Realdolmen Field Services is honing its digital reflexes

Realdolmen Field Services is honing its digital reflexes

5 January 2021

Products & licensing

From planning technical interventions through to follow-up reporting: field service activities inevitably involve a great deal of administration. Fortunately, the days when such tasks had to be completed using pen and paper are now becoming a thing of the past. Today, Realdolmen's field service engineers hit the road with a tablet in hand, while their digital reports are made centrally accessible virtually instantaneously.

Research from Harvard University shows that organizations still spend the most time on operational tasks. However, this is not an immutable law. Our services to support the digital workplace – known as Workplace as a Service (WPaaS) – enable us to give our customers' IT managers some extra breathing room. By relieving them of their operational burdens as much as possible, more of their time is freed up for strategic initiatives. This is how we help them find the best possible balance between operational and strategic IT: an important prerequisite to achieving a continuous Digital Flow and avoiding getting bogged down by standalone digital projects.

fieldservice-activities

Paper inefficiencies removed

Realdolmen's field service activities also form part of the services that comprise Workplace as a Service. “We maintain, repair and replace all our customers' hardware: servers, desktops, laptops, printers, phones, tablets, you name it," states Customer Support Engineer Kris Voordeckers.

Realdolmen uses the Omnitracker ticketing system from Omninet to manage incoming IT tickets, from maintenance requests to incident notifications.

"In the past, my colleagues and I received a paper "field report" for every intervention, printed out from the central ticketing system. We had to manually add the details of the intervention ourselves to the partially pre-completed document while at the customer's site," recalls Kris Voordeckers. "However, this information was not in our central system yet. There was no other option but to enter it again in the office afterwards or get a colleague to do it. In either case, this meant duplication of effort. It was an inefficient, time-consuming and expensive way of working."

This also applied to other services and departments within Realdolmen. For example, our accounting colleagues first had to scan in paper reports for invoicing and then once again in order to archive them. "Today, we work with digital reports generated on a tablet and stored centrally with the matching tickets," explains Kris Voordeckers.

digital field report

"This also means that the accounting department can consult these documents rapidly and efficiently. Due to the increased transparency, we also avoid disagreements. There's an added bonus, too: the documents are now easier to read."

The complete digital package

The introduction of tablets has eliminated various obstacles for Kris Voordeckers' team. Samsung's Galaxy Tab S6 Lite was an easy choice when seeking out a suitable tablet. "At Realdolmen, we had been working with tablets from another supplier that ran on Windows. However, these tablets replaced our laptops and were not ideal for technicians who had to go out on the road every day," explains Kris Voordeckers. "The Samsung Android tablet we chose is much lighter, more compact and easier to use. Because we work with apps whenever possible, we save time and are much faster. The cherry on the cake? The Samsung tablet is also cheaper."

Another important benefit is KNOX, Samsung's own security system. When combined with centralized IT management, this makes it possible to achieve smooth and secure distribution of Realdolmen's standard applications to all field service tablets. "If our technicians need an extra app or an urgent security update, we can roll it out in no time." The tablets also have built-in anti-theft protection. "You cannot reset our tablets to the original factory settings. They always return to the Realdolmen settings."

Sign digitally

To further improve ease of use for field service staff, a mobile version of the Omnitracker ticketing system was introduced. "The layout is different, and the mobile version includes fewer features than the desktop version, but this makes it even easier to use."

What also helps with ease of use is the robust cover with integrated keypad. "If you have to enter a lot of text, a virtual keyboard on a screen is not helpful. A cover like this with an external keyboard which you can just click onto the tablet is a real improvement. Finally, it has a pen you can give to the customer to sign the report. In other words, it really is a complete solution," concludes Kris Voordeckers.

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