Fujitsu Services, one of Europes leading IT infrastructure management services companies, has developed and deployed a mobile field service solution, based on the Orsus Mobile Framework. The PDA-based solution, which has been rolled out to 490 Fujitsu engineers, has been deployed to improve collaboration between field personnel and the back office, as well as improve customer service levels. The wireless solution, running over a GPRS network, is expected to improve productivity and improves customer service in a number of ways including: ensuring jobs are allocated to engineers in real time; enabling engineers to order spare parts electronically from any location; providing more detailed customer history such as call data, and get customer approval for chargeable work. Knowledge management has also been improved as engineers can now access diagnostic information through an intranet.
Most of our customer service engineers are home-based and therefore reliant on wireless communication for task allocation and information relating to jobs for the day ahead. Previously, our field engineers were frequently having to call the office for basic information such as additional customer details or previous call history - this was exceptionally frustrating and unproductive for both the engineers and our office-based administration team, says Neil Forshaw, Customer Services, Business Control Manager at Fujitsu Services. The deployment of the Orsus mobile service solution is enabling us to communicate with and manage our field staff as if they were office based. It is essential that they have all the information they require at their finger tips as they are in many cases the primary contact point for the company. They are more that just field engineers they are relationship managers. By increasing the breadth of information that engineers have access to, such as technical specs and a diagnostic website, they can complete jobs and solve problems more quickly which is great news for customers.
Fujitsu needed a solution that would help it better service its large range of customers in the financial services, telecom, retail, utilities and government markets. As a customer-focused provider of IT and communications solutions, the system it adopted needed to guarantee fast delivery of high volumes of customer data to ensure it met any service level agreements and retained and improved upon its high level of customer service. The Orsus mobile service solution has allowed Fujitsu to transform the running of its field workforce and its operational speed and efficiency. Previously, engineers could have extended delays waiting for information from the back office and this information was limited to 130 SMS characters - engineers were then equipped with GSM-based Nokia 9110 Communicators. This resulted in them calling in for more detail, therefore clogging up the call centre. Now the Orsus system handles a daily volume of around 12,000 transactions between the back office and mobile devices. Engineers now have real time access to critical customer data - who the customer is, what their problem is, and how quickly they need to resolve the problem according to the service level agreement in place. This is expected to greatly improve engineer productivity and customer service.
In addition, engineers can obtain authorisation for chargeable work while in the field; this means that Fujitsu is now benefiting from faster financial information and removal of manual processes. Engineers also have access to a dedicated website with diagnostic information, newsletters, technical information and software updates.
The expected effects of the system will be far reaching. Engineers will be able to complete additional service calls, therefore not only increasing productivity but also revenues;. As more can now be done electronically, directly from engineers mobile devices, a number of business processes have been automated and data quality has been enhanced, therefore resulting in less administration and paperwork. The improvements have resulted in positive feedback from customers.
The system is straightforward for engineers to use and bar a user manual, there was no formal training needed to introduce them to the Orsus Solution. In the long term PDAs will be used by all 700 of Fujitsus engineers. The Orsus Mobile Framework infrastructure supports Fujitsu Services future expansion plans with ease of scalability when increasing the number of users and extending the scope of the network. Changes in technology, organisational and business processes can also be easily accommodated by the Orsus middleware.
Companies considering a mobile field service solution need to understand having access to data in the field is not just about dumping all office data on a mobile device but about data being relevant; the Orsus solution not only facilitates the sharing of crucial data between field personnel and multiple organisational systems, but also adapts to enterprise-specific business processes and workflows which support growth and reduce TCO, commented Andy Rapley, manager, Orsus Solutions UK. With 490 engineers using the system, Fujitsu is an excellent example of how Orsuss Mobile Framework can be implemented into large field service organisations. With a scaleable, high performance platform behind the solution it is perfectly suited and engineered for large workforces.