Lessons Learned—Duffy’s AIS Service Manager Shares Advice With Technicians

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Paul Pumputis recalls the time smoke billowed from a newly installed pizza oven, and shares the lesson the mishap instilled.

Paul Pumputis, service manager at Duffy’s AIS, based in Sauquoit, N.Y., has accumulated his share of mishaps over the course of his career in the foodservice equipment repair industry. Today, he gladly shares those stories—and any advice—with technicians.

“I’ve learned a lot from my own experiences out in the field, and whatever I can do to help others from having to make those same mistakes, the better it is for all of us, operators and technicians,” he says.

Here are his top tips for technicians:

Keep your focus on the job at hand. There are many distractions, such as notifications lighting up your phone, that can break your focus and lead to an error.

Never assume you know everything. Even the most experienced technicians should follow an installation guide or owner’s manual.

Pumputis recalls the time smoke billowed up from a newly installed pizza oven. Without thinking twice, he ran for the fire extinguisher and quickly put out the fire. The source: cardboard packing around parts of the conveyor.

“I had taken for granted that I knew what I was doing, being familiar with the manufacturer and having installed quite a few pizza ovens over the course of my career,” he says. “I made the mistake of being overconfident in my knowledge and didn’t go through the owner’s manual as I should have to check off all the steps before performing the installation. Turns out, there was packing material inside the oven, behind the control panel, that I wasn’t able to see during the initial visual check.”

Own up to your mistakes. An error on the job can happen to the most experienced technician, but it’s how you handle the situation that makes an impact on the customer.



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