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Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH digitizes worldwide technical service with mobileX

Service technicians from MR at work.

Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR) is active in energy technology and market leader in the control of power transformers with on-load tap-changers. More than 250 certified service technicians from 20 worldwide service locations carry out more than 6,000 assignments per year. This starts with the installation of new transformers, continues with oil treatment measures and extends to the entire range of maintenance services for on-load tap-changers of our own and licensed products as well as of third-party products. MR’s technical service is available 24/7 and stands for highest reliability and maximum availability.

In 2015, MR decided to introduce a mobile solution in order to standardize, optimize and digitize the order processing of the service technicians worldwide and thus increase the quality of the service processes. In addition, the solution was designed to speed up invoicing and reduce manual rework by the office staff.

Digitization of order processing

By 2016, MR’s service technicians had been commissioned directly from SAP CS, a combination of SAP SD and various Office documents, or completely outside the SAP system, depending on the location. The technicians recorded their feedback in Excel-based service and deployment reports. As part of the worldwide standardization and digitization of MR’s service processes, the service implementation was also to be standardized and mapped using mobile software.

In the course of a tender MR decided for the mobile solution mobileX-MIP for Field Service of mobileX. Decisive for this was the flexible adaptability of the software to the individual requirements and processes of MR as well as the possibility to maintain the application itself, especially the extensive checklists.

Worldwide service deployments from Germany

Usually two or more service technicians work together.

Since January 2017, the service technicians operating from Germany have been using MR mobileX-MIP for Field Service for their worldwide assignments, which usually last one or more days. Via the mobile solution, they receive all relevant information about upcoming trips – including travel documents, order data, device data and equipment history – directly from SAP CS on their fully robust convertible notebook.

During maintenance, the service technicians record the data for the feedback directly at the site, so that it is then immediately and automatically reported back to SAP CS. They also report back material consumptions from advance deliveries or the technician warehouse via the solution and thus also maintain the installed base in SAP at the same time. Feedback and service reports can be recorded in multiple languages and take into account the different time zones. Before booking in SAP CS, the office staff checks the data for correctness via the mobileX release monitor and thus avoids incorrect bookings and calculations.

Following its introduction in Germany, the solution is now being rolled out successively in other countries. Service experts in the USA have also been working with the solution since January 2018. Currently, 170 MR service technicians are using mobileX-MIP for Field Service.

Digital travel expense accounting and checklists

With the Travel Expense Manager module of mobileX-MIP for Field Service, technicians can easily and quickly digitally record their expenses including photos of paper receipts, lump sums and the kilometres driven by a private car. The trips are created in the module and filled with the feedback data from the technician. Via the mobileX-SAP ERP Add-On, the data is transferred to the SAP travel expense transaction PR05 for internal accounting and posting. This facilitates and accelerates the billing of orders. The trip number generated during booking is written back to the technician³s client, giving him a better overview of his expense reports.

A particular challenge in the project was the digitization of the extensive measurement and reporting system for the service objects that were previously recorded in macro-based checklists. There are different subforms for each machine type, which the technician has to fill out depending on the application. With the additional module Dynamic Forms from mobileX-MIP for Field Service, MR was able to digitally map the numerous lists and forms for the objects and integrate them into the new service process.

Instead of using Excel, the technicians now fill out the forms in the mobile application, which are transmitted to the back office and archived together with the feedback. The relevant forms are automatically preselected according to Ibase data and partially filled with product information. Since most of MR’s technicians carry out their jobs abroad, the forms are available in nine languages. This means that the technician can complete them in his native language and send them in the language of the customer. MR’s specialist department maintains the existing forms and develops new ones independently.

Conclusion: Improving data quality and shortening billing cycles

We decided in favor of mobileX because mobileX-MIP for Field Service is the best way to map the complexity of the object characteristics recorded on site with the subsequent posting via the release monitor in SAP CS. By introducing the solution, we were able to achieve a sustained improvement in data quality. In addition, the invoicing processing times have been reduced from up to 30 to a maximum of five days.

Outlook: Worldwide rollout and service app

In the near future, the mobile solution will be rolled out to the technicians in MR’s other national subsidiaries, so that the technical service will then work worldwide with a uniform application. The introduction of the mobile service app mobileX-CrossMIP is also under discussion. This would enable technicians to process order processing and travel expense recording on their smartphone or tablet.

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MR is active in power engineering and consists of Maschinenfabrik Reinhausen GmbH (MR) as well as 36 subsidiaries and six associated companies worldwide. In the 2016 financial year, 3,300 employees generated sales of 750 million euros. The core business of MR is the regulation of power transformers.