Fast Lean Smart’s automated scheduling speeds digital transformation at social housing maintenance firm

Mar 04, 2019 • Newsfast lean smartSoftwareSoftware and Apps

Renowned property maintenance provider Axis Europe is in the throes of a digital transformation. At the heart of that transformation is new scheduling and route  optimisation software from Fast Lean Smart (FLS), set to bring all-new levels of
productivity and customer engagement to Axis’ service operation in conjunction with Dynamics 365.

Established in 1986, Axis utilise 500 field operatives to provide strategic repair, maintenance and improvement services for premier UK building owners across all property sectors, including social housing, schools, commercial offices and heritage properties. Its work, partnerships and interactions are shaped by a set of core values that make it “big enough to deliver, small enough to care” as per its strapline.

A strong commitment to providing top-quality service to customers in an increasingly service driven and complex landscape is what heralded Axis’ decision to digitally transform. The company currently uses multiple service management solutions and a scheduling system dominated by manual intervention, which it sought to integrate and streamline. FLS has now become central to that process.

“We needed a user-friendly scheduling system that could really increase the productivity of our field operatives whilst reducing travel and back office admin costs,” says Russell Measor, Head of Data and Delivery at Axis. “We also needed a system that could integrate well with Microsoft Dynamics 365, which we are implementing as our new CRM platform. With that in mind, our
Dynamics implementation partner recommended two software providers — FLS was one of them.”

Axis evaluated the two providers and FLS’s real-time scheduler and route optimiser, FLS VISITOUR, came out on top for several reasons. Russell explains, “The main reason we chose FLS was the speed and high performance of VISITOUR and the fact that we can tweak its  algorithms to fit our needs. With speed profiles and real-time traffic data, VISITOUR can plan
routes in ways that are most efficient and most productive for our operatives. And real-time tracking is going to increase our engagement with customers and reduce our no-access rates. It will enable us to provide them with operatives’ exact, up-to-the-minute locations, making them less likely to pop out when an operative is round the corner.”

One of the ways that FLS approaches a sale is by proving its performance capabilities with customised scheduling tests, which many other providers don’t offer. Russell says, “We were blown away by the results of the scheduling tests. Rescheduling our appointments using VISITOUR demonstrated a significant reduction in mileage and driving hours. More importantly it showed that with VISITOUR our engineers can achieve one or more additional jobs per day.”

Although these figures were powerfully persuasive on their own, the ultimate reason Axis decided to invest in FLS VISITOUR was a much simpler, more human one. “We thought that the team at FLS were more down-to-earth than other providers,” says Russell. “They were less salesy and gave us a more tailored service. We didn’t just feel like another sale. We felt that
they actually cared about our business.”

Axis is hoping for great things once FLS VISITOUR has been implemented. Russell explains the overall benefits that his teams are looking forward to: “A business with complex planning and in-day scheduling challenges like Axis needs to react in real time and FLS will let us do this. In doing so, we will provide a faster response and better service to our customers. We’re particularly looking forward to the increased productivity, increased assurance as to our ability to meet SLAs, and lower back office costs thanks to greater levels of automation.”

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