Whilst The Automobile Association (The AA) might be a trusted brand that is better known for Roadside Assistance, the renewed growth of the Home Services business is now benefiting from end-to-end field service management software supplied by Solarvista, which includes a full integration with PartsArena Pro.
This gives The AA engineers mobile knowledge management technology like never before. Reviewing performance since its initial launch in September 2016, the statistics confirm just how positive this move has been.
PartsArena Pro was uniquely developed to drive efficiencies in the UK heating service industry, using Infomill’s AnswersAnywhere platform. This innovative platform can create a knowledge management tool for any industry worldwide that suffers from an unproductive “knowledge gap” between manufacturer and parts information, and the field service engineer out on site.
As an integral part of the Solarvista field service system, PartsArena Pro is now supplying this critical knowledge to The AA’s Home Service heating engineers, via offline Windows mobile devices. They can access the latest data and information such as exploded diagrams, parts codes and manufacturer technical manuals whilst out in the field.
This facilitates a speedy and accurate parts search coupled with the ability to add parts lists directly into the job for automated ordering, reducing engineer and back office effort and markedly improving ‘Second Time Fix’ rate.
The AA Home Services business currently has directly employed heating and plumbing engineers out in the field and their performance since the installation of the new Solarvista system with PartsArena Pro included has been significant:
- Overall productivity improvement of 15% (this is continually rising)
- 17% improvement in ‘First Time Fix’ rates
- PartsArena Pro specifically improving ‘Second Time Fix’ rates
- 8% reduction in time on site
- Tasks per shift improvement of 15%
- Reduction in calls made to the contact centre by 20%
“In the age of self-service and automation, delivering fully integrated systems to the benefit of our members, employees and business alike was a critical requirement within our transformation project.
The integration between Solarvista and PartsArena Pro that we have developed supports our engineers in resolving our members’ home emergencies as effectively and quickly as possible; and more of them per day, whilst also delivering a world class experience to our members.
The project has delivered significant improvements to both ‘First and Second Time Fix’ rates, significant improvement to our engineers’ productivity, whilst also enabling our engineers to very quickly and accurately order parts and book their own return visits face-to-face with members via their mobile devices. Additionally, their own core van stock of parts auto-replenishes without anyone having to place orders,” says Ash Cripps, Home Services Business Systems Manager, The AA plc.
Paul Allen is a heating and plumbing engineer for The AA. Shortlisted for the business’s upcoming Engineer of the Year award, he has this to say about PartsArena Pro: “Using PartsArena Pro has become part of my routine when servicing or repairing appliances to either get part numbers, fault finding charts or specific servicing routines that certain manufacturers ask for.
The installation manuals and detailed diagrams make doing the job so much easier, which reduces the time spent on each job, helping you to get more visits completed in your working day.
And you also have the confidence that the part you have ordered will be the correct one as you can see it clearly in the diagrams. Most parts also have a photo in the information to help you identify them accurately. It is great to not have to pick up the phone to order parts or arrange any return visits.”
PartsArena Pro is a very successful example of how knowledge management technology can make a significant contribution to the productivity and efficiency of a business, reducing operating costs, increasing profitability and enhancing customer service. The trend for field service software companies to integrate this type of innovative software into their systems is enriching the service available to many organisations operating in the heating service industry, whilst giving field service software operators a distinctive competitive advantage.
Meanwhile, Infomill is talking to businesses in other industries about how the AnswersAnywhere platform can present a ‘game-changer’ to productivity, as Jonathan Ralphs, Infomill CEO explains: “We’re delighted that PartsArena Pro is part of the performance success of The AA’s Home Services business, delivering enhanced customer service to homes across the UK. The project very clearly demonstrates the potential of PartsArena Pro and indeed our AnswersAnywhere platform, from which it is built. Infomill can create an innovative knowledge management tool for any industry worldwide that suffers from an unproductive “knowledge gap” between manufacturer and parts information, and the field service engineer out on site.
Service technicians need the right knowledge at their fingertips to make informed, accurate and quick decisions; increasing their level of productivity significantly. To achieve this is a distinct competitive advantage and that is exactly what AnswersAnywhere can do.”
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