Leslie Ahner and Faye Stenack are an integral part of the incomparable customer service team that sets ProtoCAM apart from other additive manufacturers.
Customers who have called into ProtoCAM have most likely talked to Leslie or Faye, and all customers who have submitted an RFQ can be sure one or both of the women have had a hand in shepherding their projects through. In short, they make up a large part of the service portion of this service bureau and deliver the superior – and speedy – customer service for which ProtoCAM is known.
Personal and Professional
A typical day for Leslie and Faye revolves around managing quotes, work orders, shipping, invoicing and phone calls. For a company that receives hundreds of emails and dozens of phone calls every day, just keeping things organized and running smoothly is a balancing act – doing it all with a smile takes a master hand. Leslie and Faye work in concert, sharing responsibilities and tasks, juggling the workload, and taking care of top priorities and pressing concerns as they arise.
“You never know what the day is going to look like,” Ahner said. “Faye and I work really well together and we adapt to the moment. Some days you realize you haven’t taken a sip of your coffee in five hours, but it’s worth it.”
“When you get a call from a customer you haven’t heard from in a while, it’s like getting caught up with an old friend,” Stenack said.
That personal service and family atmosphere is what attracted both Leslie and Faye to their jobs – and what keeps them going strong. Faye previously worked for a staffing agency that places industrial workers, some of whom ended up at ProtoCAM. When there was an opening, ProtoCAM leadership approached her with the position.
“I had already been a cheerleader for ProtoCAM in my former position,” Stenack said. “That the owners built the company from scratch and were still deeply involved in the day-to-day business says a lot. That combination of personal and professional is not something you find everywhere.”
Before coming to ProtoCAM, Leslie had been a buyer for a fabricating shop and was fluent in traditional manufacturing. She always wanted a job that was more than just a job, and ProtoCAM offered a small office environment with huge, national impact.
“We’re a close-knit team, I think, because we have such respect for everyone’s dedication to the business,” Stenack said. “We all know how hard each and every one of us works to get these jobs done. It says a lot about the team that ProtoCAM is so well respected in such a competitive industry.”
Building Innovation … and Trust
How a project goes from concept to final part or prototype is still remarkable to Faye – even after a decade with ProtoCAM. The non-traditional pieces (like a massive truck manifold or piece of intricate artwork) stand out the most, but even more “common” products can be surprising. The engineers follow a project closely from quote through delivery, but Faye and Leslie, after seeing the initial CAD images and designs, don’t see projects again until completion. The transformation can be quite dramatic.
“You never know what you’re going to make or see from day to day,” Stenack said. “A part could look completely unassuming at the design stage, but when it comes off the machine, it could be the size of your pinky nail or so huge is has to be made in sections and bonded together.”
“Seeing things like the PolyJet projects coming out of the shop is amazing,” Ahner said. “To know we all had a hand in making it happen is rewarding.”
Both Faye and Leslie agree the very best thing about the industry innovations ProtoCAM delivers is the customer response – and they are perfectly positioned to hear it all. Customers are always enthusiastic about their new part or prototype, and their excitement is what drives the entire team to go above and beyond.
“I read an article that said customer service wasn’t about selling a product, but selling relationships. I don’t think we necessarily sell relationships, but we do build them,” Ahner said. “Once we’ve done a job for someone, they call in and ask for us by name. With ProtoCAM, they know they’re getting quality parts, friendly faces they can trust and exceptional service. That’s why they come back.”