Best practices with field service technology

Best practices with field service technology

Technical service company monitors compliance with customer visits and improves efficiency in route planning thanks to Field Service

This company prepares the routes of its technicians in its customer service system, and the data is sent to the Field Service software, where the administrators can visualize the workload of each of the technicians, as well as the geographic distribution of the scheduled visits.

The system offers administrators the necessary tools to be able to detect efficiency problems in the programming of visits, with the objective of their daily improvement.

In addition, it offers real-time location of technical service vehicles, so that system users can monitor the daily activity of their fleet.

A food distribution company optimised its routes by ensuring timely deliveries

Thanks to Field Service technology, the company was able to manage product shipments from the factory to the various retail distribution outlets carried out by vehicles contracted to third parties, what we know as “last mile” delivery or “Rackjobbing“.

The Field Service system manages the cascade shipments, generating daily from the head office all the product shipments to the retail outlets, with an initial dispatch to each of the transport agencies contracted to provide the service. The transport agencies, in turn, make a second dispatch of the shipments to the transport companies they work with, with the delivery services that correspond to them on the day and finally the transport companies prepare the final dispatch orders to their specific drivers/trucks that are going to carry out the shipment.

Once the service has been completed, each driver reports in real time on the delivery made, as well as on any possible incidents in the transport or reception of the consignments, thus completing the service, which is fully documented and reported.

A large railway company saved more than 30,000 maintenance hours per year, thanks to a more precise rationalisation of on-time maintenance

In a large railway company, where the reliability of its thousands of locomotives had declined considerably over the years, managers thought that a more robust maintenance programme, based on timely and additional checks, would be an effective response.

But when the company systematically analysed seven years of locomotive failure data, a different picture emerged, proving that the cause was not lack of maintenance but poor planning. Managers tuned up more than 80% of the required maintenance tasks, saving more than 30,000 maintenance hours per year through more accurate and time-based maintenance rationalisation. Overhaul costs were reduced by a quarter, generating savings that the company reinvested in Field Service technology that allowed it to further improve maintenance and asset replacement decisions.

One company, also in the railway sector, used a simulation-based approach to optimise the long-term planning of its maintenance network. The company modelled the changing characteristics of its fleet over a ten-year period to understand future demand for critical maintenance resources. In just two months, this effort enabled the company to reduce its maintenance expenditure on facilities by approximately $100 million.

A logistics company faced with the problem of vehicle maintenance and with permanent incidents in the completion of work

For the company the problem was a large accumulation of maintenance tasks. The pressure on the technicians to increase their work rate only aggravated the problem by reducing the quality of the repairs due to emergency pressure. The company discovered that the main cause was its cumbersome planning process.

The list of tasks assigned to the technicians was updated only once a week and they were instructed to complete the tasks in the order they were presented. Since this order did not take into account the critical importance of the problem or the location of the asset, technicians often had to travel significant distances to work on relatively minor jobs, while the more important ones waited nearby.

The answer was to build a new digital Field Service tool that would allow planners to group jobs by location and prioritise tasks according to their likely impact on commercially important service level agreements. The new approach saved maintenance managers around one hour of planning work per day, while increasing maintenance efficiency by over 15% and reducing service level failures by over a quarter.

A logistics company won service contracts by optimising costs, routes and services

A global logistics company recently used Field Service management systems to carry out two major tenders. One, for rail, covered 50 suppliers and approximately 5,000 origin-destination pairs for different container types and addresses. The second, for truck services, covered 750 vendors and 12,000 lanes. The use of the digital approach allowed it to address more than one million data points in the two tenders, allowing further price reductions of 5% for rail and approximately 10% for truck transport and to win mandates.

An aircraft refuelling company implemented an on-board system with real-time control

A company that refuels aircraft at airports tried to optimise the refuelling control process by incorporating mobility devices and automating the management of delivery notes and providing readings from the sensors and automatons of the refuelling units, guaranteeing safety and facilitating the traceability of operating conditions by means of a Field Service app, incorporating the vehicle’s signal-reading functions, capable of issuing delivery notes with the information necessary to authorise the placing on board of fuel in aircraft, collecting operational information from the vehicle such as the volume of litres refuelled and its location (GPS and flow meter), status of the vehicle’s various safety sensors: grounding, engine off, brakes on, etc. (It prevents the user from continuing with the operation if the safety conditions are not met) and specific to movements by transmitting it in real time and automating the billing processes, stock updates, etc.

The Field Service based system has been developed taking into account the criticality of the process: if the application does not work, an aircraft does not refuel and, by extension, does not take off and offers attention and support services to users on a 7×24 basis, deploying the system in a high availability, redundant and fault-tolerant environment. To facilitate the reading of vehicle signals, the use of different electronic components in the truck has been considered, which are capable of connecting the different elements, interpreting signals, sending data, etc.

The system connects to different signals from the vehicle and is capable of exchanging data with the mobile device via Bluetooth and sending data via GPRS to a central server. A GPS system specialised in fleet management allows connection to different digital signals from the truck’s automaton to read different activity parameters. It has a connection with a VEGA flow meter, it is connected via USB to the Tablet and via CANBUS to the truck’s central unit for reading and it also connects to automatons for reading other parameters of the vehicle. It communicates data, in an autonomous way, with a server (through a Web Service).

The Field Service technology in operation has allowed effective control of operations with significant cost savings and increasing the quality of service safely and efficiently.

Fusion between green technology and mobility in a company specialised in the design, construction, maintenance and operation of photovoltaic plants

A photovoltaic plant company had the need to uniformly manage the incidents and maintenance of each plant; 41 solar plants, located in 12 different countries.

With a Field Service system for alarms in real time on the mobile phone of the technician in charge, with the exact coordinates of the breakdown received from the SCADA system of each plant, it is possible to obtain information in real time on the spare parts used with automatic updating of stock and warnings of the need to replace material. 153 preventive-productive tasks and 130 specific operations corresponding to 29 different processes, automatically incorporated into the agenda of each technician who receives a customised form for each process, adapted to the type of maintenance to be carried out. With anticipated benefits thanks to the digitalisation of the processes:

  • 17% reduction in supply downtime. Thanks to the elimination of communication barriers and the automatic transfer of information from the detection system to the person responsible for the repair.
  • 75% de reducción de incidencias por mantenimiento insuficiente. Gracias a una completa trazabilidad de todas las actuaciones realizadas, tanto de carácter preventivo como de averías. La automatización de estos procesos supone un importante ahorro de recursos humanos dedicados a esta labor.
  • 59% elimination of stock failures. The correct control of the stocks of parts and spare parts that a plant must have means avoiding important delays in the resolution of incidents due to lack of the necessary material.
  • 9.20% reduction of stocks in the plants. The automatic stock control allows to gain confidence in the system, avoiding the accumulation of unnecessary stock.

Work&Track Mobile offers options to help companies address the challenges associated with the most advanced Field Service management. Our experience allows us to become a true partner along the journey of the digital transformation.

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