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Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Building the future, while solving problems in the present

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Our National Service Manager, Kimberley Bray, has recently been announced as a Deloitte Top 200 Awards finalist for Young Executive of the Year.

Kim shares her thoughts on using technology to improve customer experience:

At Ravensdown, we are in the privileged position of having a truly integrated solution for New Zealand farmers, in what is an incredibly diverse business. While we are best-known for selling fertiliser, in reality we are one of the most vertically integrated businesses in New Zealand.

Our capabilities include: testing through our own lab, to providing advice; shipping raw materials and manufacturing at our own works; storing and applying product as the largest spreading operation in the country; and building hardware and decision support software.

Vertical integration provides us with an enormous advantage when developing solutions for customers that are focused on increased productivity within a sustainable environmental model, which is the real job we are here to do.

The services team at Ravensdown is tasked with building the future, while continuing to solve problems that exist right now - for our customers, our colleagues, and the wider business. We look at how we can innovate to remove obstacles in a meaningful way. To do that, we have to really understand the issues that we are dealing with and focus on more than just the product or technology.

But here’s the deal: building meaningful experiences isn’t easy, in fact it’s really hard. In order to do it well, we need to look across the whole experience, across the whole business, and understanding the ripples of change one action can have on another.

As a team we are working to transform the way our customers access services, plus the services themselves. To really put our customers at the heart of services we co-design with them, and plan services around their needs. It's a gift when people are willing to tell you what’s happening – it is important to not rush in claiming you have solved their problems, before even trying to understand what they are.

Service Design is human centred - it always has been, and it always will be. It might integrate technology, but it starts with what people actually need. And getting to that is so much more than just putting the buttons in the right place: it’s about understanding culture, and context, and pain.

Although technology is often a component of the solutions we work on, as a team we start with people. We let people see the ideas and modify them alongside us. Often what we thought of as the whole idea, is really just 10 percent of what was possible when we begin building solutions, and see the ripples we create.

Rebuilding our underlying systems now, means that we are preparing designs that will have the greatest impact on total system performance… putting us in the best possible position to drive this process and create value for our customers, and for our people.

From a service perspective we are committed to reorganising and rethinking efficiency, on building tools that enhance the human experience, and redefining the interactions we have with our customers.

Our capacity, solutions, and expertise help build farm productivity. More importantly, our people are passionate about helping our customers solve their current problems, while building the future.