Winterhalter Gastronom GmbH is a global leader in commercial dishwashing systems for the catering, hospitality, and hotel industry. With over 1,000 employees worldwide and revenue of €134 million in 2011, the owner-operated company ranks among the global players in the catering industry.
The company is headquartered in Meckenbeuren in the Bodensee district and has a second production facility in Endingen am Kaiserstuhl. Worldwide, Winterhalter has offices and partners in over 70 countries. Also part of the group is Winterhalter Gastronom AG, based in Rüthi, Switzerland.
From paper to IT-based scheduling
In order to provide customers from Winterhalter always with clean plates, glasses and utensils, hundreds of service engineers worldwide take care of the maintenance, repair and commissioning of the machines. Some 100,000 jobs are planned, controlled and handled per year.
In 2010 Winterhalter decided to introduce a field service management system in Germany in order to optimise the data processing and quality customer service and to ensure process reliability. Until this time, the resource planners used a SAP-MRP list. The service engineers received their orders by fax. Additional information about the customer or the machine could be obtained only by phone. The technicians completed their service reports on paper, which were checked by the back office team and then released for billing.
The decisive criteria for the selection of a solution were the integration in the existing SAP CS system and in the processes of Winterhalter as well as the internationality of the provider
Introductory project in Germany
In autumn 2011, the solution was implemented in Germany. The dispatchers now plan and control the service technicians in a rotation system. They are also responsible for customer contact, order acceptance and customer satisfaction surveys. The graphical scheduling in mobileX-Dispatch shows the dispatcher all resources and the SAP CS orders clearly on the Gantt chart as well as on a map display.
Based on the order type and the respective transaction mobileX-Dispatch automatically determines the necessary qualifications and draws up a list of suitable technicians. The route optimisation ensures that the service technicians get an ideal order of jobs and directions for handling of their jobs.
After the allocation by the dispatcher the service technician receives the jobs on his laptop in the mobile client mobileX-MIP for Field Service. He can therefore start directly from home for the first customer. Even in fringe areas - ie offline - he can access all order data, such as documents or the service history and prepare the feedback report. Once connected again, the data transfer takes place automatically in the background.
The material logistics is also connected to the mobile client. Depending on consumption, the technician orders spares one to two times per week. If necessary, urgent spare parts can also be delivered by overnight express. In addition, he can capture his vehicle stock level for the annual inventory or the periodic inventory correction in digital count lists. These are then sent back to SAP MM.
After repair or maintenance, the service technician creates his service report by click on a button. This can consist of modular times, travel expenses or other services and material consumption.
Meanwhile Winterhalter service technicians use mobileX-MIP for Field Service in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the Netherlands and the UK.
“At the beginning of the rollout, there was a certain mistrust of the new solution. But today, the colleagues cannot imagine working without the system. Data quality has improved dramatically with the field service management system. In addition, our personnel structure has changed in the customer service. While the number of our dispatchers has hardly changed, we now have a lot more service colleagues in the field. That is, we can provide more customers with a better and faster service.” commented Christian Schneider, Director Operations International at Winterhalter Gastronom GmbH
The number of service technicians in customer service at Winterhalter rises from year to year with more and more customers. Even more countries will use the WFM solution in in future.