Search for an intuitive, future-proof field service management solution
HSM’s 25 dispatchers and 110 service technicians were already using mobile service management software, but it no longer met HSM’s growing needs. This did not offer (semi-)automatic scheduling and distributing updates to the mobile devices was very time-consuming.
Therefore, in 2019, HSM started looking for a holistic, intuitive and future-proof solution that could be integrated with SAP CS and would offer more efficient deployment planning through automation. This should also enable an inventory of vehicle stock on the service technicians’ mobile clients, as well as integration of subcontractors into the service process.
After an extensive evaluation of various providers, the decision was made in favor of mobileX in the summer of 2020. The decisive factor was that the field service management suite best met HSM’s requirements and could convince with intuitive interfaces.
Gradual introduction in Germany and in the subsidiaries.
From fall 2020 to spring 2021, the implementation of the main features for the mobile app mobileX-CrossMIP and the deployment planning tool mobileX-Dispatch followed. The rollout of the two solutions in Germany took place in May 2021. By the end of 2021, the mobile app and the deployment planning tool were then rolled out in the other European subsidiaries and in the USA.
In the course of the rollout, further features were added to the mobile app. For example, material ordering for the technician vehicle was implemented in April 2022 and the use case for inventory followed in June.
Mapping complex material processes and recording travel expenses
25 dispatchers at HSM plan the service technician deployments centrally for each national subsidiary. This mostly involves maintenance, but commissioning and repairs also need to be planned. Material logistics play an important role here – after all, the right spare part is a key factor for a successful service call. The dispatchers order the appropriate spare parts for the assignments, which are delivered to the customer’s consignment warehouse. As soon as the delivery arrives at the customer’s site, the delivery time is displayed in mobileX-Dispatch and the deployment can be scheduled. In the mobile interface of mobileX-CrossMIP, the spare part is listed in the operation under the material reservations. To create a material confirmation, the technician can simply transfer the spare part from the advance dispatch with a click.
The technician can also order spare parts himself via the mobile app. For this purpose, each technician has a storage location in SAP for his service vehicle. The ordering process is handled via consignment fill-up, in which each technician has his own customer number with his stored address. When creating the order, the technician can select predefined spare parts from the material master or from the historical material consumption. After creating the order in mobileX-CrossMIP, a consignment order is created in SAP with his customer number and the order is processed in SAP including the goods issue posting. An automated email informs the back office of a newly created material order or return to effectively handle the process. As soon as the goods issue has been posted on the SAP side, a button with the delivery note number appears on the client to consume the shipment – i.e. to store the spare part in the vehicle or to return it.
With the mobile app mobileX-CrossMIP, the technicians can now record their travel expenses directly on site. To do this, they photograph the receipts with their tablet, which are then stored in the trip’s asset list in an audit-proof manner (long-term archive). This eliminates the need for time-consuming manual entry after the trip and for sending receipts by mail. Travel expenses are thus processed more quickly and reimbursed to the technicians.
To record checklists for maintenance, commissioning and electrical tests, HSM’s service technicians now use the mobileX-CrossForms module. This makes it easy to digitally map forms and protocols and then transfer and archive them to the back office as PDFs or structured data records.
Conclusion: Improved data quality and transparency
Device data such as meter readings and characteristics are now transferred directly to SAP via mobile order processing. Operating data such as working times, spare parts and error catalogs are also reported back to SAP on an equipment-specific basis. This enables HSM to perform appropriate evaluations to further improve customer service.
The overview of the order due date and the order status as well as the map display in mobileX-Dispatch has significantly increased the transparency for the dispatchers’ deployment planning. Service technicians now have all the information about the order at their fingertips in mobileX-CrossMIP and are much less likely to have to make queries to the office staff.
“The introduction of mobileX’s field service management software has significantly improved the data quality and transparency of our customers’ service calls and equipment,” explains Franziska Hölle, Head of Order Management at HSM GmbH und Co. KG. “By integrating our complex material processes into digital deployment planning and order processing, we can offer our customers even more effective and better customer service.”
Outlook: Automatic resource planning and connection of subcontractors
Currently, HSM is focusing on the further expansion of the functionality of deployment planning. By integrating the qualifications of service technicians in mobileX-Dispatch, dispatchers will be able to select the right technician for an assignment even more easily and quickly in the future.
In the future, the (semi-)automatic planning tool, mobileX-Optimizer, will support dispatchers in planning maintenance orders by automatically distributing the orders and operations to the available resources in a given period of time, planning optimal tours for the service technicians.
Finally, the 30 subcontractors in Europe are to be integrated into the digital service process so that they receive their orders and feedback on the orders is also received digitally by HSM.