Enabling Extraordinary Field Service

All field service organisations are extraordinary. They juggle demanding customers, large workforces and complex requirements, often in tight timeframes and changeable conditions. Against a backdrop of uncertainty, field service operations are continually evolving and looking for ways to improve and get better.

Extraordinary comes in all shapes and sizes, we see this everyday in our customer’s projects. They are pushing the boundaries of field service delivery in order to stay one step ahead of their customer requirements and the competition. And we are proud to be part of that achievement.

Here you will find a collection of extraordinary projects that go against the grain of typical field service. We applaud their innovation and commend their contribution to providing some of the UK and Ireland’s most essential services. This is testament to what can be achieved when two extraordinary forces come together.

Welcome to the Extraordinaires Club

Hear from the Extraordinaires that are shaping field service. Understand their reasons for driving change, the outcomes achieved and the importance of being part of an extraodinary project.

Steve Randall
Head of Service CoE
BDR Thermea
"The project has exceeded all our expectations. We knew it would be tough to find the marginal gains that would add up to big changes for our customers, our engineers and our bottom line"
John Bryant
Baxi Engineer
“It’s a much better way of working. We are the face of Baxi and it is uncomfortable to have to explain why you are late, or to have to call the customer and say you won’t make it that day. The new procedures mean that doesn’t happen anymore”
Carol Ingham
Digital Transformation Programme Manager
“Since we’ve implemented Rio Mobilise and hearing back from staff I would have no doubt recommending this solution. It has revolutionized the way we run our clinical services in the community”
Sharon Hargreaves
CCIO
Southern Health
“My favourite thing about the Rio Mobilise app is the ability to work in a much more effective and efficient way, out in the community. Being able to have the information at your finger tips. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, I’d certainly recommend the Rio Mobilise app, it has really helped to improve the wellbeing of our staff".
Duncan Robinson
Director of IT
“The feedback has been very positive, especially around improving productivity. Staff are not required to work 1 or 2 extra hours during the day, they are able to do all the work they need to do in their standard day with whilst ensuring record keeping is up to date”
Carol Ingham
Digital Transformation Programme Manager
“Patients benefits because the health care professionals that they are seeing have access to up to date information in their home with the patient at the time”

Baxi ensures the nation’s heating is one and the hot water is running during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Background

Baxi, part of BDR Thermea Group, has 240 field-based engineers, who service and repair domestic boilers and heating systems. During 2019, Baxi worked on changing internal processes and engineer behaviour to maximise customer experience.

Approach

The management team identified areas of engineer non-compliance and monitored the success of improvements and the impact on customer experience. The initiative was underway but, in March 2020, was disrupted by the pandemic. Baxi swiftly committed to m3aintain excellent customer experience, despite integrating new health and safety procedures and dealing with frequent change.

Customer Experience

Field-service operations are inherently complex. The plan for the day is vulnerable to unpredictable changes: traffic problems or routine maintenance calls turning into lengthy repairs all of which can affect customer experience. Managers needed visibility of what was happening in the field, hour by hour, to respond to changes. They also needed data to take a longer-term view of what was impairing performance and how to improve.

The solution – Insight – a suite of products that enable field service organisations to use data and analytics to automate the process of decision making, creating a feedback loop that continuously improves performance across the operation.

Managers can access the operational plan for the day using a real time dashboard through which to view and manage the performance of the operation. As data is presented in real time, there is time to correct issues that are often directly related to customer satisfaction and compliance. Equally, it enables managers to review past performance by ‘replaying’ the operational flow, and the events of the last, day, week or longer to analyse when, why and how incidents occurred, in order to make the changes that will prevent similar issues in the future.

Compliance

A new Compliance Manager role was created to ensure adherence to procedures, promote a safety-first culture and drive best practice. It was noted that engineers in one region were fixing a particular issue first time whereas, elsewhere, it required a second visit. Investigation showed that one engineer in that region had discovered that a cleaning process would fix the fault, rather than using a new component, which required a second visit and cost more money. The Compliance Manager ensured it was rolled out to all engineers, saving £216,000 over the year, and improving the FTF rate.

Management of the field service team was also altered to put more focus on coaching and motivation rather than technical support. As a result, productivity over the year increased from 5.6 to 5.8 jobs per engineer per day, enabling Baxi to complete an additional 48,284 jobs over the course of the year. This included an increase of 12% in urgent jobs – breakdowns – that were completed on the same day that the customer called in, delighting those customers

Engineers entering data correctly meant that Team Managers gained quick visibility of engineers’ whereabouts using geofencing so they could deploy them to pick up slack or help out other engineers if needed. The Compliance Manager has helped to drive up geofence accuracy from 84% to over 90% by the end of 2020.

Pandemic

In the first few months of the initiative, from January to March 2020, the focus on compliance, driven by Insight data, started to drive up the FTF rate. However, the global pandemic threw a spanner into the works of Baxi’s finely tuned field-service operation. There was an increase in repairs of older, out of warranty boilers. This was problematic for Baxi in that these types of repairs take longer and are harder to solve first time around. Additionally, customers were nervous about losing their heating and hot water during lockdown, so there were additional maintenance callouts. Using Insight, the team calculated that all breakdown jobs should receive a four-minute increase in planned time. This could have led to a drop in productivity – but it was prioritised because it helped to improve the FTF rate.

This project is a stellar example of what can be achieved when an IT supplier and client organisation put end customers first, and work together to react to change, innovate and drive improvement. Baxi engineers are a great example of unsung heroes of Covid-19, taking the risk of going into many households every day and ensuring that sometimes vulnerable clients have heating and hot water.

Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust rapidly deploy Rio Mobilise during the Covid 19 pandemic to transform the way they provide care

Background

Southern Health provides a wide range of mental health, physical health and learning disability services for people across Hampshire. They have a team of 6,500 staff who work from over 300 sites, serving a population of around 1.5million people.

The Physical Health Community Nursing team, which consists of 500 workers, needed to improve their mobile workforce management capabilities in the midst of the Covid 19 pandemic to enable them to deliver the same standard of care, whilst ensuring their patients and their staff were fully protected.

Improvements

The team had been planning for some time to find a new way to securely access and capture information at the point of care. Staff were already using an electronic system and had laptops, but some reported finding these cumbersome to use in patient homes. This meant they didn’t have the patient’s history to hand at point of contact, frequently using other methods to take notes, then return to base to enter the information into the backend system. With the increase in demand the Trust was facing in light of the Covid 19 situation, it was essential that they invested in technology that helped their teams work to the highest level.

Efficiency

Southern Health chose a solution from Totalmobile to enable their community nurses to securely access and capture information while in the community. The solution was deployed in just six days, in order to respond to the increased pressures from the Pandemic.

Using an app, Southern Health can now access their backend system from anywhere, enabling them to record updates in real time and build a true collaborative work environment. As a result, nurses do not have to return to base as often, helping them to protect their own wellbeing and manage their increased workload more efficiently.

Jannine Ford, Healthcare Support Worker said “It helps me do my job better by having that progress note to hand so I can see the conversations and the treatment plan that has been put in place prior to my visit to that patient. I can read the note in front of the patient and give the patient any answers that they require”.

Louise Searle, Clinician added “The Rio app saves me time. It’s quicker than the laptop. I’m spending more time with the patient which is giving them the better quality of care”.

Results

The solution has given the Southern Health and in particularly their clinicians, more time with their patients meaning they can provide better quality care. It is estimated that quicker record keeping is potentially delivering a time saving of 30—40%”

Implementing the solution has meant that visits can be downloaded prior to the working day, they have access to maps so that they can easily navigate to unknown addresses, information is readily available at a touch, such as the phone number to dial ahead if required as well as demographics of the patient and care summary.

Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust (BCHC) implemented a Totalmobile solution to transform the way their clinicians provide help in the community

Before

The district nurses and health visiting teams at BCHC predominantly work in to field, visiting their patients houses to provide imperative care and support. On top of their compassionate work they are required to take notes, make assessments and generally carry out lots of administration. All of which used to be completed on ruggedized devices that were heavy and slow.

They needed to change. Staff were becoming less able to complete their work thoroughly within their contracted hours. Often working late just to keep up.

Solution

The district nurses and health visiting teams have swapped their outdated devices for a combination of iPads and smartphones. They are able to use these devices to capture information on the spot and use forms to complete essential assessments. Importantly the information they are inputting is immediately available to any other clinician in the trust. It even works offline.

Since deploying the Totalmobile solution, the district nurses and health visiting teams have reduced travel time, they no longer need to come back to the office to update systems. And they are much more prepared when face to face with patients, they can access the information they need at the point of care.

Duncan Robinson, Director of IT commented that the feedback has been very positive, especially around improving productivity. Staff are not required to work 1 or 2 extra hours during the day, they are able to do all the work they need to do in their standard day with whilst ensuring record keeping is up to date. They have freedom outside of work, whereas previously work was impacting on their personal lives. Clinicians can simply get on with being clinicians and not think about booking appointment or adding referrals.

Benefits

There were several indicators that the management team chose to measure as a result of implementing the Totalmobile solution across the organization. They looked closely at staff survey results to monitor how satisfied people were in their working environment. As well as reducing travel time, returns to base and increased patient face to face time.

The patients are benefiting from this simply because they are having a better experience. The health care professionals that they are seeing have access to up- o-date information whilst in their homes. And Health visitors are much more agile. They can start work from home, possibly end the day at home and access the information whilst they are on the go.

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