By Dan Dillon, Vice President of Marketing, Mobile Reach
It is a commonly held truth that the larger a field force automation deployment, the more complex. This is all the truer when the deployment spans the globe.
At a recent conference in Las Vegas, I sat down with Cecelia von Tiesenhausen-Hush, a business process analyst at Rockwell Collins, to talk about how Rockwell enables their field technicians at major airports around the world to service the equipment that travelers and airport personnel use every day to keep people moving through terminals and safe in the air.
What field services is Rockwell Collins providing at airports?
We keep terminal and ground operations running smoothly. We routinely service assets such as ticketing kiosks, information displays, printers, and other types of hardware. Our field techs rely on data and information to resolve incidents, and all of that is handled with our service management platform. Our techs use a variety of mobile apps to manage incidents and assets from their phones, which tie back into our enterprise system. Our dispatch app enables real-time communications between the tech, the service desk and the tech’s entire group so everyone is aware of what’s happening.
How do you manage assets from your app?
All of our equipment has company-specific barcodes. We use these directly in our app, whether a tech is using the scanning feature or entering it in manually. Most people use the scanning functionality because things are moving so fast in the field that it’s difficult to keep up if they don't.
What features of your mobile app are most useful to your field force?
Our technicians really like to have all the information they need to handle an incident before they even get started on the job. We work at many of the largest airports in the world, and techs often need to walk a mile or more to get to the site of an incident. They don’t want to walk that mile, realize they forgot a part or a tool, and have to walk all the way back to get those things. They know what they need before they accept the ticket so they’re fully prepared to solve the issue the first time around.
What's the biggest challenge in deploying field service apps to technicians around the globe?
The biggest challenge we have is that the lack of complete standardization across work sites. Sometimes we have requirements that are site-specific, so we need to design something that works for that site but also doesn't adversely affect the other sites. It’s a delicate balance between having something standard across the board while also customizing each site. One of the things that has worked very well was doing a gradual rollout when we were first training everyone globally to use the apps. Adoption and compliance were much higher that way.
Rockwell Collins’ full field service story is available in the case study, “Providing Better Customer Service and Reducing Costs with Field Service Management Apps.”