Jul 24, 2015 • Features • Management • Case Studies • field service management • Field Service Management Systems • Service Management • Software • Software and Apps • Tecalemit Garage Equipment • Tesseract
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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