JF Tire Service, a tire repair service provider in the Greater Toronto Area, contracts with a variety of businesses and municipalities that operate fleets. The company performs preventative maintenance and road service on more than 10,000 units encompassing a wide variety of tire sizes and wheel types. Technicians in the field perform the service work, while office staff is responsible for dispatching, invoicing, and administration. The operation has traditionally been paper-based, however, the company quickly realized the need for a paperless solution that would help automate and streamline its operations enabling them to grow and deliver more value to their customers.
The company utilized an extensive paper-based work order system; however, as they continued to expand, the amount of paper became overwhelming. The latency between performance of service and invoicing was often as much as four to six-weeks which ultimately delayed payments creating cash-flow and customer service issues. Most importantly, lack of electronic access was impacting business growth, as JF Tire Service determined it was losing an estimated $20,000-30,000 per year due simply to lost paperwork. The company also experienced problems with errors transcribing paper work orders to invoices, limited manpower productivity due to paper-chasing, and lack of visibility in the field to follow up work. Technician access to unit histories, follow ups and pending appointments was limited and continued to be an area of concern.
In addition, their customers were starting to demand access to more information faster. The need was arising with various customers to be able to access their service and invoice histories in way that would enable them to dissect and analyze historical patterns and cost allocations. With a paper process, unless every single work order is manually entered into some kind of central database, being able to deliver this kind of information is next to impossible. JF Tire realized that the key to success in resolving all of their issues was to have a solution that would support electronic capture of service data in the field, bypassing paper altogether.
KMP had already built many systems for managing distribution, service, manufacturing, and depot repair businesses. Building on this platform and experience, a tablet-based field service solution was designed to replace paper in the field with tablet PCs running software written by KMP. The solution would operate offline and support a two-way synchronization of data between the field and the office using a broadband connection supplied by Telus. Dispatching, work order capture, signature capture, access to history, follow ups, and invoicing would be streamlined. The office would be connected to the field in near real-time.
KMP would host the entire solution using their servers and Internet connection so that J. F. Tire would not have to make the investment in the infrastructure. This is known in the industry as an SAAS or Software-as-a-Service solution.
In addition, to the Tablet PC solution, a web portal was designed to enable individual customers to log in to a secure website to gain access to work order and invoice history. Through this portal, customers could easily download historical information into a spreadsheet for further analysis.
- No more paper. No more chasing, losing or transcribing paper. No more forms to purchase.
- Saved time and money. Dispatching, work order capture, signature capture, and invoicing have been streamlined.
- Invoicing delays were reduced. Customers were being invoiced as quickly as next day.
- Reduction in errors. All required information is captured at point of purchase and never re-transcribed.
- Access to unit history. Technicians/customer can see the entire service history of a unit.
- Improved customer service. Customers can view work and invoice history online.
- Follow ups are not forgotten. The tablet reminds the technician about follow up work.