The following appears on theweekinimaging by Scott Cullen, Editor
Last November Jeff Silver took over as vice president of service for Nauticon Imaging Systems in Gaithersburg, MD. For someone with a background in finance and only about a year in the office technology industry that might not have seemed like the best fit for a financial guy, but Silver begs to differ.
From the moment he started in his new position, Silver knew the best way to improve Nauticon’s service department, which was pretty good to begin with, was by identifying areas of improvement. To do that he needed data, more data than the dealership’s existing reporting software was able to provide. That’s where BEI Services with its Advanced Comparative Reporting, Technician Compensation, Territory Mapping, and Advanced Inventory Management solutions comes in.
Silver’s predecessor had originally done some research on BEI Services and the general feeling among management was that this solution was a good way to track techs and keep their accountability high. Unfortunately, making any final decisions about implementing the program was put on the back burner…until Silver arrived on the scene.
“When I stepped into the service manager role, implementing BEI Services’ software seemed like a good way to give techs an opportunity to earn some extra money while giving our customers that over the top customer service we’re known for,” recalls Silver.
For a guy who thrives on numbers and data, Silver has found the reports generated through BEI Services’ software right up his alley. The information culled from those reports has helped Nauticon ratchet up its service operation by reducing its parts expense, improving first call effectiveness (FCE), and boosting profitability while improving overall customer satisfaction.
Additionally, Nauticon has reduced its field techs by two and decreased payroll by approximately $100,000 a year (including monthly bonus payments) while reaping greater efficiencies.
It wasn’t as if Nauticon had a dissatisfied customer base before switching to BEI Services, but now that it can track what’s happening in the field with greater accuracy and detail, technician productivity and customer satisfaction have reached new heights. Three months after implementation, Silver was seeing a big decrease in call backs and hold for parts, and those numbers continue to improve.
Going by the numbers, in September 2012 Nauticon’s FCE was 37 percent. By this September it had improved to 57 percent. “That’s significant”, says Silver.
Hold for parts had a similar improvement, going from the mid thirties to around 15 percent. Add to that a nearly a six-figure drop in parts usage the last five months compared to last year and little wonder why Silver has found a friend in BEI Services.
A common complaint of Nauticon’s customers prior to implementing BEI Services various solutions was there was no consistency in the technicians coming out to fix their devices. That’s also improved. “The BEI ‘s territory management software has been helpful for locking down territories and making our techs conscious of their call backs,” says Silver.
There’s a lot Silver likes about BEI’s products, but when pressed, Silver hones in on the ability to recognize techs’ performance. “We can reward a job well done and give the techs who are struggling something to shoot for.”
It’s not unusual for techs to receive bonuses of $500 a month for being more efficient. “We’re trying to build an excellent technical force, states Silver. “Overall, the improvement we’ve seen is dramatic.”
He also likes the ability to pull lists to see which machines are costing the dealership the most so he can make decisions on how to drive those costs down whether it’s encouraging Nauticon’s sales reps to upgrade devices, swapping a machine out and replacing it with a permanent loaner, or going back to the manufacturer and asking for a replacement. The ability to identify the machines that are no longer serving his customers is another valuable report.
The comprehensive reports about what’s happening in the field that Silver now has at his fingertips has made it easier to manage techs and keep them appraised of their performance in the field. He often shares this information with individual techs each month over breakfast.
“It’s important for me to meet our techs in the field and let them know that what they’re doing is important; and it’s important for me to show them the areas where they’re doing well and the areas where they can improve as well as where we’re going as a company. I think they like that.”
Any time an organization changes its internal processes there’s going to be some pushback. “There’s a saying that people don’t like change, but it’s more accurate to say people don’t like change they don’t understand,” says Silver. “When our techs saw that I wasn’t blowing smoke and that they had an opportunity to earn money, then it clicked for a lot of them.”
The program has exceeded Silver’s expectations although he’d like to see Nauticon’s FCE reach 70 percent, which would position the dealership at the top of the national rankings. He sees that happening within the next 12-18 months.
About the Author
Scott Cullen is the president/owner Sustainable Publishing Group and the editor of The Week in Imaging. He’s been writing about the office technology industry since 1986.