Cognito’s mobile workforce management solution will fully integrate with GSH’s IT systems. As a result, GSH’s 600 field-based engineers will be able to use the latest technology for real time job allocation and status updates, as well as replacing all forms of paperwork.
Maxwell Segal, GSH’s Director of IT Innovation, said, “GSH prides itself on being an exceptionally innovative organisation. As a result, it is imperative that any technology we bring on board can keep up with our drive to constantly improve our scheduling, workforce organisation, customer service and green credentials. Our mobile workers have been equipped with BlackBerrys, linked in real-time with our IT systems, since 2004. However, as we pursued a completely paperless office, this had become cumbersome to develop further and lacked the robustness, bar-coding and signature capture facilities we required.”
While using BlackBerry as a mobile device had eliminated most uses of paper, items such as risk assessments and timesheets still had to be entered physically. GSH predicts that eliminating timesheets alone would save £250,000 a year on paper and administration costs. Beyond using BlackBerrys for communication and relatively basic administration, the front-line work-force needed a toolset that could integrate with the increasingly sophisticated systems being adopted by the business.
By integrating with GSH’s Maximo 6.2 system and GPS tracking, Cognito’s mobile solution provides a robust and easily enhanced field service solution. The engineers’ handsets allow them to have jobs allocated and accept job status changes and closure, all in real-time, based on current location, work load and skill set. The handsets will also link directly to GSH’s helpdesk and intelligent skills-based call routing system to provide complete unity of contact across the workforce and a comprehensive record of all actions for compliance purposes.
Thanks to this improved organisation of the workforce, GSH has been able to redeploy its mobile workforce, from multi-skilled teams each serving a specific customer to seven regional divisions, allowing workers to be allocated more efficiently rather than having to cover often unreasonable distances to reach particular customers. The new technology provides secure messaging, push email, voice calls and mobile workforce management in one device, over a fully managed network where GSH can see for itself what is happening at all times and limit communications to within its own network, providing greater security and compliance.
Cognito was chosen over competitors, including IBM, for a number of reasons. Firstly, Cognito’s platform is flexible enough to cope with the wide variety of demands accompanying GSH’s ambitions. Secondly, Cognito, like GSH, is dedicated to innovation in technology, a firm cultural fit. Lastly, Cognito’s fully managed and reliable infrastructure provides a far more secure system than simply running over an operator’s network, while also providing the necessary compliance and auditing metrics for the business. Following a successful six month trial period with 100 users Cognito’s solution, together with new handsets, is being rolled out across the workforce.
Michael Cross, Director of Business Development at Cognito said, “GSH is facing a conundrum that will trouble every business in the 21st century – how to ensure parity between back-office systems and the mobile workforce? Workers can no longer survive with just a mobile phone and a Filofax. Today’s mobile workers need sophisticated, fully-integrated technologies to allow them to do their jobs to their fullest. Integrating Cognito’s Mobile Workforce Management solution with IBM’s Maximo provides GSH with an excellent base for this.”
“Cognito provided a platform that can be enhanced and grow with our business. Their innovation and vision closely matched ours,” said Segal. “We have already completed the pilot phase of the operation and plan to roll out our combined Maximo upgrade and Cognito solution in other GSH territories such as Ireland, USA and Europe. We are also on-track to implement a completely paperless workforce within 18 months thanks to our new capabilities. Our customers require sophisticated solutions that deliver transparency, trust and excellent service delivery. In all of these, Cognito has scored top marks thanks to its superior service and close involvement with the project.”
As the market leading expert in Mobile Workforce Management systems and practices, Cognito (cognito.co.uk) provides consultancy, solutions and services to organisations with task-oriented field workers, enabling them to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their operations. Cognito’s customers include Anglian Water, CitySprint, Dalkia ETS, Npower, Peterborough City Council and Volvo CE.
GSH (gshgroup.com) is a leading provider of technology driven facilities and energy management solutions. It works with more than 600 customers in all the major market sectors and employs 1900 people, all of whom are committed to its customers. To date, GHS’s energy management solution, energyplus, has saved its customers £3.2million and more than 90,000 tonnes of CO2.