Transform Field Service Workers From Informed to Empowered

The Challenge: The High Cost of a Disconnected Field Work Force

Oct 1st, 2010
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The Challenge: The High Cost of a Disconnected Field Work Force

Your field work force spends the most time with your most valuable asset–your customers. Regardless of whether this work force is involved in field service or field sales, the quality of their interaction with your customers, their on-the-job productivity and the efficiency of the overall field service operation has a direct impact on the health of your business. It is the level of service they provide that will lead to customer satisfaction and retention–or dissatisfaction and attrition. Inefficiencies in these business units drive the cost of a field visit up, directly impacting your margins and your profitability.

If the workers spend the day in the field disconnected from your core business systems, they must act as the link between your customer sites and your business applications, forced to collect information on paper that must then be entered into the computer at a later time. Data must be touched twice, inserting time and the opportunity for errors into your business processes. The lag time between when information is collected, entered and visible in your computer systems impacts the accuracy of other critical business initiatives, from demand forecasting to production line scheduling and inventory management. In addition, your mobile work force and your vehicle fleet are two of your most expensive assets. Without a real-time connection to this field work force, supervisors cannot monitor the location of these mobile workers or the disposition of work orders and sales calls–information required to best manage customer service levels and control the costs of these business divisions.

The Solution: Turn 'Action Item' Into 'Action Taken' With the Motorola ES400.

The Motorola ES400, a pocket-sized smartphone-style device, provides field sales and field service workers with the real-time voice and data communications required to drive customer service and productivity levels up–and costs down. With business and productivity tools in their pockets, this mobile work force is transformed from simply informed to truly empowered, able to turn 'action items' into 'actions taken.' The result? No more delayed information. No more paper forms. Just instant access to the information and resources required to get the job done on the spot.

The ES400 is one part 3.5G world cell phone and one part robust mobile computer. The ES400 provides real-time access to business critical applications and communications, as well as the ability to automate the capture of practically any type of data. Users can capture bar codes, documents and signatures as well as videos and photographs that are rich with business intelligence–including voice and text comments, annotation markers for detailed references, and a geostamp that contains time, date and location where the photo was taken. A Motorola-only custom and customizable business class user interface makes accessing and using business features and applications easy.

The carrier-agnostic ES400 offers global support for most cellular networks. The device can be activated on either the 3.5G Global System for Mobile Communications (GSM) High Speed Packet Access (HSPA) or Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) Rev A cellular networks–or both–at any time. A single pool of devices can be deployed and re-deployed as needed, maximizing device utilization and return on asset. For field personnel who travel through areas better served by different networks, the ability to enable multiple wireless wide area network (WWAN) connections ensures connectivity. No matter where workers are located, you can provide them with a dependable wireless connection.

Account Managers

The ES400 helps account managers strengthen customer relationships, better monitor product inventory in the store and place faster, more accurate orders to replenish retailer shelves. With the ES400, account managers can execute virtually any task on the spot. Paper-based processes are eliminated along with the associated administrative burden, freeing the work force to spend more time with more customers–and generate more orders per day. Account managers can:

  • Scan products on the shelves to easily check pricing as well as check and reserve available stock in the warehouse,
  • Place and process orders in real time, complete with solid delivery dates,
  • Capture signatures for real-time authorization of sales orders,
  • Access comprehensive customer intelligence–including past and open orders, service records, e-mail address and phone number, birthday, buying preferences and more–strengthening the 1-to-1 relationship as well as uncovering cross-selling and upselling opportunities,
  • Provide an on-the-spot copy of the signed order, either electronically via e-mail or printed wirelessly on a third-party mobile printer via Bluetooth, and
  • Access up-to-the-minute, real-time directions via GPS to minimize travel time between stops and circumvent traffic jams.

Merchandisers

The ES400 provides the tools merchandisers need to collect more business intelligence, faster and more accurately. This device provides the work force with the right features, functions, durability and enterprise-class support required–at the right price. Merchandisers can:

  • Scan the bar codes of products on the shelf, providing real-time visibility into demand,
  • Receive and complete electronic work orders,
  • Receive electronic forms and checklists that guide merchandisers through the collection of the right information, eliminating paper and reducing training requirements,
  • Capture and transmit videos and richly annotated color photos of manufacturer and competitive displays, and
  • Access up-to-the-minute, real-time directions via GPS to minimize travel time between stops and circumvent traffic jams.

Field Service

The field service work force not only represents a substantial business cost, they are also your primary source of customer interaction post sale. It is their performance that will directly impact customer satisfaction and perception of your brand–and your profitability. With the ES400 in hand, the work force can close more work orders per day, deliver better customer service and improve efficiencies throughout the business–from decreased invoice cycle times to better inventory management.

Field service workers can:

  • Dynamically receive, accept and close out electronic work orders–instead of paper,
  • Access customer repair history for faster and better issue resolution,
  • Check warranty and service level agreements to ensure the accurate capture of billable hours and parts,
  • Scan parts as they are consumed to ensure accurate capture of all appropriate charges and provide real-time visibility into parts inventories,
  • View a list of items to cross-sell or upsell–such as a product accessory or extended warranty,
  • Provide an on-the-spot copy of the signed work order for proof of authorization before work begins, either electronically via e-mail or printed wirelessly on a third-party mobile printer via Bluetooth,
  • Capture and transmit electronic signatures to validate proof of service and expedite billing,
  • Snap a high-resolution color photo for proof of condition or proof of service, complete with a geostamp for proof of location,
  • Automatically capture on-the-job start and stop times for accurate labor costing and payroll,
  • Capture signatures for proof of delivery
  • Automatically track mileage, eliminating the need to manually compile mileage reports,
  • Call customers to confirm appointments, site access and the arrival of pre-shipped parts, and
  • Access up-to-the-minute, real-time directions via GPS to minimize travel time between stops and circumvent traffic jams.

The integrated GPS capability in the ES400 also allows dispatchers to monitor the location of field service personnel throughout the day to:

  • Better plan daily routes to minimize mileage, fuel costs and wear-and-tear on trucks,
  • Ensure territories are properly balanced to best use this work force, and
  • Enable highly efficient routing of new urgent work orders through the automatic identification of the closest technician with the right skills, tools and parts

In addition to a three-year life cycle, the ES400 offers security, manageability, durability and support while delivering a low total cost of ownership.

  • Security. A complete suite of solutions addresses security, one of the biggest mobility concerns, offering:
    • A built-in, biometric fingerprint reader prevents unauthorized access, protecting the data on the device and your network resources.
    • Motorola's tested and validated Mobile Virtual Private Networks (MVPNs) bring wired-line security to wireless communications without the typical performance degradation.
    • Motorola's Mobile Security Suite (optional) enables remote locking and wiping of lost or stolen devices as well as comprehensive device-level protection, including a firewall, intrusion prevention, enforced authentication, data encryption and integrity monitoring.
  • Manageability-a single global point of control. Motorola's Mobility Services Platform (optional) provides remote, centralized and highly cost-effective end-to-end management of all your ES400 devices, regardless of where they are located.
  • Durability. The ES400 offers something most consumer-style devices do not–durable construction. In addition, the ES400 is the only device in its category to offer five separate durability ratings that help ensure reliable operation despite all day, everyday use–ensuring the ability to survive 4-foot drops, 300 consecutive 1.6-foot hits, and exposure to dust and moisture.
  • A three-year availability cycle. Where consumer-style devices frequently complete their life cycle in six to 12 months, the ES400 will be available for a minimum of three years. The high cost associated with purchasing, deploying and supporting many different models at any one time is eliminated.
  • Support. Two available services help maximize device uptime and minimize support costs. Service from the Start with Comprehensive Coverage covers virtually anything that might happen to the device, including accidental damage, normal wear and tear, and even select accessories that ship with the ES400. The Managed Device Service simplifies day-to-day support through proactive device monitoring and a multilingual help desk manned with technicians who can remotely diagnose and resolve device issues–helping you keep the ES400 in the hands of your mobile users.

For more information on how Motorola's ES400 Global EDA can improve your field service operations, visit www.motorola.com/ES400 or access the global contact directory at motorola.com/enterprisemobility/contactus.

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