Let's shed some light behind the scenes.
Welcome to the second of our series of articles about "our people", the ultimate strength of our organization. Please meet, by order of seniority in joining our company, Noemi, Adhara, Maria, and Clara; they all work in Tenerife, at our Head Quarters located in La Matanza, Tenerife. This time we connected all together in a video conference and we let you judge what came out.
First of all, stating they all have administrative tasks would be quite misleading: they are all but the "useful-yet-dull-secretaries-handling-boring-paperwork".
Take Clara: she is handling a good deal of our logistics, together with Jessica, Chiara, and Nadia, who operate in Italy and Tunisia, all reporting to Nicola Fontanesi, our Planning Manager. Clara has to ensure every team of technicians does make it to arrive at the Customers' sites according to the agreed-upon schedule. One would think "easy, just a matter of booking a flight"…
Well, not exactly: first, a team may be consisting of 10, 15 or more people, who not only live in different towns but different countries. Clara has to check their passports are OK, duly renewed when necessary, and has to handle the working visas required by most countries to provide embassies with the specific documents they request before issuing a visa and following up till the visa is granted. Routinely, several teams have to be fired in different locations during the same week; now, imagine for a moment to have some 160 musicians all spread in various countries and you have several concerts, scheduled at exact dates, taking place all in different locations and countries. Your mission is to make sure the
concerts are duly held, with no musician missing, thus visas obtained in due time, flights scheduled properly, in many cases car rentals and hotel reservations done.
Add to this unpredicted events such as a musician defaulting for some unexpected reason, a flight suddenly delayed or canceled, etc. etc. Yet "the show must go on", no way to postpone it. The "unexpected" happens more frequently than one would normally think when dealing with many concerts and hundreds of musicians.
Clara's job is seldom a routine one and she's got to have special skills: never lose control, swiftly coordinate with a travel agency a change of flight, and with the Planning Manager when a replacement is needed for a missing musician. Clara has to confront sudden changes, be on top of them, and… make things go right so that the concert is executed to the satisfaction of the audience: the Customer!
Noemi, Adhara, and Maria deal with the documents every technician is requested to properly fill in each time they are done with their job in a given location, as well as every end of the month. Any technician who starts working with us has to go through a series of video tutorials explaining how and why part of their job is to properly fill in their reports. Even with extremely goodwill, mistakes do occur, besides the fact that a technician, used to work often in difficult, uncomfortable conditions might not be precisely in the right "admin mood", after 10 hours spent in the workshop. Add to this that sometimes different agreements are made on the spot without being communicated, unplanned purchases for missing parts or equipment arise, etc. etc.
All in all, Noemi, Adhara, and Maria have to check thousands of receipts, schedules, expenses and must wear a sort of an investigative hat to find out discrepancies, why they occurred, bring about the necessary corrections Accountancy does not allow "approximations": all accounting is based on reconciliation up to the last cent and yet excellent human relation skills are also essential, contrary to standard accounting requirements… An accurate, fast and very close teamwork is vital, for them to properly give clearance for the payment of the services delivered by technicians as well as invoice the customer -who, rightly so, wants to examine all enclosures to the invoice before paying the bill and, well, money is money... So no, it's no exaggeration stating they perform an actual daily audit on the company's fiscal documents.
To these four dedicated, skilled women, every day brings different challenges and for sure their job is a pretty atypical secretarial one and anyways, never repetitive, boring, or dull.
Our thumbs up for them!