Coresystems, a leading provider of cloud-based field service and workforce management software for mid-sized and large enterprises’ field service organizations, today announced that Orchard Machinery Corporation (OMC) is using Coresystems’...
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Coresystems, a leading provider of cloud-based field service and workforce management software for mid-sized and large enterprises’ field service organizations, today announced that Orchard Machinery Corporation (OMC) is using Coresystems’ platform to support OMC’s field service operations. OMC is the world leader in orchard harvesting equipment, using its patented Shakermaker machines to harvest fruits and nuts for worldwide distribution.
OMC was created from a dire need to automate the extreme labour required to pick fruits and nuts by hand. As OMC’s Shakermaker deployments and operations expanded, it ran into similar obstacles of suboptimal field service productivity. During rotating shifts from early mornings to late nights, OMC’s field service technicians would fill out paperwork to document service projects and request additional parts. However, the paperwork would typically take up to three days to process, which was often too late to restock the field service technicians’ trucks before the next appointment.
OMC turned to Coresystems to automate and accelerate its field service operations, and thus improve productivity for its travelling technicians. Coresystems’ platform provides OMC with a manufacturing and enterprise resourcing planning (MRP/ERP) solution to make time-intensive paperwork obsolete, fully incorporating existing field service processes into mobile phone and tablet devices. With the mobile platform, OMC’s technicians' input project updates and part requests in real-time. This not only streamlines inventory management for OMC’s in-office service managers, enabling them to focus on customer service within the shop, but it also provides OMC’s upper management valuable insights of the number of service calls fulfilled most profitable customer integrations and more.
Between manually inputting paperwork and waiting for requests for restocked parts, our field service operations ended up being an all-hands-on-deck effort“Previously, OMC’s field service operations revolved heavily around paperwork – and the rate at which we were able to process it. Between manually inputting paperwork and waiting for requests for restocked parts, our field service operations ended up being an all-hands-on-deck effort,” said Brian Kaufman, Parts Manager, Orchard Machinery Corporation. “With Coresystems, we are able to automate and streamline our field service processes, optimizing our in-field technicians’ workdays and freeing up in-office service managers to focus on driving business goals elsewhere. We are now much better equipped to ensure the thousands of deployed Shakermaker machines are in prime condition to produce bountiful harvest seasons worldwide.”
OMC selected Coresystems for the customization capabilities of its platform, as well as its ability to address OMC’s needs that are highly specific to the agricultural industry. OMC’s ERP systems use unique terminology, to which Coresystems can translate generic field service descriptions for various assets.
“While the agriculture industry is built upon a history of physical, manual labour, innovators such as OMC are discovering new methods of automating and accelerating the industry – but they require the back-end infrastructure to enable them to do so,” said Manuel Grenacher, CEO of Coresystems. “By offering OMC a paperless, mobile solution, Coresystems addresses the specific needs of harvesting operations and elevates them to the real-time pace of technology today.”
OMC plans to expand the Coresystems implementation to additional service centres, extending the reach of its field service offerings. OMC also envisions incorporating third-party integration with customers and dealers to further streamline inventory management, sales orders and requests for parts.
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Evatic AS, a leading software vendor within Service Management, have acquired Cranbox Ltd in the UK, the owner of the Tesseract service management software product trading under the name Tesseract.
Together Evatic and Tesseract will complement each other’s product portfolio and strengthen the product offering within the service management field in the market. Tesseract has its main office in High Wycombe just outside London and an office in Reston, Virginia in the US.
“We believe that the two organisations will complement each other both when it comes to products, industries and geographies”
We believe that the two organisations will complement each other both when it comes to products, industries and geographies
“I believe that Tesseract are in the best hands going forward”, says Colin Brown, founder and CEO of Tesseract.
“With more than 150 customers in a wide range of industries, there is very little overlap with Evatic both when it comes to customer industries and geographies, and I am confident that the product and the customers will continue to thrive under the Evatic ownership”.
Evatic is a leading European service management software company with the head office in Trondheim, Norway and offices in Sweden, Germany, France, Poland and Singapore.
With a global reach and more than 300 customers in 30+ countries Evatic offers a broad product suit for companies that need to make their services profitable. Evatic is a private company owned by the founders and Viking Venture.
Speaking exclusively to Field Service News on the day of the announcement Rødseth commented “We have known Colin for a good number of years and we were actually having the same discussion about four years ago - before I joined Evatic. But somehow those discussions didn’t end in a conclusion, so we picked up the ball again about six or seven months ago and had a long and fruitful discussion that ended up in Evatic acquiring Tesseract - and we are really delighted with that.”
From an outside perspective there seems to be a lot of synergy between the two companies with each being able to fill gaps in the others markets and solutions. Something that Rødseth was keen to highlight.
“There really is a complimentary side to this, we view the UK as a really interesting market,” he began.
Currently in Evatic we are focussing our business around the copier/print industry - that’s where we have our main customers and we have a system that offers a really specialist contract management tool, which is great for advanced or complicated contracts that a lot of the copy/print guys do. So we have a great system for them.”
“However, we are not as good in the generalist service management solutions, for example repair centres and stock management solutions - that is where Tesseract fits into the picture.”
We now see this as one company with two different products, one being the Evatic product and one being the Tesseract product.
“We now see this as one company with two different products, one being the Evatic product and one being the Tesseract product.” He added.
“I think we will continue to build the Evatic solution to tailor to industries that require really, really complex contract management solutions - and the key vertical for us there is the copy/print industry.”
Rødseth explained “However, we do have some customers outside of this sector and we are already actively looking at if we can move them over to the Tesseract solution.”
“A lot of the smaller customers that we have would benefit from running a Cloud solution with Tesseract so we hope to have some customer synergies from that. However, the primary reason for the acquisition was geographical expansion into the UK and the US.”
“Where we have our customers today is mainly in the Nordics and we also have offices in Norway, Sweden, Germany, France and Singapore but for whatever reason we have never had a strong presence in the UK. We now hope to build the Evatic brand in the UK now that we have a presence there via Tesseract and similarly we hope to be able to bring Tesseract to the European regions where Evatic is already strong.”
“So hopefully quite soon our sales guys will open their jackets and there’s not only an Evatic or Tesseract logo there but there is both.”
And it seems it will be business as normal for both companies in the short to medium term as Rødseth alluded to there being no loss of the newly acquired Tesseract band.
“The Tesseract brand has been over 30 years in the market it is a very strong brand so we will continue to keep that for the Service Centre and build on that and we will keep the Evatic brand for the document management vertical” he said.
What is clear is that there is a great deal of respect between the two parties, especially from Evatic towards not only the heritage of the Tesseract brand but also towards industry veteran Brown who will be stepping down from his role as MD but will remain working with Evatic in a consultancy role.
“Of course it is not going to be easy to filling the shoes of an industry veteran like Colin, but we will do our best to keep up innovating with Tesseract as we’ve done with Evatic as well.”
“We have 20 + people here that all have experience with the product and there is deep knowledge here within the organisation - we are hopeful towards a very positive future for both Tesseract and Evatic following this change.”
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Adapting to rapidly changing technology is key to keeping up with – or even outrunning – competition. But sometimes internal staff don’t have the time or skills to manage complex IT infrastructure of office technology, making it necessary to seek...
Adapting to rapidly changing technology is key to keeping up with – or even outrunning – competition. But sometimes internal staff don’t have the time or skills to manage complex IT infrastructure of office technology, making it necessary to seek out a supplement to your business’ IT department. Matt Kingswood, Head of IT Specialists UK (ITS) explains more..
The good news is there are a number of vendors that are keen to take the pressure off your internal IT staff by offering field service, where the vendor handles key parts of your on-site IT needs, such as hardware repairs or desktop and server support. Called managed service providers (MSPs), these vendors specialise in managing key pieces of their clients’ IT infrastructure. The challenge is knowing what to look for when working with an MSP to build an effective field service strategy. As head of nationwide managed service provider IT Specialists (ITS), I’ve found the following five tips to be the most helpful.
1. Find a provider with high service levels.
In today’s on-demand culture, your customers expect immediate service and don’t tolerate downtime. If broken hardware would prevent you from providing an expected level of service, you need to
The last thing you want is to have to wait for the field engineer to order spare parts before they can repair the equipment."
Of course, one of the best ways to gauge the MSP’s commitment to quality service is to ask to see the provider’s service level agreement (SLA). The SLA states that the vendor will provide services measured by predefined, quantifiable metrics. If the vendor can’t fulfil these obligations, the SLA gives you recourse.
2, Decide on the need for preventative services.
Even better than achieving a first-time fix is preventing a system malfunction in the first place. This is particularly important if your business has recovery time objectives to meet for business continuity and disaster recovery purposes. How will the MSP you’re considering prevent system errors?
At ITS, for example, we use N-able to manage printers for Howden’s Joinery, a UK-based manufacturer and supplier of kitchens and joinery products. Previously, Howden’s printers were not networked, consumables were unmonitored, supplies replenishment was not automated, and paper use was not cost-effective. Having implemented monitoring software (after networking the printers), we are now able to address any issues with the printers and manage the supply of consumables.
3. Select a partner that adapts to technology changes.
“Innovate or die” is a mantra technology companies love to repeat, but it applies to virtually any business. In the next 20 years, says futurist Ray Kurzweil, technology will change so drastically that it will pale in comparison to the previous 20 years.
If your business is going to keep up, you need to work with a forward-thinking MSP that keeps pace with technology and is able to meet your growing business’s needs.
For an example of how an MSP can identify and respond to a client’s needs, consider our client Baxter Freight. Baxter wanted us to not only provide new hardware and build a network but also brainstorm ways to future-proof their business. The plans had to benefit both ITS and Baxter, with products that were cost-effective for both businesses. Working together, the ITS team created a strategy for improving Baxter’s business resilience. The strategy included plans to adopt larger products, such as a managed cloud-based disaster recovery as a service platform, as the business became more established.
4. Make regulatory compliance a priority.
Regulatory compliance is a pressing concern across multiple industries. If your organisation is in a regulated industry, you need to work with an MSP that can help you adhere to the appropriate regulations – especially if engineers will be working on hardware containing confidential data.
Ask if the MSP has adopted a business continuity standard or undergone a third-party accreditation process to achieve a certification. Examples of these certifications include ISO 9001 (for quality management systems) and ISO 27001 (for information security management systems).
5. Ensure you don’t void your hardware warranties.
If an unqualified engineer works on your hardware, you risk voiding your hardware warranties. Keep your warranties intact by verifying your MSP’s field engineers are fully qualified to repair equipment from an array of manufacturers. Because technology is changing, it’s also a good idea to ask whether the MSP invests in ongoing training and additional certifications for its engineers.
There’s no doubt that the field service options on the market are overwhelming. However, if you follow these five tips when building your outsourced field management strategy, you can successfully develop an effective outsourced field service strategy. You’ll not only take the pressure off your internal staff but also gain the edge over your competitors.
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Jul 24, 2015 • Features • Management • Case Studies • field service management • Field Service Management Systems • Service Management • Software • Software and Apps • Tecalemit Garage Equipment • Asolvi
Tecalemit is a leading UK supplier of vehicle servicing equipment. It first began using Tesseract’s service management software in 1999 and has been pursuing increased automation, greater efficiency and better service ever since assisted by its...
Tecalemit is a leading UK supplier of vehicle servicing equipment. It first began using Tesseract’s service management software in 1999 and has been pursuing increased automation, greater efficiency and better service ever since assisted by its growing and developing relationship with Tesseract.
Tecalemit Garage Equipment Company Ltd is one of the most recognised brands in the automotive industry, both in the UK and worldwide, and has been operating for nearly a century. The company and its partners design, manufacture, supply and maintain a huge range of vehicle servicing equipment and MOT testing equipment, such as roller brake testers, vehicle lifts and emissions testers.
In the UK, equipment is stocked in two main warehouses and sold to Tecalemit’s ever-expanding network of customers across the country. They range from small and independent vehicle garages and workshops to major national and international car and motorcycle companies.
Once the equipment is sold, Tecalemit have a team of 60 factory trained and accredited engineers in charge of maintaining the equipment, from planning maintenance and servicing to remedying faults and breakdowns.
The customer service centre is based in Plymouth and handles 500 calls a day from more than 50,000 customer sites across the country. With such an extensive customer bases, it is important for Tecalemit to have an efficient service management system in place.[quote float="left"]The customer service centre handles 500 calls a day from more than 50,000 customer sites across the country.
Tesseract: the early days
Back in 1999, the Millennium Bug was a popular fear for businesses relying on computers and software throughout the world and Tecalemit harboured growing concerns about their own Unix-based service management system. It was not particularly user-friendly or efficient and bore some functionality aches. The fear was that it was going to crash when the year 2000 hit. Therefore, Tecalemit opted to implement something new and browser-based, with much greater functionality and
Tesseract was shortlisted along with three other systems, and eventually selected on the basis of cost, user-friendliness and powerful functionality. Tecalemit incorporated Tesseract’s core system which managed the logging of calls, stored immediately accessible data, and gave Tecalemit the ability to generate countless reports, providing much greater visibility.
Moving into the 21st century
Development and evolution at Tesseract is constant and Tecalemit have benefited from evolving with them, regularly adding new software components. This development has been particular comprehensive in the last five years, with a move from paper-based systems to electronic ones.
For example, Tecalemit have replaced a paper-based diary system with Tesseract’s electronic diary. This gives them much greater visibility over what is going on with service activities, and receives regular upgrades. Another paper-based system that has been replaced with an electronic syustem is stock-taking, which is now faster and more accurate.
One of the most recent implementations is the Quote Centre, which enables and manages the generation of quotes and converts them easily into customer contracts.
Field service management overhaul
The biggest development has been the overhaul of the field service management system using Tesseract’s Remote Engineer Access module.
Tecalemit began using Remote Engineer Access (REA) in January 2014. Before this, Tecalemit's allocation of jobs and deployment of engineers to customer sites was a largely manual process. Tecalemit would receive a call, log it on the Tesseract system, and the office would fax, phone or post details of the job to the relevant engineer. Once a job was complete, the engineer would fill in a paper job sheet and post it to the office. There was no visibility, no instant data, and processes such as parts ordering and invoicing took a lot longer.
“We wanted to streamline the system,” says David Monteith, the Service Office Supervisor for Tecalemit. “We wanted faster invoicing, faster ordering of parts, better visibility, and we wanted to be able to see jobs through to completion directly and with all the relevant information to hand. REA has totally delivered on all those counts.”
REA has allowed engineers to generate live reports, order parts, close down jobs and raise same-day invoices from their tablet devices. They can input their data into the Tesseract system – data which is then fed back to the office directly and instantaneously. In addition, REA has a useful offline function. This means engineers can input data even when they are working at sites with minimal or no communications signal: that data is sent through to Tecalemit as soon as the signal is restored.
REA has allowed engineers to generate live reports, order parts, close down jobs and raise same-day invoices from their tablet devices.
Next step: automatic job allocation
However, there is one undertaking that remains predominantly manual and is still part of this process, but it’s one that Tecalemit are looking to automate: deciding which engineer should attend to which job. Currently the service controller decides who to assign, looking at skill set and geographical location, among other factors. The service controller then notifies the relevant engineer using the REA system. In all, this is a time consuming process with scope for human error.
Tecalemit are planning to incorporate Tesseract’s Diary Assist scheduling system to automate this task. It will assign engineers to particular jobs based on skill set, availability, travel time, work time and shift patterns, call response time and customer site cover times.[quote float="right"]We can see Diary Assist saving us a lot of time
“We can see it saving us a lot of time,” said David Monteith. “We plan to integrate it with our contract management system. That system will raise the calls, then Diary Assist will take over and allocate the call logically and geographically sensibly. Then we have REA to cover the job itself. It is just another step towards automating and streamlining what we do.”
The future is bright
Tecalemit have watched their processes develop, their efficiency rise and their service to customers improve since they welcomed Tesseract into the fold.
“We now have faster, more accurate information,” says Monteith. “We have cut down on admin, including paperwork and postage, and we can now respond to customers more efficiently. Our staff has better visibility as regards service history, what equipment they’ve got and what needs doing and, with less admin requirements, can concentrate more on their overall role. We will continue to look at what Tesseract offers, too, because they are very good at driving change and there is always room for improvement.”
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Resource Type: White Paper Published by: Exel Computer Systems
Resource Type: White Paper
Published by: Exel Computer Systems
Title: Five benefits of a modern field service management system
About: Understanding what benefits a modern field service management system can provide is vital if you are going to be able to secure the investment required from senior management to take improve the productivity of your field service operation. The following is compiled from extracts of that white paper
It has been stated often and by many well respected industry commentators that a modern field service management solution is an essential tool for field service companies to operate efficiently...
It is imperative that companies no longer view the costs of such a system as an expense but an investment that can yield both increased revenue and reduced operational costs that will ultimately pay for itself.
A key element to building a successful case for securing the funds for that investment is understanding the benefits that a modern field service management can bring. In this white paper published by UK field service management specialists Exel Computer Systems we see five of the key benefits of a modern field service management solution.
1. Stock Visibility
Establishing a healthy cash-flow can be a challenge for companies of all sizes and stature and for field service companies one of this challenge is often magnified by costs being tied up in inventory.
A modern field service management system can provide visibility across the mobile workforce, something which would simply be impossible with either a manual system or an older technology platform. A modern field service management system will also help you identify which items are fast or slow moving helping to further extend a ‘Lean’ approach to inventory management.
2. Job Scheduling
Effective job scheduling sits at the centre of the argument for almost all modern field service management systems but in practice these fall into two separate categories which should be understood when selecting the field service management system that is right for your business.
At one end of the scale there is the simple ‘Call Allocation’ model, which does precisely what you would expect in that it simply allows an operator to decide which engineer gets which job based on their own guestimates. As you can imagine this model is heavily reliant on skilled operators.
At the other end of the scale is ‘Intelligent’ or ‘Dynamic’ scheduling which constantly rearranges the schedule automatically based on prescribed rules and data. As opposed to the ‘Call Allocation’ model which is reliant on human expertise an ‘Intelligent’ scheduler is reliant on having lots of incoming data which can be a costly exercise in terms of both initial resource and finance if it is to operate correctly.
Finally there is a newer, third type of system that bridges the gap and is becoming increasingly popular which is referred to as ‘Assisted Scheduling’. This combines the other two systems in that it utilises rules based logic to provide a suggested schedule but is adaptable by the operator. Understanding which type of system will benefit your organisation the most is an important factor in choosing the best field service management system for your organisation.
3. Time to Invoice
Ten years ago a delay of between 6-8 weeks between an engineer visit and an invoice reaching the customer was common place. As with understanding inventory, such a delay can put unnecessary strain on the P&L. With a modern field service management system the ability to invoice on a same day basis, even when the engineer is still onsite is very much a reality.
Keeping a track on costs is an essential, vital and fundamental element of any business. However, for companies with a field service division it is perhaps less transparent and therefore harder to achieve.
When workload doesn’t always necessarily mean profit then it is absolutely critical that you are able to have real-time access to the visibility of your costs alongside effective business reporting to allow you to measure and then manage. This is again a key benefit of a modern field service management system.
5. Customer Relationship Management
Okay so if we are completely honest the cliché that ‘the customer is always right’ may not always ring true in one thing is for certain, knowing and understanding your customers is the most effective way of doing business with them. A modern field service management system combines all the widely accepted benefits of a CRM system with the unique information relating to each interaction for every customer, including interactions with the field service engineers.
The greatest advantage is that this information is also available to every member of your mobile workforce, allowing for greater service as well as ensuring service contracts are up to date so work isn’t given away for free!