The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2013 - (Page 48)

Field Service Technicians Go Mobile BY HEATHER ANGUS-LEE D ay-to-day tasks look a whole lot different lately for more than two dozen field service technicians working out of the Cincinnati, Ohio, location of equipment distributor Equipment Depot. They are using rug- gedized tablets that connect them directly to their company's Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) business software system via a mobile device interface called MobileFrame, which lets them do paperless PM work orders and regular-fix work orders. The benefits, says Equipment Depot's Keith Hauptmann, project lead of the Mobile Frame integration, have included expedited processes such as less time needed to post, faster parts replenishment, reduced travel time and, on the A/R side, "rather than being 48 MHEDA | inundated with mounds of paperwork and waiting for someone to post it at end of month, it happens as close to real time as possible." "The other day, the operations manager said it was a beautiful thing: a field technician finished his work at the customer site, his manager approved the work, and the invoice was out the door to the customer - all on the same day!" Hauptmann said. Another 35 field technicians are queued up to go mobile at another of Equipment Depot's five operating companies, and then it's off to roll out the technology, and roll out the Windows 7 tablets and training to techs at the remaining companies. Hauptmann said Equipment Depot expects to have one full operating company (about 30 percent of the field technicians) up-to-speed on the integration of MobileFrame and Equip-Soft, their ERP system, by the end of 2013, with an aggressive push to complete across all five companies in 2014. The technicians' new tablets grab real-time updates from the ERP server as they are posted. If cell service or Wi-Fi coverage is not available (a fairly common occurrence on the road), the

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2013

President’s Perspective
From the Desk of Liz Richards
Ask Your Board
MHEDA Member Profile
At Work
Collaboratively Solving Any Issue
Field Service Technicians Go Mobile
Risk Management
Industry Legend Howard Bernstein Gives Back
Greening the Supply Chain through Systems Thinking and Collaboration
Getting to the Top
Want to Grow? Market!
A Totally Mental Makeover
New Members
Spotlight on Association News
MHEDA University
MHEDA Milestones
New Products
Index to Advertisers by Product Category

The MHEDA Journal - Fourth Quarter, 2013