The Isle of Man Section of the BCS is holding a talk tomorrow on Field Service Management. Here’s the blurb:
Field Service Management, the discipline of deploying service engineers and customer service representatives most effectively to resolve problems encountered in the field, is one of the least understood and exploited business disciplines. Despite the deep penetration of information technology systems into most common business disciplines, the majority of organisations undertaking Field Service still use cumbersome manual processes and systems which are more labour intensive and less efficient than they need be, leading to sub-optimal field-based workforce efficiency and poor customer satisfaction.
A UK based company, JLA, the largest independent distributor of commercial laundry equipment in the world with over 50% UK market share, has taken Field Service as the single most important differentiator to its customers. Over the past eight years JLA has successfully deployed the latest Field Service Management (FSM) technologies to dramatic effect, ensuring that post-sales customer service is at the forefront of the proposition made to its customers and driving the continual growth of the company. The systems used by JLA encompass Parts Management, Engineer Management, Mobile Data Communications, Vehicle Tracking, Automated Job Scheduling and Allocation, Electronic Documentation, CRM and Performance Reporting to aid them in the challenge of fulfilling over 2500 breakdown and service visits per week with a field force of 120 engineers, maintaining a first-time fix rate of c. 95% despite a spares inventory of over 12,000 parts lines, and having the confidence to offer their customers their unique guarantee of prompt service and SLA compliance – “Service On Time – Or We Pay You £100”.
JLA’s Field Service systems have been adopted as a case study in the curriculum for Management Studies at a major UK university. They have been the subject of several academic research papers including one presented at the International Conference on Enterprise Information Systems (ICEIS) 2007, and have attracted “reference” visits from major companies across Europe and the USA with many C-level executives wanting to learn how JLA “do it”.
Steve Burrows, Group IT Director of JLA and the other companies which form Vanilla Group, will explain what, why and how JLA has deployed in technology to deliver the most advanced systems available to the Field Service Management problem, enabling it to achieve levels of Field Service performance and quality beyond the aspirations of most major organisations. Steve is a well known proponent of Field Service Management and has been responsible for several innovations in this discipline. He has presented at the “Service Management Europe” exhibition, is a member of the “Computer Weekly 500” club of leading IT Directors in the UK, a Fellow of the British Computer Society and a Chartered Information Technology Professional. He lives on the island and in addition to his UK work he provides strategic business and IT consultancy services through his local company, SBA.