Michelle MacKenzie is a Maintenance/Service Planner in Australia
When Michelle MacKenzie starts feeling overwhelmed at work, she reflects on a quote by magician and mentalist David Berglas: “The impossible I do immediately, but miracles take a little longer.”
It turns out, a little magic and a little mental endurance is just what she needs in her role as maintenance planner and service planner. “It’s a saying I heard recently, and I just love it,” she said. “It’s something I remind myself of when I feel the pressure is on.
For Michelle, a taxing situation might be working against the clock to help a remote customer located 12 hours from a Konecranes branch – in an area with little or no phone service. Another could involve solving a complaint to a customer’s satisfaction, while also working in the best interests of the company.
“I’m not sure I could sum up in words what a typical day or week is,” she said. “No two days ever seem the same and your best laid plans can quickly come undone when you receive multiple breakdowns over the state of Queensland.”
Recipe for a strong team
Challenges aside, the big payoff comes when Michelle can help deliver favorable results to her customers and exceed their expectations. “Receiving positive feedback from our customers based on the efforts we all went through as a team is a great feeling,” she said.
What makes a team strong, she said, is being able to trust each other – and make each other laugh. “I feel we really have that at the moment. We have the ability to laugh with and at each other when the pressure is on, which also helps us get through those busy periods and achieve our goals.”
Master planner of maintenance and service activities
Michelle’s journey with Konecranes began in September 2014, after learning about the company through a friend who was Konecranes customer. She joined the team as a branch administrator, but soon moved into the maintenance/service planner position when it became available.
As a maintenance planner, Michelle is all about client agreements: securing new ones and handling and servicing current ones. She’s also charged with scheduling and dispatching service technicians, and spending time consulting with customers about repair and safety issues.
Meanwhile, the service planner side of her job gives Michelle a chance to show off her multitasking and organizational skills. In that role, she facilitates service quotes, arranges technical assistance for customers, schedules after-hours emergency service calls and helps ensure customers receive timely responses to their questions and issues.
“We have a great team of people across all levels who work together in Queensland, and everyone is always keen to share their knowledge with others,” she said.
From coal mining to cranes
Before landing at Konecranes, Michelle – who grew up in Mackay, North Queensland – planned to become a school teacher. After high school, she deferred her start at a university to enroll in an administrator/teacher aide traineeship in a local school.
“I quickly learned that this was no longer the path I wished to take, so instead I pursued administration work and started working with an underground coal mining contractor,” she said.
During her decade of employment there, Michelle spent most of her time in payroll, where she helped process payment for 1,200 employees and contractors. She also worked with human resources and recruitment on several large-scale projects.
“It was always fast-paced, and every day was different,” she said. “It gave me such a sense of achievement when we hit each milestone.”
Capturing memories and baking cakes
Outside of work, spending time behind the lens of a camera also allows Michelle to try something new every day and further refine her eye for detail. “Photography is something I’ve always enjoyed. I feel you can never have enough photographs of those you love and the special occasions you share with them.”
Thanks to a misunderstanding, weddings and portraits have become one of her favorite styles of photography. After seeing photos posted on Michelle’s personal Facebook page, a former colleague asked her to take some photos for her.
“I thought it was of reef fish [she and her fiancé] caught, as they had just started their own fishing magazine,” Michelle explained. “After I said yes, I found out it was their wedding photos. I wanted to go back on my word, but that’s not the kind of person I am, so that’s how [my wedding photography] got started!”
Resourcefulness plays a big part in Michelle’s success at Konecranes, which also comes in handy for her in the kitchen.
“I absolutely love to bake; it’s how I relax and unwind,” she said. “I love experimenting and trying different things. My creations can range from cakes and muffins (savory or sweet) to quiches and slices.”
Fortunately for Michelle’s co-workers, they get to play a (tasty) role in her baking process.
“I come from a family who loves to ‘over cater’ when it comes to functions and gatherings, so I usually bring my creations into the office for everyone to eat,” she said.
“I’ve made some great friends since starting with Konecranes and food is so much better when shared with friends.”