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Itouch Iservice Helps Excell Secure Contract

Itouch Iservice Helps Secure Multi Million Dollar Contract For Excell Corporation

Christchurch, New Zealand. 3-Mar-2003: A new on-road service reporting system supplied by iTouch Business Mobility has helped tip the balance in Excell's favour to win a large contract with Manukau City Council. Excell Corporation was awarded Manukau's Water and Drainage maintenance contract in June last year and agreed to work with Manukau City Council to develop wireless technology that would significantly raise the level of community service and improve customer communications. The contract is expected to run for up to 5 years.

When Manukau City's Water and Drainage Service contract came up for tender for the first time ever last year, Excell Corporation knew that there would be strong international competition.

Excell believed that their key differentiator in the battle for the contract would be by providing innovative technology and solutions to improve the level of community service and maximise efficiencies to best practise levels. They wanted the ability to locate the nearest rapid response service vehicle, track and allocate service jobs in real time, and provide to-the-minute progress updates to customers.

"Water and drainage services are a life line for the community," said Tim Gibson, Excell NZ Business Manager - Water, Drainage & Associated Services. "Blocked drains and burst water pipes can be distressing, so we wanted to be more efficient and proactive by keeping Manukau rate payers better informed of work progress."

After consulting with Manukau City Council and iTouch, Excell defeated the competition with a proposal that would introduce innovative technology unique to the infrastructure industry and provide exceptional improvements to customer service. The proposal was accepted with the expectation that the new technology would be up and running by the end of 2002.

"The technology we supplied to Excell is the iTouch iService application," said Dave Ffowcs Williams, Business Development Director at iTouch Business Mobility. "It was specifically customised to meet Excell's needs together with their iConnect wireless gateway. The system is installed on Symbol handheld computers supplied by Walker Datavision, mounted in the service vehicles and connected to Navman Halo GPS devices that supply data feed back to base via Vodafone's GPRS network. Excell then feeds this information directly into Manukau City Council's computer system."

"This is a typical example of how we can add real value to corporates. For companies sized two people and up, we are now extending our service out under a monthly lease agreement."

Simon Porter, Operations Manager of Manukau City Council's Manukau Water Business Unit, says that a rigorous and competitive selection process was used to determine who would undertake the City's water and drainage maintenance. "It was important to us that the preferred contractor could provide leading edge technology solutions to support their in-field activities. Like many customer service focused business, often the difference between a satisfied and a disgruntled customer lies in the speed of response, and the availability of up to the minute information for the customer."

"We have been very impressed with the technology developed for Excell and have already seen benefits in terms of improved response to sewer overflow and water leaks," he continued. "Our strict contract targets are consistently exceeded. With real-time updates of job status coming back into our system, our staff will be in a position to answer customer questions on job status immediately. A very high level of customer satisfaction with all aspects of our service is reflected in customer feedback cards returned by customers."

All of Excell's rapid response vehicles were equipped with the new systems to look after Manukau's Water and Drainage service requirements.

"Our old job logging systems didn't operate in real time. With the new system, we no longer have to phone around to find out where the nearest service vehicle is, or what the latest situation on a job is. All information is now at hand with the press of a button. We have had a great response from our staff and engineers about the technology," said Mr Gibson.

The cost of development is already proving valuable in many different aspects throughout the business - from customer service and job tracking, to asset management and maintenance alerts.

Excell are so impressed with the business benefits of this technology that they are considering extending its use in other applications within the organisation.

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