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Konica Minolta currently have around two million customers in 150 countries. The company is a leading provider of digital workplace services, commercial and industrial printing, and optical systems for industrial use and rely on a large field service operation with 3,250 employees.

As part of their ‘Next Generation Field Service Management’ objective – to be completed by the end of 2023 – Konica Minolta selected IFS Planning and Scheduling Optimization to enable them to transition to a predictive maintenance model that will allow them to plan the deployment of field service staff more efficiently across ten national operating companies (NOCs) across Europe.

Susannah Richardson, VP Marketing – Service Management, was lucky enough to steal some time from Ged Cranny, Senior Service Consultant at Konica Minolta to talk about their service challenges, why they chose IFS and the impact IFS’ Planning and Scheduling Optimization solution will have on their business – now and in the future.

Tell us a little bit about your Next Generation Field Service project 

The business was previously relying on Click Software (acquired by Salesforce in 2019) for our planning and scheduling solution. However, it caused the planning our technicians to become very manual. All of the national opening companies have got different ideas about how it works – essentially pockets of self-directed work groups. We were therefore looking for a scheduling solution that automated high volumes of work whilst learning our business and adding value throughout time. We were definitely looking for a solution that would grow and scale with our organization, rather than buy it now and find it fails in five years’ time.

What was your selection process and why did you select IFS?

We started our journey by going to Gartner and we read some white papers about the future of field service and were even lucky enough to speak to the author of the Magic Quadrant and explain what it is we wanted to do and what we were looking for. He gave fantastic feedback on how he saw some of our ideas were good, but also areas we hadn’t thought of and should consider.

The next stage was creating a group of people from the different national operating companies (NOCs) and harmonized the processes. We looked at the goal and we focused on the goal. The big question was, how do we do this? Which processes do we need to improve? What processes can we lose? A key challenge was bringing together people from different cultures, all of which had their current processes and ways of working – we had to make a lot of compromises to make it work.

We then created 20 questions for an RFI which had 16 vendors reply. The companies had to demonstrate their products to us so we could take two vendors forward to a Proof-of-Concept stage. IFS did a tremendous job – they made sure that they spoke in the languages of the different national operating companies and took time to listen and respond. So, when it came time to vote, and I’ll be honest everybody betted that the other vendor would win, mainly on the financial basis, but IFS got 100% vote from all involved in the decision-making process which was really great.

Why did you select IFS’ Planning and Scheduling Optimization?

We chose IFS as a partner because they listened. Every time we went into a call with the different teams from IFS each person would be listening in a different way and be able to add value in their area of expertise. Throughout the whole process IFS really resonated with our people, demonstrated value and positioned themselves as part of our own team here at Konica Minolta.

What does your project roll out look like and what to do you hope to achieve?

Our idea is that we have completed all 11 SAP NOCs by the end of December 2023. The approach we are taking is that we will harmonize the processes so that we will create one template, instead of 11 bespoke products, so that all NOCs are using the same rule set in the same way.

We’ve created an Ambassador Group, which will then work with the product overtime so as we see the product develop and the optimization develop, we can continuously improve our service delivery in line with our ‘remote by default, remote by design’ initiative.  Previously we were achieving around an 85% first time fix – we now need to improve this and aim for 100%.

We set up some easy targets to start with, to manage the transition of technologies and processes by the field workforce, as we had come from an approach where the engineer goes online, and cherry picks his jobs, which means we struggle to optimize against targets. Our new approach is rule based against our key KPIs: meeting our SLAs targets, reducing travel time, and delivering a first-time fix every time. The reduction in travel time will not only reduce fuel costs but will also contribute to our sustainability goals which is important for our business. It’s going to allow us to do this with less people but pick the right the right person with the right part to increase our first-time fix rate.

What does the future hold?

We’re really excited to see the tool learn our business in the background which will provide us with opportunities to improve and challenge ourselves. Our product owner and ambassador groups will work with IFS to feedback back and continually improve how the platform works for us and what we can do with it, now and in the future. This alignment and working closely with the IFS team means that our project roll out will be consistent and positively impact the customer experience – which is why we chose IFS.

If you want to know more about the Konica Minolta project you can view the video interview here, or alternatively Ged Cranny will be speaking at the Future of Field Service Live Tour in Birmingham on the 17th of May 2023 – you can register here:

Interested in seeing how IFS Planning and Scheduling Optimization could impact your business? You can view our online demo platform here or you can request a proof of technology using your business’ real data to show actual benefits and efficiencies by clicking here:

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