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BWT - Best Water Technology
BWT Wassertechnik GmbH in Schriesheim near Heidelberg is part of the BWT Group, Europe's leading provider of water technology. The focus of BWT Wassertechnik GmbH lies in the development, manufacturing and sale of equipment for water treatment at the entrance of the water line, in the areas of building services and commercial and industrial technology for residential, commercial and industrial and municipal facilities. Of the total of around 330 employees currently more than 80 are service technicians for customers in the field. 35,000 jobs occur here each year, 20,000 of which are regular maintenance.
From paper to a mobile customer service solution
Until the early summer of 2014, the service technicians at BWT planned their jobs themselves according to a fixed range of postal codes. This included repairs, commissionings or maintenance of water treatment equipment such as filters or water steeping plants. The technician agreed the dates about two to three days in advance directly with the customer by phone. Maintenance jos were longer planned in advance to a particular week, but the final appointment fixed shortly by the technician. The technicians filled in feedback and service reports on paper and then sent them to the head office by mail. So it usually took up to 6 weeks from order entry through the control of reports by the office staff to invoicing the client.
Back in 2003, BWT began to search for a mobile solution to meet the ever-increasing volume of orders just to standardize the service processes and to accelerate and centralize the deployment planning. The main selection criteria for this included the ease of use, integration with the existing ERP system Oxaion and the cost efficiency of the solution. The decision was made on mobileX-MIP for Field Service and mobileX-Dispatch of mobileX AG.
Since the end of April 2014, the service engineers of BWT Wassertechnik GmbH now use the mobile solution. On their Dell Venue Pro tablets they have access to customer and plant data that are stored in the ERP system via mobileX-MIP for Field Service. The feedback on the operations and their daily reports are transmitted on a daily basis to the back-office. They now fill in their service reports on their tablets and have it signed by the customer on the spot. Every order strikes in the mobis release monitor, where it is checked by the relevant officer before posting to the ERP system for accuracy. Then the orders are released for billing and the invoice is printed. The introduction of the solution has reduced the invoicing cycle from up to six weeks to three days at best.
The growing number of technicians and operations in recent years made a conversion of the service process in a centralized planning and control essential. Since there were no internal resources for the disposition, it was decided to entrust the central planning to a specialized, external service provider. This organization plans the jobs and transmits them to mobileX-Dispatch. Thus, BWT Wassertechnik GmbH is also flexible in terms of adapting to future developments according to the order volume.
The centralized use of mobileX-Dispatch began in April 2015 in the Southern planning area and will be gradually extended to the entire country. By the end of 2016, seven dispatchers will plan and control the operations of all technicians. The lead time of scheduling has thereby been extended from a few days to three to four weeks. This improves the capacity planning of resources and the timeliness for the customer. The technicians receive their allocated jobs via the mobile solution, allowing them to concentrate fully on their jobs in the field. The route optimization in mobileX-Dispatch guides technicians on the shortest route on the road. Pre-planned maintenance work can be combined with emergency calls for ideal routes.
Our billing cycles have also been cut drastically by introducing the mobile solution. Instead of up to six weeks it takes only only three to five working days from order entry to invoicing. The quality of the feedback has improved dramatically. With the nationwide rollout of the centralized scheduling, we hope to further optimize our service process and increase customer satisfaction.
As part of the migration to version 4.1 of the field service management suite of mobileX in spring 2016 the material logistics has been included on the mobile solution. Thus, the technician can order materials or conduct inventories of their vehicle stock.
The introduction of the module Dynamic Forms is planned. The electronic forms will then replace existing paper forms, checklists, service logs or commissioning.
After the successful introduction of mobileX-MIP for Field Service in Germany, the Austrian colleagues of BWT Austria had decided to switch from their current scheduling via paper and Outlook on IT-based operational planning with mobileX-Dispatch. Currently they are still running the test phase of the control and planning of jobs for 43 service technicians via the graphical planning tool. These are to receive the order data for their jobs such as installations, repairs or replacement of equipment and installations for water treatment directly on their mobile devices. Besides Austria, the rollout of the two solutions in other European subsidiaries of the BWT Group are being discussed, too.