Manufacturing and service companies must continuously manage change to provide seamless operations. The technology landscape is shifting rapidly, along with ways of working and communicating. It is important for manufacturing and service companies to streamline operations and provide a real-time connection between employees and customers using contactless mobile services.
Recent events have highlighted the critical need to ensure the safety of both customers and employees while still conducting business. At the start of the COVID-19 crisis a manufacturing customer of ExpandIT needed to share important real-time information with their field personnel. While communicating with their employees was always important, it was even more critical as the COVID-19 situation rapidly evolved. The company realized their field personnel often did not have access to email or the ability to check it regularly. ExpandIT’s mobile client enabled the company to ensure their field service personnel received important messages regarding health and safety protocols when they opened the mobile app. Once the message was read it was saved in the messages section of the application for future reference.
Downtime is the enemy of most organizations, particularly manufacturing and service organizations. Whether it is scheduled or unscheduled downtime, setup, or changeover time, minimizing this is critical. Additionally, having inadequate methods of communication makes minimizing downtime more difficult. Traditional tools such as pen and paper and disconnected systems require a high-level of physical contact between employees and often customers. Ensuring there are alternate methods of communication that allow employees to share and receive important information digitally is crucial.
Contactless mobile service provides manufacturing and service companies with a way to ensure the job gets completed while ensuring the safety of all involved. Let’s look at how contactless mobile service impacts the common interactions that occur, including those between office staff and technicians, technicians and customers, and customers and office staff.
Situations like COVID-19 have shown how limiting the physical interactions between employees is important for health and safety. Technicians are at multiple job sites daily, exposing themselves to different environments. It is critical that companies ensure there are systems in place that allow them to communicate effectively, while minimizing in-person contact. ExpandIT’s Planning Board allows planners and dispatchers to easily schedule and allocate resources digitally. Technicians can view scheduled jobs on their mobile phone or tablet. Additionally, technicians can access other important information such as previous work orders and customer history from their device, ensuring they are prepared before starting a job and minimizing the number of trips they make between the job site and office.
Ensuring technicians have complete and correct data about their scheduled jobs at all times is important. Disconnected systems make communication between customers and technicians difficult. When technicians are in the field and an unexpected change regarding a job occurs, updating them is essential from a productivity point of view but also for their safety. Customers can use ExpandIT’s Service Portal to communicate with technicians. For instance, if there is an update to safety protocols that technicians should be made aware of, customers can communicate this information to the technician via the service portal. Enabling contactless service minimizes the number of in-person interactions between customers and technicians.
Ensuring there is a way for customers to communicate digitally with staff is critical. ExpandIT enables companies to provide customers with a self-service portal which allows them to request service, see the status of a job, view past invoices, pay invoices online, and view past service orders and reports. Self-service portals that are available 24/7 allow customers and staff members to communicate effectively and virtually.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, NAV, F&O/AX, and GP are powerful ERP systems. When combined with a field service management system from ExpandIT, service and installation organizations can provide contactless service, while improving safety and optimizing business operations. Together Qixas and ExpandIT are taking field service operations for manufacturers to a new level. Book a consultation with Qixas to learn more about ExpandIT’s field service solutions.