Buildings and Grounds adds customer service position

A new emphasis on quality at the College’s buildings maintenance office has brought communicator Dick Boutin to campus.

Boutin was appointed Customer Service Representative in the Office of Facilities Management this month. His job is to improve communication between the office that is in charge of maintaining College buildings and its customers: students and administrators, according to Facilities Management Director Michael Getter.

John Gratiot, associate director of facilities management, said a 1992 audit by Vice President and Treasurer Lyn Hutton prompted administrators to search for new ways to improve service.

In the spring, three long-time employees retired. The College took the opportunity to reshape the direction and focus of Facilities Management, Gratiot said.

Getter was hired to replace Director of Buildings and Grounds Dick Plummer, Director of Business Affairs Dick Skewes and Associate Director of Business Affairs Jay Bliss.

The changes adhere to a philosophy developed in the 1940s and embraced by Japanese businesses.

The philosophy asks workers to analyze their responsibilities and to suggest changes that will cut costs and raise quality of service.

Getter said his office will implement what is called “Total Quality Management” by “making sure we’re listening to what our employees and customers are saying about us and asking of us.”

“We will be asking employees to have decision-making responsibilities and help define what their jobs are,” he said.

Gratiot said Boutin’s appointment to the new position of Customer Service Representative is an example of a “change brought about by this new philosophy.”

“But Dick is not enough,” Gratiot said. “He will serve as a catalyst to help turn the workers’ attentions towards the customer.”

“Times change and people change, and as a department we have to change with them,” he said.

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