NoteMachine’s Service Maintenance and Engineering department is a core function of the business, an interview with Adrian Tapp

With almost 30 years’ industry expertise as an end-to-end service provider, NoteMachine’s highly tuned Service Maintenance team has exclusive access to difficult-to-obtain parts, maintaining all of our ATMs to the same high standard.

We caught up with Adrian Tapp, NoteMachine’s Head of Engineering and Maintenance Services, to find out more about his role in the business.

Hi Adrian, how long have you been with NoteMachine? 

I joined the business in 1997, so over 26 years ago. I started out as photocopier engineer. In 2000, the banks deregulated, so NoteMachine was then able to manage ATMs as well. In 2001, I became an area supervisor for the business, until 2017, when I became a regional engineer manager, and finally moved into my current role as Head of Engineering, in 2021. I genuinely love my job: the people, the challenge and the everyday variety. I am currently working on over 10 different projects!

Who makes up the Service Maintenance team?

As Head of Engineering, I manage two departments, all under the umbrella of Engineering Services. The Engineering team comprises of 109 engineers, split into four regions, with each region headed up by an Engineering Manager. The engineers operate nationwide, from Cornwall to Inverness. The regional managers have also been with NoteMachine for a considerable time: two for 28 years, another for 26 years and the last one for 15 years. 

The Engineering team has a great mindset, always wanting to do their best and resolve things quickly and efficiently, first time. They’re flexible, tenacious and driven. Many of our engineers have also been with NoteMachine 20+ years. The oldest engineer is 67, and he still gets up every day to do his job, simply because he loves it. NoteMachine may be a corporate business, but it still retains a unique family feel.

The second part of my role is operational, covering the Branding and Installs team. There is a manager, then 10 individuals below him: two administration staff and eight branding installers. They cover anything from rebranding ATMs, white labelling new signage, new surrounds or lights, through to installing and uplifting the ATMs themselves. 

Combatting fraud is a huge part of NoteMachine’s engineering remit. Can you tell us a bit more about that?

We design anti-fraud devices in-house to try and proactively prevent criminal activity, working quite closely with the Security team. The anti-fraud devices are then physically manufactured by Testlink, and NoteMachine branded. Fraudulent attacks can be made on ATM machines themselves, where card details can be captured, or the card itself and/or cash. Criminals can put a device in front of the ATMs to make the unassuming customer ‘think’ that their cash has not been dispensed, so they resubmit their request; but it’s actually come out and gone back in again. 

The simple piece of advice to always live by is: if something looks suspicious, avoid it and take cash out from another ATM.

Do you offer any other services?

We have an in-house training department, which also comes under my remit. The nature of our business means there is a lot of compliance and regulation with which to keep up-to-date, so the regional engineering managers tend to go on courses, along with their supervisors (approximately 10), who then assimilate that information down to the engineers themselves. Whenever new engineering staff are recruited, their inductions start on day one, and we get them onto a comprehensive in-house training course and one-to-one hands on training with an experienced engineer ASAP. 

NoteMachine is committed to continuous improvement; by analysing module failures, we constantly improve part design. We then retrain our team to ensure that our ATMs function for longer, without the need for multiple engineer visits.

NoteMachine also has a relatively new offering, carrying out training for external companies. We are currently offering ATM engineering services for the Republic of Ireland, and are also looking to offer training in European countries, including Romania and the Netherlands. 

What about your involvement with AXIS hubs?

The Engineering team do the commissioning of AXIS hubs and bring ATM comms solutions online, as well as carrying out the servicing and maintenance of all AXIS hubs.

Can you highlight some of NoteMachine’s service maintenance benefits?

  • 109 engineering staff support our 9,000 + ATMs nationwide, with ATMs averaging an uptime of over 99.5%
  • All engineers carry diagnostics software and most commonly required parts on their vehicles to ensure over 90% of faults are fixed on their first visit
  • Our technical support team and helpdesk is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year (the only part of the business that operates a skeleton call centre staff on Christmas Day)
  • Our parts are remanufactured to original specifications or better, resulting in a longer meantime between failure
  • Our sister company, made up of 100+ technical team members, repairs over 3,500 parts per month to ensure parts are available for our engineers
  • Our engineers have multi-vendor expertise to support Diebold, NCR, Triton and legacy Wincor ATMs

What do you see as the future challenges in Engineering?

Primarily, fraud attacks: it’s a constant battle to prevent attacks and fraud on ATMs.

Secondly, a reduction in the use of cash means less demand for ATMs, and less need for engineering services.

That’s all really interesting. Thank you for your time, Adrian.

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How NoteMachine’s Security Services protect our customers’ assets, an interview with Clive Dodd & Deborah Lapworth