This time I propose to write an article on After Sales Force Automation based on exchanges I had with a good friend of mine.
We will discover a project lead by Antonio, an IT&S manager at Gunnebo Spain. He is based in Barcelona. The main stake of this project was on how to optimize After Sales Service.
You can click on this link to obtain the french version !
Let’s start the interview!

Could you explain to us the activity of Gunnebo and its organization?
The Gunnebo group, whose headquarters are based in Sweden, is a worldwide leader in security. Sales companies where Gunnebo is implanted are organized by business areas with each business area delivering security solutions and expertise in its own domain.
We have 4 BA:

  • Bank security and cash handling
  • Secure storage (Protecting valuables from burglary and fire)
  • Entrance control
  • Services (installation and after-sales support)

Gunnebo Spain is one of the Gunnebo sales companies comprising 400 employees including 130 technicians based in Spain.

What is the process from an incident request to the billing?
The process can be broken down into several distinct steps :

<Incident request>
Our client has 2 ways to reach support. He can access an extranet and create an incident ticket on line (the frontal web is interfaced with an ERP via file exchanges), or by calling a national number, he will reach one of our 2 call centres (Barcelona or Madrid).
Whatever the origin of the request, once it is registered in our system (MOVEX that has an ASS module), a team of dispatchers is then responsible for delegating the incident ticket to a technician according to different criteria; (type of contract, localization, type of equipment needing repairs, the availability of a qualified technician…).

<Trouble ticket>
When the dispatcher team has found the good technician, a software pushes all the operations on the technician pda at regular intervals i.e. every 10 mins.This includes information such as the last 5 operations conducted.
The technician’s pda automatically reconnects to the system every 20mins.
When the technician travels to conduct an operation, he must change the status of the operation via his pda, this starts the calculation of the time to arrive at the client’s location. When he arrives on location, he must then manually enter in his pda, the number of kms covered. He is then ready to start the operation (he must change the status on his pda); at this moment the calculation of the time operation is beginning.
The technician has to put information on his pda before closing the operation such as spare part used type of breakdown …

<Billing & supply>
Once completed, the client can sign the work order on the pda or on paper. The work orders done on paper will are sent to the billing center on a daily basis.
Each day a MRP is launched for the spare parts. Every morning (the technician goes to a warehouse to check if he has received his spare parts.

What were the stakes that led you to decide to implement the use of pdas by your technicians?

  • Improving the period of time to solve a problem and thereby improving the efficiency of our technicians
  • Improving the billing process
  • Optimizing the spare parts stock
  • A better organization of the travel time to the clients location and intervention time

How were you organized for this project?
The After Sales Services Manager headed the project while I was in charge of ITS issues (software, hardware, network …).

Could you describe the architecture from an IT&S point of view?
We worked with VODAFONE for the Telecom aspects (voice & data) and to develop interfaces between our ERP and the pda system.
The After Sales Service operations were managed on our Movex ERP (handling calls, managing incident tickets, our list of clients, repair parts, contracts, billing etc.).
We bought 130 pdas for out technicians.

Did you face any technical difficulties? We had to work with VODAFONE to resolve issues regarding bandwidth distribution between data and voice. At the beginning the voice didn’t have enough bandwidth and this was a huge handicap for our technicians.

And to conclude, according to you, what are the positive aspects and which are the areas that need improvement?
Now our users cannot work without this pda system.
The only word I have in mind is SUCCESS !!!
A success in a technical point of view but also in the way we worked closely with the business

I would like to extend my gratitude to you Antonio for your willingness to participate in this interview and share your expertise with us!