The Breakdown Preventers

Tabcorp Field Services (TFS) is an integral part of life at Tabcorp Gaming Solutions yet frequently flies under the radar. Tabcorp’s General Manager of Operations, Peter Hollis, explains why prevention is better than cure when it comes to gaming machine maintenance.

Peter Hollis and his Tabcorp Field Services (TFS) team works behind the scenes to ensure all 179 venues within Tabcorp Gaming Solutions’ (TGS) network run smoothly, along with the Keno and TAB technical requirements for pubs and clubs.

Responsible for Australia’s eastern seaboard and Tasmania, Hollis and his team ensure technical downtime is kept to an absolute minimum, especially during key events, such as Spring Carnival, or when a hotel or club has been impacted by a natural disaster. When such breakdowns do occur, it can hurt the venue’s bottom-line if customers are forced to seek alternative venues.

To the well-oiled machine that is TFS, every job with which they are involved is of equal importance – irrespective of size, venue or location. TFS is the primary service delivery and centre of operational excellence for Tabcorp. As a result, it is motivated by a core customer value proposition to support its partners and service offering.

“We service customers at all levels, directly and indirectly,” says Hollis. “There is a high reliance on this team to deliver within our service level agreement and delight our customers. The result of this team not delivering could our impact performance of our venues.”

An integral yet relatively understated part of the Tabcorp fabric, the team was initially set up under the guise of TGS as part of a mandate to help the country’s clubs and hotels improve their performance and profitability. In any given year, the TFS team will log over 62,000 incidents across the company’s three business units: TGS, Keno, and Wagering and Media.

As Tabcorp’s General Manager of Operations, Hollis – together with field operation managers Olivia Maskaric and Justin Zito – leads a team of 186 dispatch, warehouse and technician staff spread across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania and the ACT. While the majority are based in-house, there are a few remote locations where third-party agents are employed to provide localised support.

The team has a strategy in place concerning its preventative maintenance program. Its mantra is ‘call, attend, repair, restore’ and it’s about having the right people in the right place at the right time to minimise risk and exceed the expectations of its burgeoning customer base.

“This all comes with ensuring we have the venues’ up time at an all-time high and that we work on the preventive maintenance program to minimise potential issues,” remarks Hollis.

He says that breakdowns can be predicted in some mechanical components – they have a lifespan that can be measured and monitored, and extended, through preventive maintenance. However, there are also cosmetic elements in which failure can prove difficult to predict because it is based on fluctuating usage or a result of malicious damage to items such as screens and button panels.

Ensuring the network’s preventative maintenance program is up to scratch to minimise potential issues is just one of Hollis’ team’s many core responsibilities. Further responsibilities include the installation of new electronic gaming machines and day-to-day servicing of an existing product, along with technical support for Keno and TAB equipment. Manufacturers also need to be consulted to ensure state gambling, liquor licensing and racing regulations are met before the commission of new assets.

TGS has developed strategic relationships with all major gaming manufacturers in Australia, which enables the business to be the first to secure market opportunities, access to product performance insights and exposure to product roadmaps. Speed to market for new gaming product is a key differentiator for TGS venues. The expertise, resource and scale behind the TFS team enable seamless delivery and installation through well-developed processes and a solutions-orientated approach.

A demonstration of the team’s commitment to market-leading execution included the rapid rollout of key new products, such as Lightning Link and Dragon Cash, and TGS’ InEGM loyalty system. But Hollis insists the attributes of his team and the part they play in Tabcorp’s broader success is frequently misunderstood.

“There is a misconception [that our work] is all about technical skill; however, a larger portion of the role is about exceptional customer service and relationship building,” admits Hollis. “[This] is extremely important with regards to the key relationship we have with the venues and the level of trust that comes with delivering on our premium service.”

Hollis has been in his present role with TGS since 2015 after making the switch from retail. He says, while much of the work of his team is completed out of the spotlight, they can take great pride in what they do.

“The work that has gone on in relation to helping build the Victoria network and maintain a premium service for so many years, and also the exciting expansion into the NSW market for TGS, provides us with a sense of great achievement and [makes us] proud of our ongoing support.”

“Further, our teams touch our venues almost daily, and we are proud to be able to help TGS differentiate its offering in the market by delivering our market competitive services,” Hollis concludes.

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