Headquartered in Germany, Deutz AG is one of the world’s largest independent drivetrain and engine manufacturers. It supplies diesel engines to customers in many applications and sectors, including construction, screening and crushing, power generation, airport support and agricultural equipment. The company’s UK branch is based in Cannock in the Midlands at the heart of the country’s engineering sector.
In the UK, Deutz has extensive warehouse facilities, an integrated workshop, a customer support centre, and a specialist team of mobile service engineers. This infrastructure provides warranty, parts, and service support to customers across the country.
Deutz AG — UK Branch uses a multi-region SAP ERP solution to manage engine supply and stock. However, in the UK, the service management component was supplemented by an established but ageing service management software platform. The software was unable to provide engineers with engine history or meter readings. This meant when Deutz’s service desk team allocated a job to an engineer, the engineer had to email a service desk colleague who would then have to get the engine information from SAP and email it back. It was far from an efficient process.
Furthermore, engineers had no visibility on engine history and could not access details of previous work on specific units. As a result, engineers and Deutz’s other office-based employees were not working as efficiently as they could. And, when working remotely, engineers frequently lacked the information they needed to complete a job in a single visit.
Deutz AG — UK Branch selected Asolvi’s Tesseract solution to manage and coordinate its field service work across the country. The company was able to deploy Tesseract out-of-the-box with only minimal customisation. A small modification was required because, although Tesseract offers integrated stock management functionality, Deutz holds its stock of engine components within SAP, which operates in isolation from Tesseract. To get around this issue, Asolvi designed an automated process that creates a copy of the parts order raised by the engineer for SAP directly into Service Centre. This mimics the stock process so that part usage can be logged and reported from Tesseract.
Field access to crucial engine metrics
Engineers log engine hours against serial numbers at each visit. Tesseract makes this mandatory in its Remote Engineer Access 6 mobile app, ensuring that usage history can be tracked. This is a key metric for assessing whether a job is carried out as a warranty claim or a regular part replacement or service.
Tesseract makes this information available to field engineers with just a couple of clicks. The engineers simply type in the engine serial number, press an icon, and see the entire service history and total usage. This helps improve engineer efficiency and allows engineers to progress jobs without seeking help from office-based colleagues. It also means there’s a higher likelihood of engineers delivering a first-time fix.
“Tesseract makes life much easier for our engineers,” explains Iain Gillies, Warranty Administrator at Deutz AG — UK Branch. “Poor communication can create misunderstandings and reduce efficiency. But with Tesseract, all the information is easily accessible by engineers in real-time when they need it. This enables them to make much more informed decisions and ultimately deliver an even higher standard of service to our customers.”
Engineer job allocation
Tesseract facilitates engineer allocation — working out which engineer is best suited for each job. To do this, the software limits engineer availability based on location (by area code) and skill (matched by product family). When allocating a job, Tesseract presents Deutz’s helpdesk team with all the available engineers, in order of distance from customer, point-to-point from either engineer base location, or last job if planning for a same-day fix.
Engineer location data
Asolvi’s software provides engineers with location services so they can plan the quickest route to customer sites. It also provides engineer location data to service centre staff. This allows the service desk team to advise customers on approximate engineer arrival times and inform them if an engineer is going to be late for a job. At a management level, Tesseract allows Deutz AG — UK Branch to monitor engineer team efficiency and ensure they’re getting the best possible utilisation.
Tesseract provides Deutz’s engineers with a checklist for each job. This function is designed to improve the chances of a first-time fix and ensure Deutz’s high customer service standards are met on each job
Browser-based and device-independent
“We were drawn to Asolvi’s Tesseract solution as it’s device independent — it just requires a web browser,” comments Iain. “This means engineers can move freely and securely between different devices, giving them more flexibility than would typically be available to them within a field service solution. In addition, as Tesseract is cloud-based, data is stored off-site and managed by Asolvi. Should we have a power outage or a fire in our office, we’d still be able to gain access to our system.”
Faster and simplified job reporting
Before selecting Tesseract, engineers often completed job reports in an evening or over a weekend — slowing down invoicing or delaying scheduling of further site visits if they were required.
“Delays in completing job reports were a big deal as they had the potential to impact cash flow across the organisation and extend job completion times,” recalls Iain. “By contrast, reporting is an integral part of the job within Tesseract. The software has made it easier for our engineers to complete their reports on site, even without an internet connection. As such, engineer return times on job reports are better now than they’ve ever been.”
Iain concludes: “Tesseract has made the lives of our engineers so much easier. Reports are easy to complete, and engineers always have direct access to vital job-related information. This means they can work in a much more autonomous and efficient way. The Asolvi team has been great to work with and is always happy to help me out if I have a question. Even in the pandemic, they were able to provide online software training to our engineers and have our team fully up-to-speed for when the system went live.”