Case Study: Tesseract’s Diary Assist helps Manitowoc serve up an even better service

Jan 30, 2017 • FeaturesManitowoccase studiesCateringHardware software and appsSoftware and Appssoftware and appsAsolvi

Manitowoc Foodservice UK have been relying on the service management software supplied by Tesseract for 20 years. Now they have decided to further automate their systems with one of Tesseract’s most useful tools – Diary Assist.

With customers like Debenhams, Wetherspoons and the Ministry of Defence, Manitowoc are the world leaders in manufacturing, supplying and maintaining cutting edge kitchen equipment, as well as designing and refitting kitchens.

From ovens, grills, fryers and steamers, to ice machines, refrigerators and beer coolers, Manitowoc produce equipment for numerous renowned and award-winning catering industry brands. These include Garland, Frymaster, Convotherm and Merrychef – the world’s number one designer and supplier of pioneering accelerated cooking systems.

More than 80,000 Merrychef ovens are in use around the world

More than 80,000 Merrychef ovens are in use around the world. Frymaster, another of Manitowoc’s leading brands, is a familiar name in catering establishments worldwide, with sales and service capabilities in over 100 countries. Manitowoc employ a consistent commitment to research and development and innovation-led strategies and boast highly advanced manufacturing facilities.


With keen eyes for revolutionary technology and efficiency and smooth operation in even the busiest kitchens, Manitowoc are not only concerned with food facilities, but with food itself. Their global team of development chefs can help venues compile creative, innovative menus to suit their customer base and achieve greater success, drawing on their immeasurable experience of the catering industry.

It’s this desire to make their customers’ establishments better and more efficient that sets Manitowoc apart from other food service companies.

No room for error

Manitowoc’s high status and market-leading position mean they cannot afford to let any of their customers down. This is why, 20 years ago, they turned to Tesseract for help in the revolution and modernisation of their service management.

For all of their kitchen installations, Manitowoc have a committed team of engineers who carry out planned and reactive maintenance. Manitowoc use Tesseract to log calls from customers when a piece of equipment incurs a fault, as well as assigning jobs to the engineers, invoicing, parts ordering and reporting. Service requests are transmitted to engineers’ tablet devices using Tesseract’s Remote Engineer Access technology.

Engineers close down jobs on their tablets, at which point the information is transmitted back to Manitowoc instantaneously.

Engineers close down jobs on their tablets, at which point the information is transmitted back to Manitowoc instantaneously. Finally, all of Manitowoc’s service activities can be monitored using Tesseract’s fully customisable Crystal Reports, which allow Manitowoc to design and schedule any report they want at any time of day or night. This makes for much better ownership of data.


However, choosing which engineers to deploy for both planned maintenance work and reactive tasks was always done manually. Now, in order to further automate their systems, improve efficiency and save huge amounts of time, Manitowoc have integrated Tesseract’s Diary Assist software for both planned and reactive maintenance tasks.

Before the integration of Diary Assist

Manitowoc used to rely totally on a manual system for scheduling engineers for reactive jobs and diarising them for planned maintenance tasks. They used mapping software such as AA Route Planner and the now discontinued Microsoft MapPoint and would assign particular engineers based on location, skill set and fair division of work.

Manitowoc’s manual process for deployment not only took a lot of time, much more than an automated process would, but it also introduced a human element to the decision-making that wasn’t always consistent.

“Before Diary Assist, the deployment of our engineers relied on human intervention and scheduling typically consumed 3 – 4 hours a day,” says Manitowoc. “We had staff trying to ensure that the division of work was fair according to engineers’ skill set and geographical location. A side effect of this was that sometimes it would be unfair and inconsistent.”

How has Diary Assist changed things for Manitowoc?

Diary Assist is a dynamic, centrally hosted web service for call optimisation. It’s designed to handle both planned appointments and reactive service calls and is capable of scheduling 200 hundred calls in just 20 minutes.

The software allocates jobs to engineers based on their skill sets, availability, travel time, work time and shift patterns, as well as call response time and customer site cover times. Manitowoc used to have staff making evaluative decisions about which engineers were most appropriate to allocate; now an automated program does it for them.

Manitowoc says, “We are already seeing the long-term benefits of using Diary Assist. The service provides consistent logic to our scheduling process and saves us 3 – 4 hours a day of manual manipulation, whilst eliminating the potential for human error.”



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