How far would you go for client satisfaction? Today we’re getting to know Kai, a man who loves wood, had his job interview in a maternity ward, and once drove 6 hours to help a customer with assembly.
Who are you?
I’m Kai. I was born in Leer in Germany on the Dutch border and I went to school in The Netherlands, Germany and Fargo, North Dakota. I started working at Fab EU in 2012, when we were only 6 people in the office.
What do you do?
I’m VP of Operations, which at this very moment means that I have to figure out how to help our network of furniture factories cope with all of our orders.
How did you end up doing it?
I was working at IKEA Green, which is its sustainability effort, when my girlfriend started at this small start-up in Hamburg, which was then called Massivkonzept. I knew that the founders had no experience with the furniture business so I offered to give them some advice. After a four-hour meeting with one of the co-founders, in the maternity ward of the hospital where his wife had just given birth, he convinced me to leave IKEA and work with them instead.
Kai’s All-Fab apartment.
What do you love most about your job?
I passionately believe in creating something that lasts and providing an amazing experience for the customer. One of the most interesting challenges I’ve had at Fab has been to perfect the quality of our furniture and to adapt mass production technology to individualized projects. My own house is full of Fab furniture: we have a Fab kitchen, a Fab dining table, a Fab sofa and more. Even though all those designs go beyond the current capabilities of our configuration tools, it was easy to make them happen. I also love when our customers have crazy ideas that we can help them realize.
We’ve heard that you’ve been known to personally drive across the country to help customers in need, can you tell us about it?
Well, there was a situation right before Christmas when a customer had problems with a huge order of very complex shelving units, and our assembly technicians had already gone on break. The customer threatened to cancel the order if it wasn’t resolved before Christmas, so I grabbed a colleague and we got up at 3 am on December 23rd to drive to Frankfurt. It took us eight hours to assemble the shelves, but we got the job done and we were back home in time to celebrate Christmas.