expand their knowledge of the FMC portfolio and provide even more valuable information to customers, Sandra Read has been a pillar of support to the Australian and New Zealand business. With over ten years’ experience in the Ag industry, transitioning from DuPont to FMC in 2017, Sandra has been instrumental to the onboarding of Customer Service team members, providing valuable knowledge of the portfolio. “Since joining FMC, I have shared my knowledge of the acquired portfolio and in turn learnt so much about the FMC portfolio and customer base.” Said Sandra.


“Most recently being involved in the BPM Program, modernising FMC’s business processing globally with a new system, I have been exposed to many more aspects of the business and learnt first hand how new systems will benefit our customers.”


The bond of the FMC Customer Service team has continued to strengthen during the challenges COVID-19 has raised, and for Sandra based in Auckland New Zealand, access to new tools to help connect with the team has been vital.


Home Office Protocol

“The COVID-19 impacts have been significant to our team as we all now find ourselves working from home” says Jocelyn Zhao. “We were required to find new ways to communication with each other, continuing to work closely together to hit our targets whilst ensuring our customers remain our number one priority”.


In order to maintain connections in lieu of their quick ad hoc chats in the office, the team have worked to find the sweet spot of communications, consisting of a 30-minute daily group chat for quick questions and support. “The catch-ups have also extended to the wider teams, we have never been so closely connected.” Said Karlien.


“Sharing your feelings, with the team, the wider business as well as customers, has been so essential. We’re truly in this together and it’s brought a wonderful human touch to our daily work,” Sandra commented.


“Our human need for connection doesn’t change because of a crisis” adds Daniele, “COVID-19 has provided us with the opportunity to continue to build relationships beyond transactions.”


“Good communication and IT strategies have made us extremely agile, for which I’m grateful and I truly think this makes a big difference in an industry as unpredictable as agriculture and pest solutions. I am looking forward to implementing the learnings in the long run, staying close together as a business with our customers and working towards our common goals.” Said Karlien.


During the tough times it is the strong bond in this team that keeps them close, close enough to share plenty of laughs. Their work ethic, values and respect they show each other is what makes this team truly unique.


L-R Daniele Medina, Mansi Samani, Arnie Tapiki, Joanne Cross, Pranav Shiledar, Jocelyn Zhao and Karlien Slot.

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