The Vivawest Group
is a facility service provider in the housing industry whose four operating companies offer all the required services for the management of large real estate inventories – from the maintenance of green and open spaces, through the re-pair and modernization of apartments, the provision of cable TV and Internet to utility billing. The group is a major player in the industry with over 900 staff and has an annual revenue of roughly €100 m.
In 2013, the Vivawest Group decided to implement FLS VISITOUR and the mobile solution FLS MOBILE as scheduling software in its trade services division. At RHZ Handwerkszentrum GmbH over 120 service technicians are responsible for carrying out small-scale repairs in approximately 70,000 apartments.
Project implementation was quite challenging and involved taking a large number of scheduling parameters into account. A typical problem for the housing industry is that apartments and buildings feature differing furnishings and styles, which not only de-pend on when they were built but also on the type of building and regional location.
Furthermore, the exact mapping of staff qualifications and skills and comprehensive access to necessary consumables in the system are also essential. Complex repairs which demand the staggered deployment of technicians from various trades pose even greater challenges for scheduling.
Service center staff are only able to offer customers a precise time window for repair work during the first phone call if all these scheduling parameters are taken into account.
The solution with FLS VISITOUR and FLS MOBILE
Using FLS VISITOUR it was possible to map all the RHZ service process requirements in a single scheduling software solution. Christian Kirschfink, division manager IT services: "Besides the route and skills, an economically viable scheduling process must consider numerous other factors. This is where FLS VISITOUR came out on top."
All the technicians have been equipped with the current hybrid solution of FLS MOBILE. Due to its user friendliness, the smartphone app was an instant hit with the 120 members of staff. Out in the field it soon became apparent that the software offers technicians the required transparency to schedule their own working days. And it also guarantees qualified contact with customers, as all the call information is available on the mobile device.
The transfer of status messages in real time supports dynamic appointment and route scheduling in FLS VISITOUR. The software uses feedback from the field to optimize upcoming routes continuously and fully automatically. This increases scheduling efficiency enormously and allows back office staff to give customers reliable data about on-site appointments.
The reason for using FLS VISITOUR was clear, yet challenging: to increase customer satisfaction by arranging binding appointments, cutting repair times, and reducing process costs through more efficient repair mechanisms. "FLS VISITOUR provides the support we need to achieve our aims," says Dr. Michael Koppitz, managing director of RHZ Handwerkszentrum GmbH. "In the meantime, 90% of customers rate our services as very good or good." The scheduling process has also been enhanced considerably. Available capacities are now used to support customer service activities.
"We have made a quantum leap in the exchange of information with technicians," claims Christian Kirschfink, division manager IT services. Before the implementation of FLS MOBILE, call and customer reports were completed on paper by hand and then forwarded to the respective department. Now, thanks to the app, all the processes are paperless.