Magazine Article | May 22, 2007

Increase Tech Efficiency With Field Force Automation

Source: Field Technologies Magazine
Integrated Solutions, April 2007

De La Rue is a leading global commercial security printer and papermaker, involved in the production of more than 150 national currencies and a wide range of security documents such as traveler's checks and vouchers. The company has 65 mobile field techs and 7 dispatchers in Canada alone who provide maintenance and repair services for cash handling equipment to all major Canadian banks and their branches. De La Rue was having problems with its existing field service dispatch method, which was voice-based via mobile phones. This method was costly, inefficient, and error-prone. When techs arrived at customer sites, they had no access to the service history of the equipment and often lacked the proper tools to complete the job on the first visit. Also, techs frequently called the office to obtain critical information, but typically weren't able to get through to dispatchers, who spent most of their day on the phone with other techs. This resulted in a slow service-delivery cycle, where it took three to five days, on average, from the time the customer requested service to successfully completing the service call. Additionally, De La Rue's competitors were using expensive, complex wireless data systems to optimize their scheduling and dispatch operations — De La Rue needed to keep up.

De La Rue implemented a mobile solution from TrueContext, which replaces clipboards and paper-based forms with mobile devices (e.g. PDAs) and electronic versions of the paper forms. With the solution in place, dispatchers know where techs are and techs have the information necessary to do the job right the first time. Now when a tech visits a bank office to repair or service equipment, they can check the status of the other units in the office to see if any are due for preventative maintenance, thus completing multiple jobs in one visit. This productivity enhancement enabled De La Rue to reduce its service-delivery cycle from the former three to five days to less than one day. The company can handle more service calls without hiring and training new personnel or investing in costly new service vehicles and trucks. Additionally, De La Rue was able to eliminate one dispatcher position, moving that person to a different internal position.