Videojet Technologies is a world-leading manufacturer of marking systems, fluids, and accessories for product identification. The company has 2,600 employees across 26 locations worldwide. Looking to streamline service management by enhancing its existing business solution based on Microsoft Dynamics NAV, the company worked with Microsoft Certified Partner Optimal Solutions and deployed the add-in Laps Field Service. Since deployment, Videojet has reduced call-handling time by 75 percent, improved customer service, and optimized routing of technicians, resulting in a return on investment in less than a year.
|With the integrated solution of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Laps Field Service, we can schedule our technicians within seconds after a service request comes in and reduce the number of reschedules.|
IT Director, Videojet Technologies
Videojet Technologies is a world-leading manufacturer of marking systems, fluids, and accessories for product identification. Videojet printers apply high-quality alphanumeric codes, logos, and graphics to nearly any surface at virtually any line speed, angle, or location on a product or package. The company has 2,600 employees across 26 branches worldwide.
In 2003, Videojet made the strategic decision to standardize its European operations on Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Since then, Videojet has provided the solution to 400 employees across Europe.
Videojet uses Microsoft Dynamics NAV to handle finances, order entry, purchases, payables, inventory, service contracts, and warranties. In addition, the company has included Microsoft Dynamics NAV in part of a broader integrated solution that includes a database and two service management solutions. By using Microsoft BizTalk Server to facilitate integration, employees can place purchase orders directly in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which then routes through the database solution to send a confirmation to the customer or subsidiary and produce an invoice. In addition, when a service representative creates an order for a service request in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, a few simple clicks in one of the service management solutions sends the request over GPRS to the service technician in the field. The service representative then accesses the other service management solution to transfer the sales order from Microsoft Dynamics NAV to the technician’s laptop.
To take the business further, company leadership recognized the need for additional, service management capabilities. At this time, service dispatchers relied on experience to estimate job times and match the right technicians to the right jobs. And because service technicians often lacked Internet connectivity in the field, they could not access the sales orders and fill out details—such as what services they performed, how many hours it took, and travel times—on their laptops until they established an Internet connection when they arrived home. This data would then synchronize with Microsoft Dynamics NAV to produce the invoice. Looking back at the technology the company used at the time, Colin Morgan, IT Director of Videojet, says, “With around 300,000 devices in the field, we generate significant revenue from ongoing services and maintenance. Because of that, we needed a way to get the right technician to the job as quick as possible, reduce travel costs, and reduce revisits due to incorrect skills or parts.”
In regards to dispatching, Morgan notes, “Because we offer such a broad range of technologies, we couldn’t expect every service technician to be able to service everything. We needed to know who was closest to the job, who had the right parts, who had the right skills, and how long a typical job of that type would take so that we could make the most efficient use of technicians’ time and skills.”Solution
To streamline service management, Videojet Technologies worked with Microsoft Certified Partner Optimal Solutions to deploy Laps Field Service, an add-on solution for Microsoft Dynamics NAV. Laps Field Service enhances the solution to automatically suggest assignments for field technicians and includes service-level agreements, skills, and travel time in planning assignments. And in case of delays—for example, if a job runs over—Laps Field Service can adjust schedules accordingly. The add-on also provides dispatchers with an overview of field service operations. Says Morgan, “Now, when a customer calls with a service request, the service representative retrieves the customer data in Microsoft Dynamics NAV and finds the service item. Then, with the click of a button, the representative routes the data through Laps Field Service in less than 30 seconds, matching the best technician to the job based on geography, available parts, and skill sets. Better yet, this all happens while the customer is still on the phone, so we can tell them exactly when to expect to see a technician.”
In addition, field service technicians can now use PDAs to record job details, including start, travel, and completion times. “All the details of the job are coming into Microsoft Dynamics NAV in real time, providing us with an up-to-date view of the business,” says Morgan. By using their PDAs, technicians can now also view a Gantt chart of all their jobs for the day. For Morgan, the self-learning capabilities of the solution have proved particularly impressive. He says, “If we decide that an inkjet repair takes an hour but technicians are completing such jobs in 45 minutes, the solution will automatically adjust the job time to 45 minutes, making us a more efficient company.”Benefits
By making Microsoft Dynamics NAV a central part to its integrated business management solution, Videojet Technologies runs a streamlined operation. Enhancements to its service management capabilities through the solution have enabled the company to reduce call-handling time, improve customer service, and gain operational efficiency.
Reduce Call-Handling Time by 75 Percent
Because the solution suggests the right technician for the right job, it cuts out the guesswork and manual labor for the service representatives, saving precious time. Says Morgan, “The integrated solution has reduced the amount of time we have to talk to a customer on the phone by 75 percent—maybe even more. Before, we would have to put the customer on hold and look up who was available.”
Morgan also adds that, “Because the solution suggests technicians for jobs, it has significantly eased the hiring and training process for dispatchers.”
Generate ROI in Less Than a Year
By more effectively routing services technicians with help from the integrated solution, Videojet has achieved a rapid return-on-investment (ROI). Says Morgan, “Thanks to the GPS and geocoding capabilities of the integrated solution of Laps Field Service and Microsoft Dynamics NAV, we can more efficiently route people throughout the day, which has provided an ROI in less than a year.”
Improve Customer Service
Now that the right technicians are associated to the jobs best suited for them, based on their location and their skills sets, customer service has improved. Says Morgan, “We are getting service technicians to our customers more quickly—often, ahead of time—and we can complete the job with a higher level of quality assurance. In addition, the solution has completely eliminated the chance for dispatcher error.”
Gain Operational Efficiency
Now when technicians complete assignments, Videojet Technologies can invoice for services that technicians deliver as soon as the updates from the field become available in Microsoft Dynamics NAV, where accounts receivable managers can access them. That means the company can book service revenue significantly faster than before. The company has also been able to schedule technicians faster and reduce reschedules, which were, in the past, a result of having the wrong skill set or parts for the job. Says Morgan, “With the integrated solution of Microsoft Dynamics NAV and Laps Field Service, we can schedule our technicians within seconds after a service request comes in and reduce the number of reschedules.”