Director - Customer Support Excellence: Sameer Samudra
This article is from the “Cummins: All Access” series, a compilation of unique, reality-based stories featuring Cummins employees. The series is designed to give a behind-the-scenes perspective of Cummins employees as they develop their careers.
With 48,000 employees around the globe, Cummins devotes a special team of professionals to provide internal customer service for its Cummins Business Services
unit. Cummins knows our people are our number one asset – and we live that philosophy. Here, employees have a say in creating an inclusive, productive and enjoyable workplace.
And now for your All Access Pass.
Cummins chose Sameer Samudra to guide the Customer Support Excellence global team for one of its Business Unit – Cummins Business Services, and the stakeholders for this Business Unit are all Cummins employees. Sameer, a former Six Sigma Master Black Belt, earned his MBA from Indiana University-Kelley School of Business and MS in Engineering from University of Cincinnati. He joined Cummins in 2000 and now leads the Customer Support Excellence for Cummins Business Services (CBS), which provides HR, Accounting, IT and Customer Care services to employees.
Sameer starts his day in a strategy meeting to get a baseline on employee needs in China and Europe. Sameer works with his global team of Customer Support Excellence Champions that are spread all across the globe. The Customer Support Excellence team is currently implementing a program named ‘Net Promoter System’ to measure, understand and improve customer loyalty. It helps Sameer and his team to get actionable data on employee pain points and identify areas for improvement. Since each regional dynamic varies from the next, Sameer’s team meets to evaluate what resources the company currently has in place and understand the potential gaps in process.
“Even if we are not good at something, we are looking at solutions and sharing information about how we are getting better. The benefit is the trust we get from our employees. We are asking our employees to tell us how they feel about our support team and solutions. If our employees don’t know what is happening, how will they trust us?”
Next, Sameer touches base on a massive project his team is collaborating on: implementing new laptops (PowerSweep 4) companywide. Though it may seem simple, issuing new machines to thousands of employees is no easy feat. Cummins offers employees options on machines, making for a complex logistical effort. To ensure that customers don’t lose productivity or data in the process, the transition must go smoothly. In collaboration with the project team, Sameer’s group ensures ‘customer’ voice or in this case employee voice is part of the discussions. He proactively focuses on the employee point of view, with a goal to empower his internal team’s success in service of Cummins’s external customers around the world.
“It’s very important to have a global team and a global voice to make the initiative work. We have a collaborative approach. Our employees in China might have a unique need than other countries around the world. We have to think about different needs across different boundaries and different functions. The engineering team might be traveling for testing in areas or in locations with unique IT requirements. For example, some teams need laptops in the field to see how a Cummins diesel engine runs in the mountains. To understand, you have to see how the regions operate.”
After lunch in the corporate office cafeteria with a colleague from his department, Sameer, a Six Sigma Master Black Belt, attends a meeting where he is initiating a new Six Sigma
project launch. The project focuses on bringing consistency to the employee recognition process across the Cummins Business Services and to spotlight employees’ work and accomplishments.
“It’s a cultural change here. We’re supporting the objective of being a $30 billion company and that excites me about where we’re going. My job is about people and making their lives better. It is about global teams and utilizing tools like Six Sigma, Leadership and Diversity at work.”
After the Six Sigma meeting, Sameer moves to another building on Cummins Corporate campus to attend a WebEx online training with other Customer Support Excellence leaders from around the world on how to successfully lead a global team and customer success. Leadership is critical for the success of the company and Cummins business leaders are trained on how to motivate teams to have a customer-centric mindset. Sameer says that at the end of the day, machines don’t do the work; people do the work. Training is important to keep employees focused on their performance.
Late in the afternoon, Sameer returns to his desk for a global conference call in his role of LGBT Pride Affinity Group Steering Team member. It’s a critical call to provide perspectives into an ex-patriot assignment involving an LGBT employee being promoted and moving to a different region of the world. Not all companies or countries share the same values toward LGBT employees as Cummins does. The Company is working with a global real estate vendor to help the employee and his partner find a new home in Asia.
“We’re educating external vendors about our LGBT policies and that includes how immigration plays a role in supporting our employees. You’re dealing with people’s lives here, so it is important for us to positively influence their lives and the lives of their immediate family members. They’re moving continents for the Company, so we think about immigration laws, healthcare in different countries, things that have an influence on quality of life. I love the challenge of this role because we can make an impact in people’s lives, from global programs like immigration and global mobility all the way down to the daily work computer they use.”
Finally as early evening approaches, Sameer takes time at the end of the day to think about the rest of his week. He ensures that all touch points are in place for his Customer Support Excellence team, who he says are his arms and legs in the organization. He leaves his desk and walks across the corporate campus to his Zumba class. He’s committed to employee Zumba classes so he can focus on his health and network with other employees in a fun and creative way. Sameer believes if you are not healthy and happy personally, you can’t be successful professionally.
“My company values me — me as a person and not just my professional skills. My values and our company’s values match so well. That’s one thing that helps me to love my job and do my job passionately. If your values don’t match, then there is nothing and that sets Cummins apart from other companies.”