Issue #2003 - 30 (November 2003)
- Mobilizing the Service Reps
Source: TechWeb - Optimize
Traq Mobilizes Getronics Service Personnel
Vendor Supplying the Solution :Traq
As an IT-services firm with 24,200 employees worldwide and 3,500 employees in the United States, Getronics service people are on
the call round the clock, in person or via remote connection. Getronics customer service success is measured by how quickly
they anticipate problems, repair systems, and help employees get up and running
again. Therefore, wireless technology is crucial to their ultramobile workforce.
They use more than 3,000 wireless devices in North America, have developed a field-force automation solution based on wireless, and keep track of them all with an application called Traq Mobile Communications Management Software.
More than 900 technicians in the United States are using the
Field Service Technology Solution
The service information management system (SIMS) incorporates management of calls, sales, inventory, accounts payable and receivable, general ledger, people resources, dispatch, timekeeping, and many other functions. But the development team knew that the more information
they could transmit about the nature of the problem, the faster the field-service force could get the customer up and
running. To achieve this, the company built the field-automation network (FAN) tool to help.
FAN uses radio-frequency communications from Motient Corp., which lets technicians, corporate offices, and customers access real-time information during every stage of a repair—from dispatch to resolution. It's a voice and data system with rugged laptops used in the field. With FAN, technicians are notified within 45 seconds that they have a new call. Since FAN is integrated with our nationwide parts-dispatch system, replacement parts can be shipped within hours across the country.
Last spring, the company rolled out its new FAN 3G deployment, which can leverage vastly larger bandwidth and IP connectivity. As a result, technicians can maintain a robust, always-on connection to pass along technical documents and manuals, Getronics E-mail, and call data from the Getronics intranet. In addition,
the company can send FAN programming updates to the field technicians on the fly, rather than via CD or by recalling laptops to the home office.
The new version is based on Microsoft's .Net architecture, so they can run applications based on Linux, Unix, Windows, or any other operating system.
The ROI has been significant, and benefits include a decrease in the number of calls made to the dispatch call center; without SIMS and FAN, Getronics would have needed a minimum of seven more call-center agents for every 200 field techs to support the current call volume.
The company found software application called Traq from Traq Wireless that helps
it gather wireless data from users and multiple carriers in one centralized location and view it at the corporate level while also allowing each user to monitor expenses. Even better,
it lowered its per-minute cell-phone usage costs by 21%. The company
saved more than $290,000 in our first 12 months of using the application.
Source: TechWeb - Optimize
MobileInfo Comments and Advisory: Field
service automation with wireless dispatch and parts ordering has
proven itself to be an application that has quick ROI. Getronics has
proven that this is the case. Do not ignore the asset management and
systems management requirements of this application You have to keep
those handheld devices synchronized and laded with the most current
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