Bevan Group’s new system relies on hand-held personal digital assistants (PDAs) which are carried by each engineer and linked to a central control room.
These allow the location of every service van to be tracked at all times, whether receiving details of a call out or updating the control centre on the progress of a job and its completion. Customers can also log on to a live on-line update and follow the progress of their call-out – or even add a job to the system themselves.
Aftercare manager Roy Shelton explains: “Our response times were already good but since introducing the new system we’ve been able to reduce them still further.
“This is because the operator in our control room who takes the call requesting assistance can see at a glance where all of our engineers are, and allocate the job to the one who is closest to the customer’s location at that precise moment.
“Using his PDA the engineer can then update us quickly and easily when he reaches the scene, identifies the problem, and – where possible – fixes it. He can also take photographs of the repair, attach them to the completed job paperwork, with the customer’s signature. Each of these updates is sent directly to our control centre and can be relayed immediately to the customer’s own traffic office, so they are kept fully in the picture.”