E-Service provides the industry with much more than simply a comprehensive spares and support package delivered from two key locations within the UK. Managing director, Mike Clokie, explains how, courtesy of significant investment in staff, support techniques and system infrastructure, the company has become the first choice for after sales support for many AGC’s, FEC’s, casinos and single site operators.
What does it mean to be working alongside big gaming brands such as Blueprint?
It’s more about what it says about us as a supplier and the confidence that has persuaded brands including Blueprint, Shuffle Master/SG Gaming, Galaxy Gaming and others to select us as their after sales partner. After sales and support is what we do – it’s not a footnote or an addendum – which is manifest in the trust and confidence that gaming’s most respected names have in us. It’s a great accolade and something that can only be earned through a combination of having the right systems, processes, indepth knowledge, professionalism, work ethic and having the very best people representing you. We have eight full time, dedicated field service engineers who are fully conversant with all aspects of the industry including networked product and server related technical issues. Gaming is very much part of the broadly based entertainment industry which is reflected in the skill set that we insist on when we recruit.
Is your association with big brands and household names restricted to the gaming industry?
Not at all, in fact we count Network Rail, Welcome Break and the John Lewis Partnership amongst our clients. To even be considered by big companies such as these, let alone count them as clients is a major challenge. It means being recognised by Altius, an independent quality and safety body which undertakes an exhaustive authentication of systems and processes that you have in place. Altius will only recognise ‘best in breed’ businesses to go forward and tender for work. What it means to our wider portfolio of clients is that we have passed arguably the most thorough vetting process there is in our field of expertise – it’s a massive endorsement of what we provide.
What are the big challenges that you are preparing for over the next 6-12 months?
Obviously you can’t ignore our leading role across the UK in currency upgrades and that remains an important issue for our customers and for us.
Talking in more broader terms, in order to keep pace with the requirements of the market it’s absolutely essential to maintain an on-going investment programme. As such, the continued expansion of the E-Service Solutions office and workshops in Castleford, near Leeds is high on the agenda. We have recently doubled the size of the facility to cater for clients requirements whether it be the service of equipment or the supply of parts and peripherals.
The increased space allows for a greater stock holding and expansion of the workshop area. We are still heavily involved with the coin and note upgrade and we can see the requirements for service, support and the replacement of equipment running well in to Q3 and Q4 of 2018.
How many different items do you hold in stock and what does a large stock holding mean to your customers?
Due to the large customer base and diverse range of products in operation, EService has invested heavily in stocks of vital components and supplies these on a next day delivery service, in fact 98 percent of advance replacements are despatched the same day as ordered. Our stock holding ranges from simple wedge lamps costing just a few pence to peripherals such as the latest Merkur bill recycler and stacker as well as huge stocks of pool cloth and accessories. Our clients understand that E-Service truly is a one stop shop facility for the industry, no other company offers the same array of spare parts stock holding combined with in-house bench service engineers and a nationwide field service team.
In your opinion, how big an issue is security and what products do you supply to combat machine fraud?
There are a few different ways you can consider machine security and fraud, whether it be a direct attack on the machine cabinet to gain entry or attacking peripherals to gain free plays or dump hoppers and note recyclers. Firstly, I think machine manufacturers should be recognised for the huge improvements they’ve made to cabinet security in recent years which has made a major contribution. Unfortunately there is little security left in the humble RPT lock that has served the industry so well for many years so we took the decision to invest in our own range of high security locks that are cost effective and prove resistant to the lock picks that are widely available from the internet. All equipment and peripherals that are serviced by E-Service have the latest software and security features added. We have a procedure in place in our workshops whereby the supervisors check the equipment manufacturers websites daily for software updates and security enhancements. We ensure that equipment leaving the building is equipped with the latest hardware, firmware and software to give the best protection to the operator’s income.
How much of keeping equipment fully functioning can now be done remotely and how much is down to an engineer physically attending a venue?
Once we are contacted we diagnose the problem and then ascertain if an engineer is required to attend and on the severity of the problem on what time scale. This pretty much depends on the age and style of equipment. The equipment we support within the casino sector, for example, is quite often supported by way of remote login which resolves the problem. However, at times the only solution is to get an engineer there. We work with clients on a 4-6 hour response and fix within 24 hours. Other clients with operation non-critical equipment have a 72 hour fix time.
Finally, how would you summarise your USPs in a couple of sentences?
An all-encompassing service, spares and support package delivered from two key locations within the UK. We continue to make significant investments in staff, support techniques and system infrastructure to ensure that clients receive the very best service that’s available.