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Siemens solves paper trail challenge

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Servicing its customers across the African continent, Siemens Service Centre had limited information to improve efficiencies and customer services. With little insight in the process flow of each service, it became frustrated with the inadequacies of a paper trail.
Siemens turned to Tracer Mobile Workforce for its mobile workforce management solutions to obtain real-time insight and control over efficiency aspects such as operational workflow, forecasting, planning, task scheduling, mobility, gap analysis and enhanced business intelligence (BI).
Tracer Mobile Workforce technology solutions are designed to optimise the productivity, management and information flow between a company and its people, wherever in the world they may be. It enables customers to transfer critical data in a seamless and instant way.
The Siemens Service Centre maintains and repairs all company provided switchgear systems. Serviced by highly qualified technicians from South Africa, its customer base is situated across the African continent.
Lukas Visage, head of Siemens Service Centre, says they required a solution that would work across multiple remote devices across Africa. “The solution had to be live and able to work across different levels and departments. More importantly, it had to replace the paper trail with e-forms and needed to handle remote distribution of service reports and electronic sign off with customer copies.”
Previously, paper-based service reports were sent to technicians for work that needed to be done within Service Level Agreement (SLA) requirements. It then needed to be signed off by the customer and returned to the office for invoicing.
Tracer MD Cobus van Graan says Tracer Mobile Workforce’s workflow solutions are designed to optimise internal workshop or office workflow to your field staff and back. “By mobilising core business processes and workflow, organisations like Siemens can take control over their business, wherever that may happen to be.
“Now, while the customer is still on the phone, a service report is created in Tracer. It is immediately escalated to the coordinating manager and then onto a technician,” he explains.
The Tracer mobile workflow solution replaced the manual process with electronic job cards and workflow between departments.
With Tracer Mobile Workforce, the technician now receives an SMS as notification of the new service report. It contains all the relevant information, customer contact details and call-out requirements. Service technicians are supplied with all the correct information, they know the nature of the problem and can arrive prepared with the right equipment and spares.
The technician completes the service report and lets the customer sign it off with a onetime pin. The customer receives the copy of the signed service report and a copy is immediately available in the office. Once the job has been done, the field technician moves onto servicing the next customer and the back office can immediately proceed with invoicing the client.
“This dramatic improvement means that service technicians can now be tasked live and signed documents can be in the back office instantly as the work has been done. SLAs are now adhered to and efficiencies can now be managed,” says Visage.
He says with Tracer Mobile Workforce, there are no more paper trails or miscommunication and customer expectations are exceeded. “We are highly satisfied with the speed and quality of the workflow process. Further customisation has been delivered to manage stock control, parts ordering and SAP integration.”
“The monthly savings per technician is on average 200 kilometres, 5 hours, R1 500 printing costs, 300 minutes of telephone time and 80 internal hours saved to re-capture service reports. This is a dramatic improvement in customer satisfaction, a recent survey shows customer satisfaction at 71% compared to the benchmark of 52%,” he says.