In order to be able to handle the ticket increase in IT support associated with the introduction of a new ERP system more effectively, the necessary infrastructural basis for the upcoming service processes should first be created at Schenker Storen AG with a professional service management solution , With EcholoN, mIT solutions GmbH delivered the most attractive overall package in terms of expansion and adaptability, process orientation and look & feel.
With the system changeover in November 2015, the Swiss market leader for sun and weather protection was not only able to improve its process and resource control in IT services, but also maintains an overview at all times thanks to the knowledge database and smart automatisms, even with complex cross-departmental service processes.
Head office in Schönenwerd
As a leading production, trading and service company in the sun and weather protection market, Schenker Storen AG, based in Schönenwerd, sells high-quality sun protection systems in Switzerland and Europe. To ensure consistently high quality at the product and process level, Schenker Storen meets the requirements of the ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 standards.
In addition to development and sales, the service portfolio also includes the installation and maintenance of sun protection systems, such as Louvre blinds, sun blinds, roller shutters and shutters. The company currently employs around 750 people in 2 production plants and 36 branches, generating annual sales of around 190 million Swiss francs.
Whereas in the past the processing of support inquiries, which mostly came in via email or telephone, took place largely in the mailboxes of the respective employees, today all tickets are recorded and documented centrally in the EcholoN system at Schenker Storen.
"We have thus laid the foundation for integrating other specialist areas such as ERP, production, logistics and sales into the service processes in addition to the IT service. This step was necessary in order to be able to process the growing number of support inquiries in the course of the ERP implementation subject-related and with a consistently high service quality”, explains the responsible project manager Reto Furter, IT manager at Schenker Storen AG.
"In combination with EcholoN reporting, our employees have a very effective tool for optimizing process and resource control", Reto-Furter, IT manager
This procedure also has the pleasant side effect that classifying the tickets according to the respective specialist areas and subject matters immensely simplifies the development of a structured knowledge database. Today, knowledge of malfunctions and solutions can be made available to specialist departments and users at the push of a button, in order to reduce the number of inquiries in the long term and to continuously improve the effectiveness of first-level support. The users' access to the knowledge entries in the service portal are logged precisely so that the relevance of the individual contributions and categories can be tracked and the knowledge entries can be better aligned to the actual information requirements.
"The ability to structure and centralize the existing and new knowledge of our employees is an enormous help for our service teams in day-to-day business," said Reto Furter. "In combination with EcholoN Reporting, which i.a. shows how long the tickets in the individual areas remain unprocessed or how busy the departments and employees are, our employees receive a very effective tool for optimizing process and resource control. Without this possibility, we would hardly be able to react so quickly to frequent faults and implement a continuous improvement process of our entire service processes. "
Effective quality assurance via workflows and individual escalation levels
For quality assurance and process monitoring, various automatisms and escalation levels were stored in the EcholoN system and area-specific escalation managers were determined. For example, for every cross-departmental request, a process manager from the respective department is involved via an automated workflow, which ensures that the request to his department is processed within a certain time window. Dates and critical developments are therefore always in view. Automatic notifications support the information process and, if needed, even necessary measures can be initiated independently. With the help of the reporting tools and the workflow control in EcholoN, the escalation levels can be very closely aligned to the operational requirements.
Another workflow ensures that the ticket creator also receives an automated notification if, for example the request for processing has been delegated or the status of the transaction changes.
"With EcholoN, we were not only able to support the transformation process towards a knowledge-based and workflow-controlled service organization very effectively, but also to solve risks and dependencies on the availability of individual employees." Reto-Furter, IT manager
Process example: ticket processing and communication structures
With the introduction of EcholoN, the self-help portal has also been put into operation, via which users can enter tickets and inform themselves about changes in the process. If the SPOC ("Single Point of Contact") receives a service request today, for example via the EcholoN Selfhelp web client, the right team can be pre-selected based on the type of recording and the category assignment, and the request ends up directly with the responsible department.
There, the process is then processed by the next employee with free resources. Any queries will be clarified in order to finally solve the problem or to delegate the process further. Relevant information about the defective device, such as model, type designation or serial number and which solution approaches have already been tried, can be found in a structured and clear manner in the "case". The process and problem solving is then documented, the ticket is closed and it is determined whether an entry in the knowledge database is to be generated from it, which is either made available to all users or only to specific specialist areas.
Processes in view at all times
Via the user-specific cockpit in EcholoN, Schenker service desk employees can view all processes that require their participation.
"If, for example, an IT service employee needs the customer to release the repair effort, he can send him an approval email directly via the system. At the same time, the process is placed in the 'customer release' status. The status transition automatically triggers a resubmission and a reminder function ensures that the process is completed within a defined time window. In the end, these small automatisms have a great impact in quality management, because they ensure that the processes do not stop or are simply forgotten", emphasizes Reto Furter.
Planned system expansions and outlook
With EcholoN, a large part of the service processes in the entire company are already being carried out at Schenker. "If our ERP system is polished and we can tackle the next topic on the agenda, then we will use EcholoN for all service-based processes - and this across the group, also in our manufacturing plant in France and China, and in our company subsidiary Ehret GmbH in Germany , And thanks to the web clients, access to the system can also be implemented worldwide with little effort”, says Reto Furter. "The feeling that with EcholoN we are in no way restricted for the future gives us a lot of security."
EcholoN is also used by Schenker fitters and supports the assembly and repair processes with standardized documentation.
As part of a current pilot project, EcholoN is also being used by field staff and fitters who install the respective devices in the workplace. Documentation was specially written for these user groups in order to use the mobile device to access product groups and device-specific checklists and to support the repair or repair process. In the future, the documentation of the repair process will no longer be in the form of "analog" work reports to be subsequently recorded, but one-time digitally via the mobile device. Likewise, the order measurement at the customer should be realized in a consistently digital process. Today, around 500 PC users at Schenker Storen use the EcholoN system. In the next step, if the mechanics are also connected, a total of around 750 employees will work with EcholoN.
In the future, the new system will also be used by Schenker fitters to support the assembly and repair processes with standardized documentation.