Rok, a £1bn UK property repair and maintenance firm, aims to change the balance of power in the building industry by better use of staff based on an automated scheduling system from ClickSoftware Technologies.
Rok has around 1,500 skilled building technicians who repair and maintain buildings.
"The new system will ensure they arrive on time, with the right skills and materials to get the job done first time," said Nigel Lemmon, Rok's managing director of maintenance and build.
A Rok technician updates the scheduling database
before checking the location of his next job.
The ClickSoftware suite will cover all tasks, ranging from a visit by one technician lasting a couple of hours to projects with multiple stages involving different technicians lasting several days.
ClickSchedule will optimise the arrival of the right technician in the right sequence to get the job done in line with Rok's service level agreement commitments.
All the required project information will be available to the technicians on handheld devices. They will use these to report progress, such as closing a job, which will then feed into Rok's billing system for fault-free, faster invoicing, said Lemmon.
Managers will see real-time views of the technicians' locations, and a routing system will show the fastest path to customers from those locations.
This field information will be processed to provide Rok's managers with insight into how the process is working and where improvements could be made.
Another module will send SMS or e-mail updates to customers on technicians' estimated time of arrival (ETA). Customers will also be able to track ETAs and change appointment times online.
"We believe we have stolen a march on our competitors," said Lemmon. "The system will enable us to provide better service 24/7, reduce our costs, provide a better working environment for our employees and easy access to the key performance indicators that are the spine of our business," he said.