Sarah Nicastro, editor for Field Technologies recently spoke with Ben van der Werff, Continuous Improvement Manager for Pon Cat on how the company recently streamlined its service scheduling and billing processes with Trimble.
Pon Cat operates as the official Caterpillar dealer in the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden and Denmark. It has approximately 1000 service technicians who provide heavy equipment maintenance and repair services to customers across the four countries it serves.
Ben van der Werff has been spearheading a modernization effort for Pon Cat’s field operations for the past three years. The effort began with the recognition that not only were Pon Cat’s methods for scheduling, dispatching, work order management, and invoicing different across each of its locations – but none of the methods were efficient.
Pon Cat decided it was time to modernize operations, and sought a system that would not only bring its dealers up to date but also would standardize processes among locations to ensure more consistency, greater visibility, and streamlined customer service.
Pon Cat evaluated five vendors before selecting Trimble PULSE™, an end-to-end service management solution, with tools for service contracts, work order management, intelligent scheduling, field mobility and state-of-the-art performance analytics.
Technology Is Easy, Change Is Hard
As van der Werff reflects on the project thus far, he’s clear that the biggest hurdle isn’t the technology itself but managing the change that comes along with a modernization project like this one.
To manage the change it was introducing, Pon Cat developed a structured training program for techs and service staff which emphasized the ease of use of the solution. “We did two days of training, one for the technicians and one for the dispatchers – then we spent an additional half day focusing on the change management aspect,” says van der Werff. Supervisors were included too to ensure everyone was on the same page about why the solution was being introduced and what its intended use was.
The feedback Pon Cat received from its field technicians was almost unanimously positive. In fact, one technician pointed out that it took him eight months to learn the previous system and “it still didn’t make sense. The new solution I mastered in half a day.”
Field Service Software Pays Off
With the system in place, there is now company-wide visibility into field operations. This visibility helps dispatchers to schedule more effectively. Previously they were using three systems for scheduling; now they are using just this one. The insight dispatchers now have enables them to not only optimize the use of resources, but also ensure customer commitments are being met.
With the mobile app, field technicians are able to view, update, and capture job information in the field and all of this data is instantly updated in the back office. This means no more administrative work for technicians leading to improved productivity, and far better business insight due to the amount and accuracy of data being captured in the field and shared in real-time. Field technician productivity has increased five percent.
Whereas invoices were sent anywhere from 20 to 50 days after service under the old system, now more than 80 percent of tasks are reported/closed on the same day they’re executed – which means invoices are sent sooner and Pon Cat’s service-to-cash cycle is improved.
With timekeeping and payroll tied together in the same system, Pon Cat has been able to reduce non-billable hours paid to employees from six percent to zero.
To read the full case study from Field Technologies visit: https://www.fieldtechnologiesonline.com/doc/pon-cat-modernizes-field-service-to-boost-efficiency-improve-visibility-0001