At Kimpton, we are continually striving to improve and develop the level of service we provide to our clients. In 2008 we teamed up with a software company to develop our own Field Service Management (FSM) software. The aim was to help us to deliver a more consistently professional service to our customers whilst allowing us to fully track the progress of a job.
The system enabled us to manage the process of any job from initial call to the office, right through to scheduling the engineer on their Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) and then when completed, track it back to the central system for invoicing.
There were other software companies around at the time, who had similar, off the shelf management packages, but there were none that could provide the level of detail and flexibility we needed to deliver our bespoke planned maintenance packages. It took a little while to perfect, but after six months development and field testing we had a system that delivered exactly what was required.
Since this first ‘beta’ version of the software, we have continued to invest in its development and the scope of what it can deliver has been continually tweaked and extended to cope with the changing needs of the market, the hardware available and our customers’ requirements. Whilst the system only allowed asset updates through the central system, it was developed so engineers in the field could also input valuable information.
All of this may sound quite up to date, or standard for a company like our own who are offering maintenance services throughout the North West and often beyond. But this is just the start point and we are now undertaking an even bolder new redesign and reconfiguration to create an even better FSM product.
So as a customer, or potential customer of Kimptons, you may well ask “So what? What’s in it for us? Why should we care?”
We believe this further investment will enable us to deliver better service, more consistently and with far better ongoing information provision – Here’s why.
Ongoing audits are part of all of our lives now. If any component or system needs regular servicing or certification – such as a Fire Damper, there will inevitably be an audit that follows to ensure it is being carried out correctly. This means a growing requirement for immediate access to more digital ‘paperwork’ and a system to ensure that all works are carried out to the agreed standard and perhaps more importantly, this can be proven.
The new system specifically helps with this in the following ways:
It allows more visibility on the web portal to allow immediate access to documentation during audits. Barcoding and barcode recognition on PDA’s will identify an asset on site and automatically generate the correct report, its history and what is required for continued compliance, which saves engineering and administration time.
This makes asset management and history far more manageable and ensures assets in the field are not ‘forgotten’ or overlooked for critical maintenance and safety works.
The system will generate KPI’s for customers, so they know what industry best practice looks like and ensures these targets are managed and met.
It will attach photos to all reports which may not seem like an important feature until you start trying to track down something from a description with no idea of where to start looking and what you’re looking for.
It allows us to manage van stock and stores stock more closely. The system tracks which are the most commonly used service and repair parts, so our team on site are never without these and therefore able to respond faster to problems with a higher percentage of first time fixes during repair visits.
The system allows live tracking of engineer movements so we can give you a more accurate ETA on any job.Service Level Agreements are commonplace now. These are set up within the system to help us with job prioritisation and tracking.
Live and mobile information sharing. In the early versions of the software, updates were only available at the time they were synced. With the latest software, the latest updates are pushed direct to the user immediately, whether the update is coming from the central hub or via an individual user.
It’s no longer possible to sign off a job on the system if it is incomplete. Any completion work required or additional works are automatically reported so they can be costed if necessary and added back into the schedule.
Being cloud-based, rather than on an individual server, security protocols are even higher than previously, so you can be assured that your data is 100% safe.
All of these added features and benefits will allows us to deliver an even better service experience to our customers. It will allow access to individual asset history, future planned maintenance works, invoices and KPI’s from any place and at any time.
With the support from our software development partners, the new FSM will be able to directly interface with our customers own Computer Aided Facilities Management (CAFM) systems. This can massively reduce the time wasted on re-inputting information into systems when it has already been generated elsewhere. This also reduces the risk of transposition errors, where a simple wrong keystroke can change the whole focus of a report.
With only a three month window to complete the works and implement the updated system the pressure is on, but we’ve delivered before, the business has been delivering consistently for over 50 years, so we’re confident we’ll deliver this on schedule too.