14 May 2024

Maximising Customer Implementations: My Best Practices for Success

Excellent customer service and care are the hallmark for any industry. The data centre industry is becoming an increasingly competitive landscape and delivering exceptional customer service can help set a data centre apart from its peers. Perhaps most importantly, the successful implementation of customer projects stands as a testament to operational excellence and client satisfaction. At Kao Data, we adhere to a set of best practices designed to ensure seamless onboarding and working closely with each customer to problem solve deliverable solutions. Let’s take a moment to explore these practices and underscore their importance in delivering exceptional value to our customers.

 

Understanding Customer Needs

In my role as Senior Customer Implementation Manager, my job begins before the ink is dry on the contract. As soon as Kao Data is selected as a customer’s data centre provider, I begin engaging with the customer's delivery team. This job has been made significantly easier recently with the arrival of my colleague Wendy, who joined us in July ‘23 and has become a huge asset to the organisation.

Central to Wendy’s, and the wider team's approach is a deep understanding of the customer’s requirements. We recognise that every client is unique, with distinct needs and objectives. By actively listening to our customers and offering the right solutions, we establish a foundation of trust and collaboration. This proactive engagement enables us to align our services with the evolving needs of our clientele, fostering long-term partnerships built on mutual respect and understanding.

This step is important and isn’t something that can be circumvented. First, you want the customer to understand that you are working with them and not against them. Second, it is critical that we don’t over commit to anything that could put the project in jeopardy - this isn’t helpful to the customer. My job is to make sure we deliver on time, on budget and to the specific parameters of the deployment. All the time and energy spent getting us to this point only matters if we have a happy customer in the end, and I’ve built a career on keeping my clients happy.

 

Above: A good, efficient customer implementation can start a project off really well, and cement a long, successful partnership.

 

Streamlining the Supply Chain

Efficient supply chain management lies at the core of successful data centre project implementations, but one of the biggest challenges we face in the industry is supply chain management. Escalating demand for data centre space and AI emerging as a critical market driver are straining existing supply chain capabilities. 

The suppliers responsible for delivering mission critical components like the busbar and electrical parts are rapidly constructing new facilities to address the heightened demand. However, the process of building these facilities is time-consuming, taking at minimum six to nine months to complete. The continued influx of orders exacerbates lead times, causing even more delays. 

At Kao Data, we prioritise strategic partnerships and transparent communication channels to optimise procurement processes and minimise lead times. By proactively addressing potential bottlenecks and collaborating closely with suppliers, we ensure the timely delivery of materials and resources. And, on top of this we form close bonds with trusted suppliers - many of whom I have worked in close collaboration with for years, creating genuine partnerships to overcome hurdles and obstacles together.

 

Meeting Time Constraints

One of the newer trends we are seeing is the priority of time over cost. Supply chain pressures and the desire to get data centre space up and running as quickly as possible means that customers are willing to throw additional resources at the project in order to get it completed more quickly. Projects that were completed in 90 days four years ago can now take 12-16 weeks just on the procurement side alone, not to mention the installation time to get the white space up and running. 

Our commitment to meeting project deadlines drives us to adopt agile methodologies and prioritise task alignment. By leveraging our expertise and resources effectively, we empower our teams to navigate time constraints with confidence and precision. This proactive approach not only mitigates project risks but also enhances overall project outcomes, reinforcing our reputation as a trusted partner to our customers.

 

Commitment to Excellence

Above all, our commitment to excellence guides every aspect of our operations. At Kao Data, we hold ourselves to the highest standards of quality and professionalism, striving to exceed client expectations at every turn. By fostering a culture of continuous improvement and innovation, we empower our teams to deliver best-in-class solutions that drive tangible value for our customers. This forms the cornerstone of our success and underscores our commitment to building lasting customer relationships.

The data centre landscape is constantly evolving, driven by technological advancements and shifting market dynamics. At Kao Data, we embrace this change and nowhere is this more evident than in our customer implementation role.  By embracing best practices and staying true to our core values, we offer our customers unparalleled expertise and support. As we look to the future, our forward-thinking approach enables us to anticipate market shifts and proactively address emerging challenges, ensuring continued success and client satisfaction one project at a time.

 

Above: Another example of a world class customer implementation within our KLON-01 data centre in Harlow, United Kingdom.

(Photo Credit: Thanks to Datalec Precisions Installations)

Howard Spooner

Howard Spooner is Customer Implementation Manager at Kao Data and draws on a variety of experience within the industry. He’s been a central figure in award-winning customer deployments at our data centres.



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