Service organizations that send technicians or other personnel to customer sites need to empower their mobile workforces with efficiency tools. Field service operations struggle to control spiraling costs of labor, travel, and inefficient inventory management, increase field service productivity, while trying to increase customer satisfaction. Mobile computers that allow real-time access, via WWAN wireless communications , to customer information and maintenance records provide mobile workers access to the same information in the field as they would in an office. Adding portable printers and allowing for signatures to be captured, photos to be taken, credit cards to be verified allows these mobile workers to complete business transactions while in the field with the customer.
By developing strategic partnerships with best-of-breed ISVs and world class hardware manufacturers, BlueStar's "In-a-Box" Series provides a jump start for those who provide or wish to provide solutions for Field Service. These "In-a-Box" Solution bundles consist of specifically selected hardware that is best suited for the targeted solution including the needed peripherals that complete the solution offering. Mobile computers are used to provide these mobile workers access to needed customer, inventory, and product information required to better serve their customers or perform the needed tasks. Portable printers are also used when receipts, proof of delivery or invoices are required.
Distributors, primarily those who deliver baked goods, dairy products, soft drinks and beer to convenience stores and grocers, car parts to automotive dealership should use a route accounting system to mange direct sales from their trucks to their customers. In the course of conducting this work the distributor will load trucks with inventory, assign routes to mobile sales professionals, and send the stocked trucks out to stock the shelves, accept return goods, present promotions, and service the customer's needs.
The mobile sales professional during the normal workday needs to wear many hats. At each customer site, these workers handle everything from the physical delivery to general order management which includes invoicing, general merchandising and complete customer service. The mobile field workforce interfaces with the customer's needs day in and day out. As the main connection to your customers, the efficiency and effectiveness of these workers directly impact customer satisfaction, retention and perception of the brand they provide.
For organizations that use paper-based forms, the mobile workforce is subjected to the tedious and error-prone capture of information throughout the day. The information collected by the drivers must then be touched a second time and entered into the computer system resulting in costly labor intensive processes and the extraordinarily slow movement of information throughout the business process flows.
With the use of wireless (WWAN) mobile computers these mobile professionals have access to information on the distributors ERP system to obtain current pricing, inventory levels, current promotions, and everything else making them a mobile Point of Sale system. Having the ability to capture a customer's signature and print a receipt or additional invoices, the sales professional can complete the sales transactions instantly and also send the transaction data to the distributor's computer systems to begin billing process and adjust inventory levels.
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Service organizations that send technicians or other personnel to customer sites need to empower their mobile workforces with efficiency tools. Field service operations struggle to control spiraling costs of labor, travel, and inefficient inventory management, increase field service productivity, while trying to increase customer satisfaction.
Mobile Field Services professionals would greatly benefit by having service information on demand, real-time while still in the field. Having access to a customer's service data or a specific device service history would aid the service professional to better perform the tasks needed. Whether the work is installation, inspection, maintenance, repair, or meter reading, placing computing power and decision-making capability in the hands of field service technicians creates far greater efficiencies.
This information may include service history of the device they are working on so they will know of patterns or when required upgrades or diagnostics are due. Directions for the repair or installation of a device or parts could be downloaded to the field service technician while he\she are on site. A Mobile Field Service system could keep track of the time the technician is on site, the parts that are used, parts pricing, and calculate the charge for the service call. A system could also provide for signature capture validating worked performed and agreement for payment.
This can be accomplished by the use of wireless (WWAN) mobile computers that have access to the service organization's computer systems. Technicians will use a wireless mobile computer running some work order management software application to receive work orders, complete the service records, labor hours, rates, replacement parts, and complete the work order and send data back to the dispatching organization to start billing cycle, update service records and databases, or stored on the mobile computer and uploaded later. Portable printers can be used to provide a receipt and proof of service once the service has been completed. Depending on the mobile computers used photos can be captured, voice notes could be recorded, and barcodes could be scanned that identify parts replaced and used.
Adding a Global Positioning System (GPS) to a field service solution will allow the service organization to know where their trucks and technicians are at any time. A field organization with this knowledge can make informed business decisions about how long a worker should arrive at a customer site or which remote worker is in the best position to handle the new or emergency. This will also allow dispatching to re-route the nearest vehicle when another vehicle is delayed.
Mobile Field Sales professionals need the right sales information on demand and real-time while they are in the field. With the use of wireless (WWAN) mobile computers and application software that have access to enterprise ERP data sales professionals have the data they need to make the most of every face to face meeting. Having access to this information allows a mobile sales professional the resources to process orders, submit new orders, view inventory levels, promotional information, provide the customer with expected delivery timeframes.
With the use of wireless (WWAN) mobile computers these mobile professionals have access to information on the distributors ERP system to obtain current pricing, inventory levels, current promotions, and everything else making them a mobile Point of Sale system. Having the ability to capture a customer's signature and print a receipt or additional invoices , the sales professional can complete the sales transactions instantly and also send the transaction data to the distributor's computer systems to begin billing process and adjust inventory levels.
This could also enable the mobile sales representative to capture competitor's pricing, give clients graphical display analytics and input special orders. Since the mobile sales professional is the face to an organization and has that business and personal relationship with the customer they often are in position to know what the customer needs and even what the competition is offering. Having access to sales data and information helps the mobile sales force to close additional business while on site, making them a remote Point of Sale extension to an organization. All of this will provide improve customer service and provide an advantage over the competition.
Meter Readers: Utility companies are using handheld computers to collect electric, gas, and water usage while on their monthly rounds. Using a mobile computer, technicians collect consumption values and validate that the correct meter was read. This automated process eliminates the multitude of paperwork and the human errors associated with manual data collection.
Field Service: A Mobile Field Service system could mean faster response times, increase the number of service calls, reduce travel costs and eliminate paperwork for both the company and the field service professional. These solutions made up of either enterprise digital assistants (EDA), mobile computers , wireless communications , and software empower mobile field service technicians with tools to work faster, track and bill labor, parts and material used, and up sell customers during service calls. Using mobile devices, from laptops to PDAs, to automate operations in the field would allow the better control and management of trouble tickets, eliminate paperwork, and streamline and standardized how work in done in the field.
Those who make their living from performing inspections (safety, EPA, building, fire, toxic, utilities', etc) could easily automate this process by using a mobility solution including wireless mobile computers that can capture the data as the inspections are being performed. These are tools that would aid the inspectors to follow directed checks as well as generate follow-up service requests.
This type of mobility system would allow the inspector to view previous inspection history, and create violation notices or issues fines for non compliance. With a mobile printer these citations could be issued on the spot while the inspector is on site. The captured data associated with the inspection and any fine or violation notices could be sent automatically back to work order management, inspections and billing systems, or uploaded once the inspector returns to the office or home.
Electronically capturing this data would be more efficient and accurate than using printed forms which would later need to be re-entered into a computer system for processing and updating of inspection history. Eliminating administrative redundancy will maximize efficiency and reduce operating cost.
- Air Quality
- Pest Control
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