Konica Minolta South Africa clients across the country can now enjoy an entirely new and exciting aspect to the company’s service delivery, as it launches its innovative mobility project, which is comprised of two complementary systems – vCare and mobile.
vCare is a proprietary device relationship management system that connects to Konica Minolta bizhub or bizhub PRO devices, monitoring and recording the device's metre readings, technical performance, supply levels and more.
"Konica Minolta South Africa has successfully integrated its multifunctional devices into its SAP enterprise resource planning (ERP) system, meaning that the bizhub service process is becoming entirely proactive, something that will ensure optimum client uptime," says Chanelle La Cante, SAP CS & Mobility SME at Konica Minolta South Africa.
According to La Cante, by linking the bizhub devices to the organisation's ERP system via a secure Internet connection, hundreds of diagnostic areas within these machines can be continuously monitored.
Consumables, like toner, or parts that are about to reach end-of-life can now be proactively ordered via direct communication with Konica Minolta South Africa’s SAP ERP system, via vCare. The system then automatically logs services calls and despatches information to field service engineers via their mobile devices, making for a completely seamless automated process.
"Previously, the process of requesting a field service engineer was managed via our call centre, where calls were booked and then, as needed, despatched to the site. vCare has now automated this process. For those who have not yet had the vCare system installed, the call centre is still available for service call logging. However, all customers will benefit from the new mobile solution which allows for a faster turnaround time on calls, regardless of whether they are logged via vCare or the call centre, as all Konica Minolta South Africa’s field service engineers now have immediate access to more detailed information on their mobiles before they even leave for the customer, including error codes and spares needed, This eliminates most diagnostic guess work on site."
The mobile devices used by Konica Minolta South Africa field service engineers can also be utilised to access information on any outstanding calls or spares that are currently in stock, as well as for GPS routing and recording meter readings.
Customers can now sign off service calls on the mobile device, which in turn creates a PDF document with all the information recorded, such as spares used, work carried out and meter readings of the specific device. This data is subsequently stored within the SAP ERP system, where it can be accessed as and when required.
"As well as being accessible via our ERP system, a copy of the PDF is mailed to the customer as soon as it is signed off on the field service engineer’s mobile device," she explains.
La Cante points out that, as a paperless system, the mobility offering will provide obvious environmental benefits. "In addition, the system enables real-time reporting, faster response time, more productive hours for our field service engineers due to improved call and route planning, as well as more accurate stock control."
The system is also being used for Konica Minolta South Africa’s national stock take. By asking the field service engineers to use their devices for the stock take, time is saved, paper output is reduced, there are fewer part number errors and no back office capturing.
La Cante states that the hugely successful pilot project in Pretoria led to a staggered nationwide rollout, with all branches coming online in September.
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