Better Work, Better World: Curtis Thomas of BW Integrated Systems

March 11, 2024
  • Kayla Augdahl
    Communications Specialist

During the early stages of his career, a customer shared this statement with BW Integrated Systems Field Service Director Curtis Thomas, and it has stuck with him ever since:

“You’re going to sell me my first product, but it’s your customer service department that’s going to sell me the rest.”

When you are a field service technician, you’re not a salesperson, but really, you are the face of Barry-Wehmiller to our customers. Our field service technicians don’t give speeches, and their photos aren’t on the cover of any magazine; but how they treat, respond to and support our customers determines the success of our company.

“We’re the front line of defense, so to speak, and we spend the most time with the customers,” Curtis said. “So, I feel like my ability to help and my desire to help, helped me to provide a high level of customer service, as well as being able to successfully solve problems.”

BW Integrated Systems is part of the BW Packaging group of companies in the Barry-Wehmiller family. BW Integrated Systems is an industry leader in the design and manufacture of end-of-line packaging equipment, labeling equipment and robotic automation solutions, as well as the execution of integrated packaging systems. Their machines serve a wide variety of industries, including automotive, food, beverage and spirits, container manufacturing, pharmaceutical, dairy, personal care and more.

So, BW Integrated Systems’ field technicians play a crucial role in ensuring our customers’ businesses are successful. They make sure all our complicated machinery is running smoothly, so our customers’ products are packaged on schedule with the utmost quality.

Because of their importance, that’s why, in field service, you need more than technical aptitude to be successful in your role. Adeptness at solving problems like repairing malfunctioning machinery is certainly essential to the field, but it’s skills like listening and remaining calm under pressure that really make a difference to our customers.

Strengthening customer trust in our company and our products is one of the aspects Curtis enjoys about working in field service, and he does so through his natural desire to help others.

For our field service technicians, issues can vary from day to day, so the ability to work in a chaotic environment is essential. No two days are the same, but Curtis always starts off his mornings by connecting with his service leaders to find out how business is doing in each section and to make sure all project needs are met. Including leaders and technicians, Curtis has approximately 50 people at five different locations under his span of care.

“I want to be able to help provide guidance and direction, make decisions that's going to influence the direction that this field service team moves in, and prepare us for future and to be able to support the company goals and visions going forward,” Curtis said. “So, it's very important to me to be a good leader to my team and be there for them.”

At Barry-Wehmiller, we believe in the idea of people and performance in harmony. As a leader, Curtis makes sure that each of his team members feels valued for not just their work contributions but for who they are as people.

“I want them to feel fulfilled, not only here in their professional career but also at home as well,” Curtis said. “So, I think it allows us to be a more personal approach to get to know our team members much better. And I think at that point, including myself, we all feel appreciated.”

The Barry-Wehmiller culture of care is more than just a concept we preach; it is a principle we uphold every day.

“My favorite thing about working at BW … and it may sound cliché, but it is the people, the people within BW and the culture,” Curtis said. “I've worked for a number of companies, … and truly, truly, I do feel, here at BW, that everybody matters. I really do. I feel that culture. I had a chance to watch the Bob Chapman videos before I joined BW, and when I joined BW, the culture is really real.”

And this culture of caring applies not only to our team members but also to our customers, as demonstrated through the dedication of Curtis and his team. A successful customer service and field service team helps keep good relationships with customers after the initial purchase gets them through the door.

Similarly, an individual may feel inspired to join the Barry-Wehmiller team after hearing our message, but it’s the commitment to following through on that culture of care that gets them to stay.

While Curtis’ outstanding customer service skills have sold much more than the initial product at the beginning of his career, the outstanding treatment of his customers and those under his span of care have proven to be priceless.

Better Work. Better World. is a video series designed to shine a light on team members throughout the global Barry-Wehmiller organization. Watch the video through the link above for more.


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