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Fuji Xerox reaps benefits of TRACE’ing calls

1 March 2003


Fuji Xerox reaps benefits of TRACE’ing customer calls

Fuji Xerox has designed a browser-based mobile system, powered by Telecom’s Mobile JetStream network, that is helping to better manage customer call-outs and improve customer service.

The solution - TRACE (Tele-Remote Access CoWeb for Engineers) - provides information on customer requirements direct to field engineers’ Kyocera 7135 PDAs. Telecom is powering the company’s Auckland-based Web Board (Fuji Xerox Engineer Dispatch System) data system via its Mobile JetStream network.

TRACE was designed by Fuji Xerox Digital Technical Specialist Brent Russell and IT Application Developer Ross Potter, and has been introduced to Fuji Xerox operations over the past three months. About 90 engineers are now currently able to access customer call data, parts lists and other information via their Kyocera handsets.

Mr Russell says engineers are now able to better manage their daily workflow and prioritise customer visits according to urgency and proximity.

“They’re able to work smarter so they can attend to more customer calls each day. And it eliminates the possibility of mistakes, such as mishearing the address of a customer’s premises.

“This all equals better service for our customers.”

Mr Russell says he expects TRACE to pay for itself in call savings and improved customer services levels.

“If we save only half an hour per engineer per week in work time, the system will pay for itself in less than a year and will be a net gain for all following years. However the benefits are far greater than this and include several peripheral communication capabilities as well.”

TRACE enables engineers to view their own call queue, including information about the machine and its call history. They can then respond to calls based on knowledge of the machine and the customer’s priority in the queue. TRACE automatically notifies the Fuji Xerox Contact Centre which job the engineer has accepted.

A parts finder facility provides information on the availability and location of spare parts, all of which contributes to getting customers back in production as quickly as possible.

Planned future functions are expected to allow users to upload machine data, such as meters, work times, parts and codes, to the centrally-held machine history, and to automatically replenish the user’s van stock.

“It’s the ideal solution for our field engineers,” Mr Russell says.

“Developing it in-house means we have been able to tailor it to our exact needs, with the ability to add other functions as required. And it’s extremely cost effective because we bulk-buy CDMA packets for each engineer in advance from Telecom.”

Mr Russell says he had recognised the potential benefits of the solution for several years but it was only recently that the right hardware had become available at the right price.

“Previously, it would have worked, but our engineers would still have been carrying around a laptop, fitted with a GTRAN mobile data card as well as their mobile phone. Now it’s available all in one.”

The rollout of TRACE will continue in the New Year, with a current target of 120 users by early 2004.

“We operate all over New Zealand and respond to an average of nearly 13,000 customer calls a month, so the reach and security provided by Telecom’s 027 network is ideal for our needs,” says Mr Russell.


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