• June 1, 2007
  • By Coreen Bailor, (former) Associate Editor, CRM Magazine

Know All, See All

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If you think boosting the productivity levels of onsite employees is a daunting task, try improving the efficiency of your field service technicians while being in the dark about their on-the-road whereabouts. That was the challenge facing TEMSCO Solutions, a provider of energy and security management services, with a client base that includes airports, financial institutions, hoteliers, manufacturing facilities, retail chains, and utilities. TEMSCO's approach to mobile field service management needed a jolt. The company employed six field service technicians, but "we had no way of tracking how much of that manpower we were actually using," says Mitch Cook, vice president of sales. A prerequisite to the solution, however, was the ability to leverage customer data housed in its existing CRM system, Salesforce.com's Professional Edition, a full-suite solution catering to SMBs. (TEMSCO launched Professional Edition in January 2004, replacing its piecemeal approach to documenting client information, which included integrating its accounting system with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.) TEMSCO decided to extend its relationship with Salesforce.com, and implemented Salesforce Service & Support in January 2006. "This portal allows customers to find answers quickly, resolve issues online from start to finish, and connect with other customers," says Kendall Collins, Salesforce.com's senior vice president of product marketing. "Agents get a 360-degree view of the customer through a Web 2.0-style call center desktop that is fast and easy to use, with seamlessly integrated telephony." About a month later, TEMSCO deployed the application on its mobile devices for its technicians, using Apex Mobile. Apex Mobile allows employees to take the SFA app and many AppExchange programs on the road. For instance, TEMSCO integrated etrace--a mobile workforce management solution from Gearworks--and an AppExchange application with Salesforce Service & Support's agent console, enabling TEMSCO to track the time service techs spend responding to service calls. "Once we started getting everybody to enter the information into Salesforce we thought it would be great to have that information flow right down to the technician's phone," Cook says. For example, when a service call gets pushed to the technician's mobile device, that employee automatically receives voice-activated driving directions. "They're never lost and I know where they're at now," Cook says. "We can actually see when they went into transit, their drive time, and when they [are] at the site. All that comes into Salesforce, which means that we can create dynamic reports on any given service call or project." TEMSCO's gains in efficiency are impressive. For starters, it trimmed overhead costs by $100,000 as a result of reducing its number of technicians by 50 percent, from six to three. It also eliminated an administrative position. And TEMSCO has not only improved its ability to accurately document contact and account information, but also improved its problem resolution, which has eliminated between 70 percent to 80 percent of callbacks--instances where technicians must go to locations that service staff have already visited because issues were not resolved during the first trip. "Information flows from the front end of sales all the way back to accounting, which is huge," Cook says. "The accuracy of the information has definitely improved and our service has improved. Now all of my personnel have the proper documentation to make sure that they correct the issue." The Payoff By implementing Salesforce Service & Support and Apex Mobile, TEMSCO Solutions:
  • lowered overhead costs by $100,000 by reducing the number of service technicians from six to three;
  • eliminated an administrative position;
  • has never had a service backlog of more than 24 hours;
  • eliminated between 70 percent and 80 percent of service callbacks; and
  • has enhanced visibility into the activities of its service technicians.
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