Throughout the implementation of this solution, PiiComm provided exceptional knowledge and expertise. PiiComm’s guidance made the project successful.
—Bill Gu, Senior Buyer, EastLink
For customer-focused EastLink, the PiiComm Mobile Workforce solution provided immediate, positive Business outcomes including:
- Increases service orders handled
- Ensures data accuracy to enhance customer satisfaction
- Enables real-time expediting of urgent orders
- Supports EastLink goal of one-call resolution
- Reduces administrative paper handling and associated costs
- Provides a dedicated enterprise support centre with PiiComm’s Mobile Service Desk
Enhancing the Efficiency and Effectiveness of the Work Order Process
EastLink is a privately owned and operated cable company providing a wide range of communications, entertainment, television, and advertising services across Atlantic Canada, Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba and British Columbia. They serve residential, business and public sector customers across the country with field technicians and contractors performing installations, service and problem troubleshooting.
To enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of its work order process, EastLink planned to move its field technicians from a paper-based system to an automated process. “Our focus is fulfilling our promise to the customer, and we wanted to enhance accuracy and speed in the field,” said Bill Gu, Senior Buyer for EastLink. “We required a real-time solution that would allow technicians to get work orders from dispatch remotely and to report back regarding their jobs, all without paper.”
A Total Solution from PiiComm:
Experience, Services, and Motorola Technology
“In selecting a vendor, we looked carefully at the total solution including experience and services,” said Rick Lewis, Director of National IT Infrastructure at EastLink.
“PiiComm offered in-depth experience in hand-held technology and applications,” Gu said. “This was a huge project, implementing for hundreds of units across Canada. PiiComm’s skill and coordination of managing the entire project was critical for us and helped speed up the process.”
PiiComm worked closely with the EastLink team on the installation, providing the PiiComm Mobile Service Desk program as a centralized, consolidated means of managing the staging process. “PiiComm’s MobileService Desk was a core component of our installation and delivering the product,” Lewis said.
“The project involved deploying to hundreds of towns and cities across 6 provinces and working with a variety of vendors, and PiiComm’s staging was a significant support,” said Susan Park, Project Manager, EastLink. “Time and time again, PiiComm went above and beyond for us,” Park added. “PiiComm is truly a customer-oriented company: they are quick to recognize existing and imminent problems and quick to provide a resolution.”
In choosing mobile computers, EastLink made a thorough review. “We are already a large user of Motorola products, and included them in our evaluation while also bringing in another major vendor,” Gu explained.
After evaluating product and service specifics and pricing, the EastLink team chose the Motorola MC75 Enterprise Digital Assistant (EDA) and PiiComm’s Mobile Service Desk as the best fit for their needs. “The Motorola MC75 is a proven technology that supports a wide range of applications,” Gu stated. “Also, the MC75 is rugged, it’s expandable in terms of memory size and other features, and the battery life is exceptional.”
Gu noted that one very helpful aspect of PiiComm support was information from other Motorola customers. “Insights based on the experiences of other users—on subjects including vehicle mounts, battery spare pool, and memory size—were very helpful to us during the project.” Gu emphasized that PiiComm is more than just another vendor to EastLink. “PiiComm is very responsive, very knowledgeable, and we have built a great partnership with them. They understood our requirements and knew how to provide the right solution. When the PiiComm team could not answer a question right away, they got back to us in a very timely manner.”
Improved Efficiency, Customer Satisfaction and Bottom Line
Approximately 650 EastLink field technicians and contractors rely on the enterprise mobility solution on a daily basis. “Using the Motorola MC75, they get the answer to ‘where am I going today?’, get information about the customer and address, and about the issue or installation,” Park said. “Any facts that need to go back onto the work order are entered on the MC75, and when the technicians sign off at the end of the day, it’s done on the MC75.”
The new system ensures data accuracy and all work orders are done in real time, increasing customer satisfaction. “We can fulfill our promise to the customer,” Gu stated. “We are also able to reduce any errors previously made due to double order entry or misinterpreted hand writing, and this has had a great impact on effectiveness and efficiency of our process.”
Increased efficiency and productivity for the EastLink field technicians are key benefits of the enterprise mobility solution. “Dispatching remotely and communicating in real-time with the field has speeded up the work order process tremendously,” Gu said. “We can now handle more service orders per day since this implementation.”
Before automation of these processes there was a time delay, but now that all orders are completed in real time, the EastLink field team can follow through on emergencies and urgent requests right away.
“One of our formal service goals is one-call resolution—essentially a technician or field staff going to a customer site and doing an entire task in one visit,” Park said. This mobile solution definitely supports that target.” The ability to track field technicians is also an important employee safety feature, Gu emphasized. “Our monitoring centre can now react quickly to any problems that might surface in the field. We know exactly where the unit is and can provide assistance, if needed.”
One example of how the mobile solution speeds problem identification and resolution is an EastLink troubleshooting tool used at customer sites to get signal-to-noise ratios. “Previously, the field team needed to call a technician or a technical manager and have that person obtain and read those levels to them,” Lewis said. “Now the field team can connect to the server using the Motorola EDA and get the levels themselves—they don’t need to wait and there’s no need to take another staff member’s time”. “We got rid of paper, which obviously saves money, but that’s a small component of the actual cost savings we are seeing,” Park said. “Improved communications and dispatching means drive times and fleet fuel consumption rates are decreased”.
This total solution is helping EastLink provide superior support to its employees and customers, thanks to PiiComm. “PiiComm added value at each stage: selection, implementation and support. They continue to provide a quality of guidance that makes them a trusted partner,” Gu concluded.
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