Get to know your Northern BI support team!
Updated on August 19, 2022
Who are you calling at Northern BI?
The Client Solutions Specialist (CSS) team is a vital part of Northern BI’s success. The CSS team is responsible for troubleshooting Geotab GO devices and software, training clients, and helping answer general inquiries. Northern BI sets itself apart from the competition by offering industry-leading support and professional services. Our CSS team is always ready to help clients with their one-on-one approach. Get to know the people on the other end of the line!
CSS Team Lead
Despite working at Northern BI for only six months, Kim Allen feels like it’s been a lot longer. As the Client Solutions Specialist (CSS) Team Lead, Kim and her team have experienced a lot of change in a short amount of time. Specializing in fleet management solutions, Northern BI is a Geotab telematics reseller. Kim’s CSS team supports clients with technical issues and questions regarding their Geotab GO devices and software.
With more trucking delivery services and municipal fleets implementing telematics, the Northern BI CSS team is always busy responding to client inquiries. The rapidly evolving technology keeps Kim’s team on their toes with client training sessions, troubleshooting and follow-ups. “What sets NBI apart from our competitors is our dedicated support team. I like that we deal with our customers directly rather than sending them to a third-party call centre.” Not only is Geotab an advanced GPS fleet management product, it also collects vehicle engine data, driver behaviour and syncs with other telematics like dashboard cameras.
When it comes to technology, there’s always a learning curve. While Kim and her team are constantly learning new tips and tricks, her biggest piece of advice for Geotab users is to “change their settings to something that will benefit them, rather than leaving it on default. Showing clients what the devices can do often opens their eyes.”
One of her favourite client stories is about a city snow plow accused of hitting a car. As you can imagine, municipalities are flooded with citizen concerns and complaints. But with since the city uses dashcams coupled with Geotab software, the city was able to pull the video footage and see that the snow plow didn’t damage the car as initially claimed. “Ten years ago, without telematics that client would’ve eaten the cost. Today, the cameras and software have been able to save so much money for our clients. They’ve been able to save themselves from a lot of headaches too.”
Kim’s many years of experience managing teams in varying positions has helped her in her current role at Northern BI. She oversees a team of five, including a team member based in Ontario. Serving most Canadian clients, NBI offers service in both English and French. Kim says the flexibility and freedom from upper management have contributed to the success of the team.
“Everyone has been very open to new ideas. If there’s something I want to try a different way, they’ve given me the chance to do so. My CSS team is also great to work with. They aren’t afraid to tell me if they’ve already tried something one way and didn’t like it. I’ve worked at some places that are quick to shut down new ideas, but I’ve never experienced that here,” she says.
In her spare time, Kim enjoys being with friends and playing board games. Some of her favourites include Sorry and Life. “My friends and I recently tried the game ‘Exploding Kittens’. It’s been so much fun,” she says. “We’re also fans of Pass the Pigs. It’s been hilarious throwing the pigs around.” Kim likes trying new games with friends, playing poker and especially loves when dogs visit the office. “I always keep treats at my desk in the hopes they’ll visit me more often,” she says.
Kim is excited for summer. For many reasons, it’ll be the first time she’ll be able to enjoy it in two years, so she has a lot in mind. She’s planning a camping trip for the first time and is looking forward to some road trips as well.
“I also have godchildren, whom I’m looking forward to taking to a local splashpad. Overall, I think it’s going to be a fantastic summer.”
CSS Team Member
Rebecca Cail has been working at Northern BI on the Client Solutions Specialist (CSS) team for almost two years. She joined the team back in August 2020 when she was looking for a new challenge. “I had heard positive things about Northern BI from someone I knew there. I also like that NBI is a locally owned business.” Rebecca’s role involves answering client emails and phone calls, investigating cases for Geotab and occasionally publishing a knowledge article about Geotab findings.
Rebecca has worked in customer service and operations roles for several years. Her favourite part of working on the team is interacting with the clients. She enjoys getting to know them over their calls. In addition to getting to know her customers, she also enjoys investigating client cases.
“In CSS, I really get to know my clients. I’m on a first-name basis with many of them and often recognize their voices when they call. It’s why I’ve worked in customer-facing roles – I really enjoy interacting with people. Negative or positive, speaking with them on the phone is my preferred communication style,” she says.
Her biggest tip for Geotab clients is to not be afraid to use the self-reporting feature. “It’s a lot less intimidating than many people think it is. There’s a lot of information that can be obtained from reporting,” she says.
Outside of work, Rebecca is an avid runner. She recently completed the Mississauga Marathon in Mississauga, Ontario. “I love the feeling I get after going for a run. It keeps my mind clear,” she says. “It’s an important part of my life. The weather wasn’t the best when I was in Ontario, but it’s a nice sense of accomplishment when you schedule a race, prepare for it, and then finish it,” she says. “I like the entire process, not just the run itself.”
Rebecca also enjoys gardening and baking “lovely tasting things” for friends and family. “I take pride in my fitness, and I take pride in my food. It’s like an addiction to me.” Her fellow NBI employees also appreciate her love of baking and when she brings in tasty treats.
In August, Rebecca, her husband and son are travelling to Scotland. She’s looking forward to hiking, enjoying the nature of Scotland, and visiting a few whiskey distilleries. “We haven’t been in a long time, but we really enjoyed our last visit to Scotland. We’re looking forward to going back. It’s such a beautiful place”, she says. The last two years have prevented a lot of people from travelling and “getting away.” “What I’m looking forward to most is being so far away from home that I actually feel like I’m away.”
Bilingual CSS Team Member
Tania Guy is a CSS tech specialist at Northern BI. She’s one of several fully bilingual employees at Northern BI.
Tania’s debut at Northern BI was “interesting.” Having already known a Northern BI employee, she had asked for help reconstructing her resume. What Tania didn’t know was that her friend had also submitted Tania’s resume to Northern BI. Suddenly, she started receiving phone calls from Northern BI asking for an interview. It all worked out because she’s since recruited two more former colleagues to come work with her at Northern BI.
“I just want to surround myself with the people I love and care about,” she said. She’s hoping to recommend another friend should a position become available.
Tania has been with Northern BI for over two years. Her first day was Feb. 12, 2020 — just weeks before the office shut down at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I learned how to work online just as everyone else had to during the first wave. I’d hardly been in the office when everything shut down. It took some getting used to. Now, we’ve adapted to a hybrid model, which has been great,” she says.
Prior to working at Northern BI, Tania’s had a self-described “colourful” background. She has over 15 years of experience working with training clients in the tech industry, as well as some restaurant/bar industry work. On the days when Tania works in the office, she brings her dog, Pearl, in with her.
“I love being able to bring my dog in with me and I know other staff who bring theirs do too. I have a little cushion for her to sleep on at my desk. It’s good for productivity and mental health for people to have a dog around,” she says.
Tania says her many experiences come from having moved around a lot when she was younger. Growing up, she lived in many different parts of Quebec and Ontario. Her father was a logger, so her family “followed the trees.” Later on, she made Nova Scotia her home.
Something Tania loves about her job is helping clients succeed. She has a nurturing approach when it comes to assisting people with telematics. A customer highlight of hers was helping an upset client install a Geotab GO device in their vehicle.
“They were just so frustrated. Not at me, but at the process,” she says. “This just wasn’t something they were used to. But after they were finished, they thanked me by name in the customer survey and apologized for how they acted. It just meant a lot to have someone succeed in what they were trying to do and thank me for being so patient with them.”
Tania loves to play music and owns at least 15 guitars. In between COVID-19 waves, she taught guitar to Northern BI staff and its sister company, Frontier Technologies, after work. She’s also an avid fan of spending time in nature and loves walking and hiking. Tania loves biking but isn’t a fan of biking in Halifax. Tania also enjoys relaxing with a good book and is always open to recommendations.
This summer, Tania’s looking forward to driving to Quebec and Ontario to visit friends and family. “It’s a long drive but I just love it,” she says. Pearl will be along for the journey to keep her company. “It will be nice to see the people I love again.”
CSS Team Member
Cat Melvin has been part of the CSS team at Northern BI since early May 2021. They started the job at a weird time — Nova Scotia had just entered a COVID-19 lockdown the week prior.
“It was strange starting a new job during lockdown. I had a lot of videos to watch and things to read for training, whereas I would’ve been doing this with someone in the office during normal times. Luckily, I live in the same building as Tania, so she was able to help me,” Cat says. “I wasn’t used to working from home though. I found it weird at first, but I like it now.”
Prior to joining Northern BI, Cat had experienced “a bit of everything,” including call centers and over seven years of tech sales and support experience. They came to Northern BI after a recommendation from Tania, whom they’d previously worked with. Cat was also looking for new work experience/challenge.
“I was looking for a change of scenery. I had a good job before, but I really wanted to find a place that would allow employees to grow and value them as individuals. In my previous job, I was feeling undervalued and any offers of improvement from management seemed like mere lip service. It felt like things were falling on deaf ears,” they say.
Cat appreciates that the work at Northern BI isn’t monotonous. Every day, there’s something different to do. “If you’re the 8 a.m. CSS rep, you might be the one dealing with the influx of cases that come in the previous night. The case load can vary depending on the day,” they say.
Cat’s underutilized Geotab feature is the online videos and tutorials they offer. With the help of the Geotab software, they were able to help locate their client’s stolen vehicle.
“It happened not too long after I started here. A client’s truck was stolen but they didn’t receive an alert for some reason. The CSS team was very invested in this case,” they say. “We were still able to use the map and rules to track the truck.” With the help of the Geotab software, they were able to determine why the client didn’t receive a notification and the client had a clear roadmap of the vehicle’s journey.
Cat is looking forward to seeing family this summer. They will be travelling to Ontario in July to go camping on Lake Huron with a cousin. They’re also excited to experience concerts again and are planning to see Alanis Morrissette this summer. In their free time, they enjoy having potlucks with their friends and playing board games.
“We like to do themed potlucks about once a month. Our most recent one was for Cinco de Mayo. Occasionally, I’ll go to the movies and to trivia nights with my friends as well.”
Wanting to pick up a new hobby, Cat is currently trying to learn how to play the bodhran (Irish drum) right now. “I tried it years ago and didn’t stick with it, but I’d like to do it again this time. I’m hoping it goes well. I’m sure you won’t be seeing me at a pub anytime soon.”