Sub-Zero & Wolf are cooking with gas. The preferred suppliers of kitchen equipment for celebrity chefs James Martin and Heston Blumenthal as well as interior designer/former Dragon’s Den star Kelly Hoppen who are ‘wolfing’ down the rewards of a complete service management revolution. A year ago, they replaced their outmoded, non-web-based software with Tesseract’s Service Centre 5.1 (SC5.1), improving stock control, reducing call times, and cutting out 2 days’ worth of reporting.
The chef’s choice
Sub-Zero & Wolf are longstanding kitchen appliance connoisseurs who supply, install and maintain top-of-the-range cooking and cooling equipment in domestic settings.
Their products are sold through 250 independent dealers across Europe and are the appliances of choice for chefs, designers and celebrities because of their superior performance and exclusive functions. They range from dual fuel ovens to wine storage to coffee machines and many are compatible with home automation systems.
In 2016, Sub-Zero & Wolf marked 70 years of successful trading with a major overhaul of their field service management system.
The old system — too many cooks
Sub-Zero & Wolf’s previous service management system was a case of too many processes, too many people, too many delays, and too little visibility.
The non-web-based software could only manage one stock location at a time and was always a day out; the company could never accurately tell where an item was at any one time. Technicians had no access to live data in the field, only in the office.
This meant they could only get updated callout information and asset data by dialling in to the system, or by speaking to the admin team on the phone or via email. Planned maintenance scheduling was still done using Excel spreadsheets.
“There were a number of factors that led us to replace our service management software,” says Greg O’Sullivan, European Group Service Manager for Sub-Zero & Wolf. “But ultimately it was because our customers expect a first-class service, and we decided that a first-class service management system would help us do that.”
A recipe for success
Sub-Zero & Wolf happened upon Tesseract at the Service Management Expo in Birmingham. They looked at a variety of solutions, but chose Tesseract because it was web-based, cloud-based, and the best fit for their service management needs.
Now, live data is at their fingertips and numerous process delays have been eliminated
While in the field, technicians can log in to the system remotely at any time and view outstanding jobs and parts availability.
They don’t need to rely on a call or email from the office to find out about a site, a customer and the service history of an asset, because all this can be obtained by running simple searches of the Tesseract Customer Assets database.
This smooth, seamless flow of data has cut down both the number and length of calls between the office and Sub-Zero & Wolf’s 114 Europe-wide engineers. It has also improved the engineers’ ability to see patterns of faults with equipment — a crucial facet of good problem management.
Greg O’Sullivan explains, “Tesseract comes with high levels of automation and saves us huge amounts of time. It’s also a much easier process to manage. We had traffic jams on the old system. We’d get job data and parts requests all in one go because it wasn’t live, but now the jobs trickle through at a friendlier pace.”
A major concern for Sub-Zero & Wolf was stock control. Parts are essential to their business and typically very expensive, so keeping track of them is vital. Despite having stock locations all over Europe, their previous system could only monitor one at a time and was always a day out of sync.
With Tesseract’s Parts Centre module, Sub-Zero & Wolf can monitor all stock locations at once, from warehouse to van to customer, with full, real-time visibility of the installation, usage and repair cycle.
Reporting was a laborious manual process at the end of the month and took two days to compile and complete -Greg O’Sullivan,Sub-Zero & Wolf’
A further benefit for Sub-Zero & Wolf is Tesseract’s ability to integrate with other systems. This is thanks to an application program interface (API) that enables the transfer of information between SC5.1 and any third party software product. “We were already using TomTom WEBFLEET, which tells us where our technicians are,” says O’Sullivan. “Tesseract integrates with this, transmitting address details for service jobs directly to our technicians’ TomToms. Again, this cuts out a manual process and saves us time.”
A taste for more
Sub-Zero & Wolf are looking to add the Remote Customer Access (RCA) function of SC5.1 to their portfolio of service management modules. At present, dealers and end-user customers have to phone Sub-Zero & Wolf if an equipment fault occurs, and cannot see what’s happening when a job is actioned. RCA allows customers to log in to SC5.1 via a web browser and notify Sub-Zero & Wolf of a problem more quickly, easily and simply than a phone call.
Customers can also monitor progress, move assets, raise sales orders and run reports.
“We’re keen to add Remote Customer Access in the near future to make life easier for our customers,” says O’Sullivan. “What’s great about this is that Tesseract can tailor the visibility of the platform at different levels, simply by changing the permissions. This means our dealers can see data for their customers, but our end-user customers will only see the data that is relevant to them.”