Worcester Bosch Group
Service Link gives Worcester, Bosch group increased productivity and better customer service
Aeromark is the chosen branded solution provider of Orange Fleet Link
Worcester has been manufacturing gas and oil-fired boilers in the UK for over 45 years. Part of the Bosch Group, their products are designed, manufactured, sold and distributed with the quality and reliability that is synonymous with the Bosch name.
“We needed to provide our field based work force of more than 300 engineers with an integrated Workflow Management, Navigation and Tracking solution. The solution had to be able to communicate seamlessly with our existing service management systems,” said Paul Freeman of Worcester, Bosch Group who project-managed the implementation. “It also had to allow automatic updating of the engineers work and status throughout the day.”
More specifically, the remit for the system was as follows:
- workflow and navigation
- An integrated workflow and navigation facility
- Full in-vehicle directions - voice and map - from a hand-free dash/cradle mounted device
- Functionality must allow for the customer details to be downloaded to the device.
- The customer postcode should be taken from the back end system and link to satellite navigation on the PDA - the engineer can then either select “Direct me to the location”, or “Call the customer”, or “Text”. All data regarding the job should be recorded by the system, so job records are completely integrated with the information held at the back office.
- Identify and record the location of the vehicle at any given time
- Provide management reports on the usage of the vehicle including:
- Start of day time and end of day time
- Travel times between jobs and time on site
- Total travel times for day/week/month
- Automated Job times: e.g..+ how long the vehicle was stationary at the job
- Automatically update the scheduling tool with location and status of the vehicle i.e. travel to jobs, at the address, leaving the address, possible job changes colour once on site.
- Mapping function to enable visual reference of location vs. outstanding work.
- Remote access to all reporting functions and live maps for location of teams.
- Satisfy lone worker directives
- Track and locate the vehicle if stolen
- Satisfy the Inland Revenue with regards to private use of the vehicle.
The Orange Fleet Link with Service Link solution was the choice for Worcester as it could meet all the requirements, and give scope for development in the future.
Put simply, Fleet Link is the vehicle tracking system which is integrated with Service Link - a fully Dynamic workflow management system. It is the robustness of the technology and the integration of these systems that provides truly effective mobile workforce management.
What this means, is that on the one hand the tracking system (installed in the vehicle) provides automated data through a stream which is always available, on the other hand, the PDA system provides variable data input both from the back office and from the engineer, relating to all aspects of job scheduling and management.
In addition to feeding the activity back into Worcester, Bosch Group’s SAP system, the system automatically measures planned versus actual activity, thereby finding more ways to improve productivity, efficiency and customer service levels.
“Our quickest win for return on investment is by measuring the actual engineer activity and comparing it to our planned work. By feeding back into our planning system, we can encourage dynamic planning and scheduling,” says Paul. “By increasing the productivity of our field engineers we can cover our investment around 3 years. With a predicted performance improvement though better utilisation of our engineers’ availability, we could see this return on investment period come down to just twelve months.”
So, how smooth was the implementation? “The development and integration of our solution has required innovative solutions to many issues. Regardless of whose issue they are, these have been resolved as a team and we will continue to work together on further developments. Our partnership with Orange and Aeromark has meant many issues other suppliers could not have solved have been resolved.” Paul continues, “Aeromark have an innovative ‘can do’ attitude which has inspired confidence.”
What plans are there for the future? “We plan to further develop and gain benefit from the system by increasing feedback from the Fleet Link data directly into SAP. In addition, we will be using more of the enhanced methods for allocating outstanding work contained in Service link and finding the nearest engineer for emergency work. This will further enhance our planning solution.”