Since implementing a new mobile application in its service operations in January, Guardian Protection Services has eliminated as many as nine phone calls per day per technician, in addition to achieving other efficiencies.
The app, MASmobile Technician, is designed by security automation software provider MAS to help technicians manage and complete onsite installation and service jobs. MAS is a part of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, a unit of United Technologies Corp.
“In just a few short months, we experienced a 4% increase in efficiency,” says Randy Tecza, Guardian vice president of operations, who spearheaded the integration. “The app makes it apparent to the customer that our technicians’ procedures are based on a seamless utilization of technology and a true understanding of the account and site. Therefore, our customer becomes even more satisfied with the service experience.”
Integration of the app required involvement from employees representing Guardian’s operations, finance, information technology, data entry, training and customer service departments. The process required an evaluation of costs, protocols, technology, skill sets and the customer experience, according to the company. Guardian’s goal for integration of MASmobile Technician was completed successfully with a phase one launch in January throughout its service area, which encompasses the Mid-Atlantic region as well as states in the South, West and Midwest.
Along with reducing the number of phone calls placed by technicians each day, Guardian says it has also experienced a decrease in time spent by support employees taking calls from technicians, while also increasing the quality of leadership efforts put forth by operations managers.
Guardian’s field technicians use company-supplied smartphones to deploy the app, which gives them a real-time gateway into the MASterMind Business platform. Technicians have access to an electronic work order and the ability to receive updates to it while en route to a job site. Other features include a real-time, view-only snapshot of the customer’s MAS-based job, event and test history; capability for the technician to place the customer’s system on and off test mode to verify signals and to perform a “system clear” from the site or the job; and capture a signature on completed work orders.
The app is an extension of the MASterMind Business module, which has been deployed by customers in the United States and abroad. Guardian is among the first security providers to integrate the app into its business.
“Right now, the functionality of MASmobile Technician is being driven by progressive companies like Guardian Protection,” says Ralph Ronquillo, vice president of sales, MAS. “As with all of our MASterMind modules, we build our product around the requirements of our customers.”
As MAS worked with its clients to build the app, Ronquillo says, some common themes became apparent. Automation flow around the installation and service job processes was critical. Other areas of focus included limiting phone calls and other nonproductive communications from the field and providing technicians with the immediate information required to carry out their assignments.
“We think the interaction between the technician’s smart device, the MASmobile Technician app and the MASterMind database is the really exciting part. MASmobile Technician builds that virtual bridge between the technician’s device and the database. It cuts out a lot of chatter that slows down the process of bringing on a new customer,” Ronquillo says.
In phase two of Guardian’s app deployment, technicians will be given the capability to capture an electronic payment, set up a return job and activate interactive services. Full integration will likely be a two-year process, Tecza says. He cites a variety benefits that Guardian has already experienced since the launch:
• For field service technicians, beginning-of-day calls to managers for details on work orders are eliminated. Report-in/report-out calls regarding job start and stop times and mileage reports are replaced with E-mails generated by the app.
• Technicians can view service billing lines and use the app to request an update from central support, verify the update and then send a notification to complete programming and testing.
• For managers, the app’s fast, documentable method of communicating means that less time is spent identifying and reviewing schedules for the day and discussing job updates, which can now be placed as electronic comments by the installer on the work order. Managers also gain efficiencies by being able to reassign technicians in real time without a phone call.
“This is just one more example of Guardian Protection Services’ commitment to ongoing innovation via technology,” says Joe Colosimo, Guardian president. “Frequently the horizon line is further out before we feel the benefits, but with the adoption of this technology, we saw efficiencies almost immediately.”