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Moreover, it would be rather outdated to expect a customer to go through the arduous process of picking up the phone, calling a service provider, opening a ticket, and raising an invoice, just to avail the services of a field service engineer. Agelix Consulting, a management and IT company headquartered in Overland Park, KS, is delivering customized process optimization for clients that need an enhancement in their field services.
In this conversation with CIO Applications, Abinash Parida, managing partner and CEO, Agelix Consulting, underlines how his organization, through its software solutions, is helping clients realize the importance of monitoring a field service lifecycle, reducing operation costs, and a lot more.
Right at the beginning, what we discovered from client engagements, is that the service and field platform is building, and thus the cost of operation is building. They are not equipped with proper digitalization or accountability for on-time service delivery. Since they can’t create a strategy or access proper historical data, there is more room for human errors. These problems consume a lot of operation costs cumulatively, and that led to a reduction of profit margins. It’s only after observing these patterns that our field service platform came into existence.
The Trigger Points
As we delved deeper, we discovered that clients were unable to treat, or manage their problems, despite using major platforms, which have significant shortcomings, such as: 1) the cost of any major/branded platform is extremely high. 2) Training an in-house resource team, and to maintain it, is very difficult. 3) The process of data migration is very complex. 4) Most platforms work only in homogenous environments, and not in a heterogeneous environment— what that entails is that field service platforms can support only one type of a backend platform. After observing these patterns, we built a platform that can be integrated with any backend system or enterprise system, and we developed a fault tolerance methodology that ensured a client’s data is always secure.
Service Lifecycle in Offline Mode
By using our platform, customers can monitor each stage of a service lifecycle. For example, if they want to add an additional part that costs $1,000, they can place a request using the platform and track the customer-approval process. The turnaround time is rapid. Most importantly, our platform can be accessed on offline mode. Even if a customer lives in a place without connectivity, and if the technician on the field doesn’t have access to information, the data is synced automatically in the backend, whenever connectivity is found.
Before hiring us, this client was spending approximately $350- 400 million a year on servicing alone. And now, they are enjoying almost 30 percent savings from that service cost
How Clients Leverage our Platform
After initial engagement with a client, our platform can go “live” in just a month. In an ideal case, if there is quality data in the backend that doesn’t require massaging or cleaning up, our platform can be availed in just three weeks. Unlike other platforms in the market, our product can be integrated with any ERP backend, since we have a ready connector available. Moreover, our platform can be deployed in all three cloud-based services—AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud.
A Case Study
We have reduced the operating costs of one particular client by 28-31 percent. Before hiring us, they had problems aplenty. Their data had a lot of human errors, a lot of information was missing; this led to delays in invoices being sent to customers. Since they had to talk to each of the field technicians, feed the information, put it in the system, and generate the invoice manually, they were facing a high customer-rejection rate of 70 to 80 percent. Also, due to the inaccuracies in invoices, they used to lose a lot of money paying penalties. This also meant they couldn’t make analytical judgments on bidding processes and had little information about the health of operations. Before hiring us, this client was spending approximately $350-400 million a year on servicing alone. And now, they are enjoying almost 30 percent savings from that service cost. This is our biggest value add.
Why we Stand out
While most branded field service platforms levy a high initial setup fee, we charge exactly zero dollars to kickstart our services. Also, most of the major players take three to six months to integrate their platform and don’t support a heterogeneous environment, when it comes to ERP connectors. But we support all ERP platforms, and our system can work both as a standalone or can be connected to an ERP.
Preparing Clients for the Worse
We are starting to focus more on preventive, prescriptive, and diagnostic maintenance. That means we are empowering our customers to visualize more so that they can be prepared for future breakdowns, and be ready for any scheduling or disaster recovery. Through our platform, we are automating this entire process, so that the customer can always stay ahead of the curve.
Recently, we integrated with Age Analytics, which means some of the key data that is integrated can be analyzed or examined right on the site. If there is a safety issue, the platform will send out automatic alerts. This is the new product feature that we will be releasing in the near future. We have also started to integrate telematics connectors on our platform. For example, if there is a problem at the site vehicle, the platform will create a service ticket and alert the nearby technicians to attend to the vehicle. In some cases, it will also inform nearby repair shops or garages. This way, we can also extend the shelf life of equipment and parts. And finally, we are in the process of linking up with retail chains. By observing product movement, we are creating tickets that will be sent to the retail sales team. This way, they will know which product is moving quicker, or slower, and make necessary adjustments in their respective stores.