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YASKAWA standardizes European service processes with mobileX

YASKAWA Europe GmbH is part of YASKAWA Electric Corporation and a leading provider of mechatronic and robotic solutions. The company is represented in EMEA at 23 locations with its own branch offices. A comprehensive after sales service supports YASKAWA’s customers to ensure high plant availability and productivity. A total of 110 service technicians in the two business units Drives Motion Control and Robotics are on the road in the region.

YASKAWA robots

Standardization on a Field Service Management System in Europe

In 2015, YASKAWA decided to standardize its heterogeneous ERP landscape across Europe on SAP. The service processes were also to be modernized and standardized through the introduction of a field service management solution. This was to be reflected above all in an increase in customer satisfaction.

To date, YASKAWA has used various tools in Europe to plan and control its service technicians for commissioning, maintenance and repairs. The dispatchers use Excel lists, manual planning boards and an Access database. The technicians filled in their feedback messages on paper.

In the search for a suitable solution, offline access to SAP data and a simplification of material logistics and the returns process played an important role. The choice finally fell on the solutions of mobileX, because they allow a simple SAP connection and offer a wide variety of functions that optimally correspond to the complex service process of YASKAWA.

Digitized resource planning and order processing in customer service

The introduction of mobileX-Dispatch and mobileX-MIP for Field Service began in September 2016 in Germany. The individual adjustments of the standard products of mobileX to the requirements of YASKAWA took place according to the agile principle in five sprints of three weeks each. The biggest challenge was the integration of SAP into an SAP system landscape that did not exist at the start of the project.

Since May 2017, customer service technicians in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Poland and Great Britain have also been working with the mobile solution. They are controlled by a dispatcher in Germany and a dispatcher in Great Britain. The Europe-wide deployments involve maintenance or repairs, which are usually planned two to five days in advance.

The technicians no longer receive their orders including order details on paper, but in the mobile solution mobileX-MIP for Field Service. Thanks to the offline functionality of the solution, they have access everywhere to the relevant data on the plants and machines in SAP. This means they are much better informed than before and can rectify faults more quickly. This has already improved service quality and customer satisfaction.

After the work is done, the technicians create the service report in mobileX-MIP for Field Service and have it signed by the customer. This eliminates media breaks, which has improved the data quality of the reports and master data. The reduced bureaucratic effort means that service technicians now have more time for telephone support and in-house repairs. The dispatchers can now also devote more time to other tasks such as customer contact, technical telephone support, field service and sales.

More efficient material logistics and optimized returns process

Spare parts management is also included in the new service process. YASKAWA delivers spare parts directly from the central warehouse in Germany to the customer. The consignment warehouses are used in SAP CS for the provision of spare parts. After the assignment of a service order to a technician, the provision of the reserved material is automatically triggered from the order previously created in SAP CS. The MRP controller sees the status of the goods movement in mobileX-Dispatch.

After the technician has completed his order on site at the customer, he selects the corresponding reservation in mobileX-MIP for Field Service for the confirmation of the consumed material or the return of the unused material. The material is then automatically posted in the SAP service order. Returns are sent to YASKAWA Europe’s central repair center in Germany.

Increase in service quality and customer satisfaction

“The use of mobileX-Dispatch and mobileX-MIP for Field Service has significantly improved data quality. Our dispatchers now plan more efficiently and the technicians can work more productively. The time savings enable them to look after their customers more individually and comprehensively. This improves our service quality and customer satisfaction,” summarizes Norbert Weitzel, Team Lead European SAP Support at YASKAWA Europe GmbH.

Further rollouts planned

The rollout for the Robotics Division is already planned. Since the service technicians are mostly on their way all over Europe, the travel expense accounting will also be mapped via the travel expense manager in mobileX-MIP for Field Service.

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Headquartered in Eschborn, Germany, YASKAWA Europe offers mechatronics and robotics solutions to companies throughout Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the CIS. With branches in these regions and European production facilities, the company is close to the needs of the markets.