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AA Roadside Service System Wins National It Awards

5 July 2004

AA Roadside Service System Wins National It Awards

The NZ Automobile Association has received two major awards in the national Computerworld Excellence Awards for its new roadside service system. The awards are for Excellence in the Use of IT for Customer Service and Excellence in the Use of IT for a Mobile Workforce.

AA National Road Service Manager, David Van Kampen, said the Awards recognised the AA's commitment to provide the best possible service for its one-million-plus members.

"We began the task of upgrading the technology around the provision of roadside service in 2001. This lead to the Road Comms project, initiated last year," Mr. Van Kampen said.

"We were very clear on what we wanted from day one. The development of the Road Comms system was driven by a service commitment rather than a technology solution. The result is a world-class system that has many potential applications for motoring clubs and others delivering roadside service and assistance around the world.

"When an AA member calls for assistance the details are sent instantly from the dispatch centre to the AA patrol vehicle nearest to the breakdown location via a mobile telecommunications link. Vehicles are equipped with a heavy-duty Panasonic Toughbook Tablet PC, which, in turn, is connected to a global positioning system. Our vehicle is then guided to the breakdown location via satellite using map overlays. At the breakdown, the Tablet PC technology replaces the use of conventional paper work and mobile data terminals.

"The Road Comms system has been a huge success, halving the number of abandoned calls from 13% to 7%, enhancing member service through faster response times and broadening the range of roadside services we can offer," Mr. Van Kampen said.

The Road Comms project has been a collaborative effect involving the NZAA, ECONZ, Panasonic, Vodafone and various other IT hardware and software suppliers.

ENDS

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